IAB: US digital video ad spend, driven by CTV, to form 56% of total video in 2021
US digital video advertising continued to boom in 2021, fueled by a surge of interest and inventory in the connected TV (CTV) space, according to research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a leading digital advertising body.
‘A bellwether moment in media’: Digital, driven by CTV, to comprise 56% of video spend in 2021
The digital video category is comprised of CTV, desktop and mobile video. CTV reached new heights with 22% growth year-on-year. Of the 350 marketer and agency executives quizzed, average CTV spend sat just shy of $20m, digital desktop was up 3% to $17.56m and mobile up 4% to $17.55m.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of CTV buyers said they shifted budget from broadcast and cable to CTV in 2021. More than a third (35%) of buyers expect to increase CTV video ad spending in 2021.
Eric John, vice president of IAB Media Center, called it a “bellwether moment in media” and credited the “movement to more audience-based buying approaches” to increased buyer demand for CTV.
Why buy CTV?
Last week The Drum quizzed media buyers about what’s so attractive to them about CTV inventory – and while it is clear there is still a lot of ground to make up on more established formats, the ability to serve the full marketing funnel in a TV environment carries a clear advantage.
The research said 60% of advertisers thought CTV provided ‘a trusted, brand-safe environment’. 46% cited targeting as a key benefit, although marketers must remember the TV is often a shared screen – they’re targeting households, not individuals, most of the time.
With the coming demise of third-party cookies and confusion about the efficacy of any new approaches, marketers are looking to reinstate their consumer vision. More than three-quarters of advertisers claimed ‘robust first-party data’ is important when selecting video partners. That will be the key differentiator in who pulls ahead in the space, which by all accounts is a battleground to become the defacto operating system controlling CTVs.
But what categories will spend?
Buyers are optimistic for health and wellness (+144%), finance (+97%), travel (+92%), telecom (+71%), and media and entertainment (+48%). It’s worth noting that in mobile, health and wellness is projected for +181% and fashion/apparel +81%.
“Viewers have come to expect optimized video experiences. The days of dog-owner households seeing cat food ads are ending, even on the big screen,” said John. Streaming video is now at the “big kids’ table”, he added.
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