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Display ads, driven by social and video, to breach over 50% of internet ad spend by 2019, says Zenith


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

September 10, 2017 | 4 min read

Innovative ad formats like video, paid content, native and in-feed social media ads will drive a 14% annual growth in global display advertising between 2016 and 2019, according to research from Zenith.


In-feed social media ads is a major driver

To briefly summarise, display will encompass 50.4% of internet advertising expenditure by 2019. Social media will by rise 20% a year and video at 21%.

Paid search growth lags behind at a rate of 10% growth annually, reaching a value of $103bn by 2019, since the format was usurped by display in 2015. It may be due a resurgence as voice interfaces like Alexa and Siri threaten to open up new channels in consumers’ mobiles, automobiles and homes, however.

The report claimed that video and TV were blurring with as smart TVs and other devices started to cross these lines. It “makes less and less sense to plan television and online video separately: they work best as complements rather than substitutes,” said the report.

Separated from classified and search, TV and online video accounted for 48.5% of expenditure on brand advertising in 2016, up from 43.7% in 2010. Classified ads also continue to shrink as monetisation is usurped by free listings, auction sites and other substitutes. Advertisers spent $17bn on internet classifieds in 2016, that will grow by 7% annually to $21bn in 2019.

All in, global advertising expenditure is to grow 4.0% to $558bn by 2018 - lowered from June 2016 prediction of 4.2%.

Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting and director of global intelligence at Zenith, said: “Internet display is coming into its own as a brand-building media, powered by social media and online video but the distinctions between online video and traditional television are being eroded, and the two work together much better than they do separately.”

Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s global brand president, added: “Internet platforms are continually innovating to provide advertisers with new ways of communicating with consumers. But newer doesn’t always mean better, and agencies must use all the data and technology available to them to determine how to combine new and old media to tell brand stories most effectively.”

90% of European industry stakeholders recently admitted that brands would spend more on digital channels if cross-media measurement capabilities were improved, according to a new study from IAB Europe.

But this comes as some of the world’s biggest advertisers are reassessing their digital spend amid industry transparency rows where brands are rather unsure how much bang they are getting for their buck. As a result, many are brands are bulking up their in-house teams to get a better feel for their media spend.

Facebook for instance has been involved in numerous rows where it has been overestimating its reach. It recently bit back against some of these claims defending the integrity of its ad network. Similarly, the other side of the ad duopoly coin, Google has had its issues with ad placements being next to questionable content, especially on YouTube, as such it has introduced new tools to better police what's getting monetised.

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