Forecast: US display advertising to grow 70% by 2021, with social and mobile drivers

Greg Sterling on
  • Categories: Amazon, Channel: Display Advertising, Facebook, Google, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing
  • Forrester Research is out with its new US display advertising forecast through 2021. The firm says that mobile, video and social media advertising will grow and that more conventional online display advertising will suffer in part because of viewability, brand safety, fraud and other issues.

    Forrester also argues that Amazon will “steal market share” from Google and Facebook.

    The firm contends that social media ad spending will grow to $40 billion by 2021 and that social will grab the bulk of online display ad revenue, with much of that growth accruing to Facebook. Mobile advertising, with emphasis on in-app video, will be the primary growth engine of non-social display advertising during the forecast period.

    Source: Forrester data and forecasts (2017)

    Forrester says the majority of mobile display spending (“close to two out of every three mobile ad dollars”) will be in-app. That will also benefit Facebook and Google, which together control eight out of the top 10 apps in the US.

    The report projects that Amazon’s US ad revenues will grow to roughly $2.5 billion by 2021, some of that coming at the expense of Google and Facebook. However, this figure is small in comparison to Google and Facebook’s overall revenues.

    I suspect Forrester is underestimating Amazon’s ad revenue growth, given its place in the market. And a number of other Amazon ad revenue estimates range from $1 billion to over $3 billion — for 2017.

    Another significant trend identified in the report is the flight to private, premium and brand-safe sites:

    Marketers want more visibility on the inventory they buy and are willing to pay more to appear in a brand-safe environment that promotes viewability, controls fraud, and makes sophisticated use of data for targeting. The state of ad fraud and viewability in open programmatic will push them to implement tighter guide rails around their media buys.

    This last point is perhaps the most interesting macro observation in the report. Market dynamics, driven by consumer behavior, suggest healthy, continued growth. But a range of opposing forces (e.g., fraud, brand safety) militate against growth or will drive it into certain quarters and away from others.


    About The Author

    Greg Sterling
    Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.