Digital Video and Audio Lead Advertising’s Growth

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Digital video and audio were the fast-growing digital advertising categories in 2021, according to a new report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Digital video spend grew 50.8% year over year to $39.5 billion, digital audio 57.9% to $4.9 billion.

The rapid growth of digital video and audio corresponds to a long-term trend. Advertisers are increasingly depending on these immersive sensory formats, which promise to capture consumer attention more effectively than print and static images in a cluttered online environment.

Despite worries over privacy changes’ impact on targeting and measurement on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, social advertising also grew heartily last year. The category’s spend climbed nearly 40% to $57.7 billion.

Search also grew substantially, rising 32.8% year over year, but saw its share of the digital advertising pie decrease 0.8 percentage points.

The numbers point to the explosion of streaming media as a means of connecting with audiences tapping into on-demand digital content. But they also show overall robust growth for digital advertising, which will further evolve this year as new channels such as retail media and OTT/CTV mature and technologies such as the metaverse and the blockchain further enter the mix.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]
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