Digital Marketing Claims Almost Half of All Ad Revenue

By Joseph Wright

Oct. 21 — Digital marketing revenue is approaching half of all advertising revenue, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The IAB's Internet Advertising Revenue Report for the first half of 2015 showed $27.5 billion in overall revenue for the first six months of this year. That represents 46.5 percent of total advertising revenue for the same period.

Digital ad revenue also represents a growing piece of a shrinking pie. Digital revenue increased 19 percent from the first half of 2014, while overall ad revenues declined by five percent, the IAB said, citing figures from The Nielsen Company for overall revenues.

Social media revenues have increased 51 percent from 2012 to 2015, going from $2.9 billion to $4.4 billion. The report defined social media as any ads delivered on a social platform —including social networking, gaming and social apps — on any device.

Mobile advertising is exploding as a share of all digital advertising, IAB said. Mobile accounted for $8.2 billion in revenue for the reported period, up from $5.3 billion for the first half of 2014 and $0.6 billion for the same period in 2011.

Mobile revenue is almost evenly divided between revenue from search and revenue from display.

Revenue from digital video has also more than tripled in the same time period, now representing $2.0 billion, up from $0.6 billion in the first half on 2011.

Banner advertising and sponsorships have slightly declined over the same period.

Sherrill Mane, IAB's senior vice president of research, analytics and measurement, said IAB doesn't know exactly how much adblocking software affects advertisers, but that it hasn't impeded the growth of digital marketing. Adblocking has been in the news recently as several German courts have upheld the practice , and marketers are said to be considering legal options after Apple Inc. built adblocking functionalities into its iOS 9 operating system.

“A third to 40 percent of U.S. adults block at least some ads,” Mane said. “but revenue continues to grow — that's what we know.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Joseph Wright in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexis Kramer at

The report can be found at