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IAB in the News

U.S. Internet Ad Revenues Hit Landmark US$59.6 Billion in 2015

Tue, 03 May 2016

NEW YORK, NY (April 21, 2016) — U.S. digital advertising revenues reached an all-time high of $59.6 billion in 2015, according to the full-year IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and prepared by PwC US. This marks a 20 percent surge over the earlier record-breaking 2014 revenues of $49.5 billion – and represents the sixth year in a row of double-digit growth for the industry. In addition, the report shows that 2015’s fourth-quarter numbers reached $17.4 billion, a 23 percent increase from $14.2 billion in Q4 2014, and an 18 percent increase from the $14.7 billion in 2015’s third-quarter.

Other highlights include:

  • Mobile advertising skyrocketed to $20.7 billion during FY 2015, a 66 percent hike over the 2014 total of $12.5 billion
  • Digital video (non-mobile), a component of display-related advertising, reached $4.2 billion in 2015, a 30 percent rise over $3.3 billion in 2014
  • Social media advertising brought in $10.9 billion in 2015, up 55 percent over 2014’s $7 billion
  • Search (non-mobile) revenues reached $20.5 billion in 2015, up 8 percent from $19 billion in 2014
  • Display-related advertising (non-mobile) revenues in 2015 totaled $13.9 billion, representing 23 percent of the year’s revenues, an uptick of 3 percent over $13.5 billion in 2014
  • Retail advertisers continue to represent the largest category of internet ad spending, responsible for 22 percent last year, followed by automotive and financial services which each accounted for 13 percent of the year’s revenues

“Mobile’s impressive upswing is a testament to its increasing importance to marketers,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “Digital video is also seeing strong growth, and we anticipate brands and media buyers will drive further excitement about the future of the medium at the upcoming Digital Content NewFronts.”

“Internet advertising was a disruptive innovation when the industry was formed,” said David Silverman, partner, PwC US. “Twenty years later we still see double-digit growth rates, including 20 percent in 2015. Three key disruptive trends – mobile, social, and programmatic – continue to fuel this exceptional rate of growth.”

“There is no question that interactive screens are attracting consumers and the advertisers that want to reach them where they live – increasingly on mobile devices,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB.

Here are the results from the full-year in comparison with last year’s numbers:

IAB US 2015 Full Year Report – Press Release
Comparison of 2015 and 2014 Data
(in millions)

Full Year
2014
Full Year
2015
% $ % $
Revenue (Ad Formats)
Search 38% $18,955 34% $20,481
Classifieds and Directories 5% $2,690 5% $2,757
Lead Generation 4% $1,866 3% $1,756
Mobile 25% $12,453 35% $20,677
Display-related
    – Digital Video Commercials 7% $3,254 7% $4,236
    – Ad banners / display ads 16% $8,049 13% $7,745
    – Sponsorships 2% $774 1% $649
    – Rich media 3% $1,410 2% $1,251
        Total display-related 27% $13,487 23% $13,881
Revenue (Pricing Models)
Impression-based 33% $16,506 33% $19,942
Performance-based 66% $32,434 65% $38,644
Hybrid 1% $511 2% $966