According to the results of an eMarketer survey, the growth of digital search ad spending is expected to decline in coming years as marketers begin to implement rich media, video, and sponsorships for ad campaigns. Overall digital advertising is expected to reach $37.31 billion in 2012 and increase to over $55 billion by 2016. This year, the “big four” of Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Facebook and AOL will take in $23.9 billion in ad revenues, representing nearly two-thirds of total digital ad spending.
The survey consisted of interviews from various ad agencies, brands, online ad publishers, and other marketing industry leaders who were asked to give insight into the digital ad platforms in which their marketing organizations invest revenue. eMarketer found Google to be the most popular for digital advertising, with 41.3 percent of the total ad revenue of 2012, followed by Yahoo! (8.4 percent), Microsoft (6.0 percent), Facebook (5.8 percent), and AOL (2.5 percent). According to eMarketer, search continues to be the leading format in digital ad spending, but its share is expected to drop as marketers increasingly invest in display ads, which include rich media (downloads, embedded files), video, and sponsorship.
Currently, search advertising spending outpaces regular display ad spending (47.1 percent as compared to 40.2 percent), but eMarketer expects this to change by 2016. eMarketer reports that this switch will be driven by digital video advertising and sponsorships due to the growing number of Americans who view videos on desktops and mobile devices. In response to the issue, Rob Griffin, EVP, global director of product development at Havas Digital, said, “Marketers have traditionally thought of search as a solution to their pain points. For the first time, you’re seeing customer-facing innovation on the back end.”
The report reveals that the movement toward display advertising will not affect the rate of big dollar spending in the digital ad industry; the eMarketer research shows continued growth despite the switch.