IAB's Annual Revenue Report Shows "Astonishing" Growth in 2021

Posted by Brand Safety Institute • Apr 13, 2022 1:01:02 PM

There was very good news in the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2021 Internet Advertising Revenue Report released on April 12. In the report, conducted by PwC, year-over-year (YoY) growth for internet ad revenue grew exponentially at 35.4 percent to $189.3 billion, almost tripling the previous year’s growth of 12.2 percent. And the good news didn’t stop there. Among the annual report’s other takeaways:
  • Quarterly revenue grew each quarter in 2021, with Q4 revenues up 20.6 percent to $55 billion last year, their highest level ever and up $10 billion from 2020
  • Mobile advertising revenue resumed its pace in 2021, growing 37.4 percent to $135.1 billion after three years of slower growth. Mobile continues to take in $7 out of every $10 in ad revenue
  • Likewise, social media revenue was up 339.3 percent over 2020 to $57.7 billion after a slowdown at the beginning of the pandemic
  • A 50.8 percent jump in digital video’s revenue prompted the report’s authors to describe such growth as “astonishing” and to declare, “the future is streaming”
  • It was digital audio, including podcasts, that grew fastest in 2021, climbing 57.9 percent to $4.9 billion

All of the data in the IAB’s report made it clear that digital advertising is surging in the post-pandemic world. And the future is just as rosy, with the report forecasting “continued digital ad growth across channels…as digital is inevitably becoming the de-facto media delivery mechanism.”

However, the report did highlight a few concerns, including privacy, trust and transparency, and the need for brands to “place diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront of their business operations.” The report declared, “The need for trust and transparency across the digital ad supply chain has never been more important and is threatening ad revenue generation and publishers’ bottom lines.”

Keeping those ad revenues and bottom lines safe, the report continued, “requires continually evolving frameworks and investments to verify ad sellers, human traffic, viewable impressions, content precision, as well as brand safe and suitable environments.” And that’s where the Brand Safety Institute (BSI) comes in.

The BSI’s goal is to advance the cause of brand safety by certifying Brand Safety Officers and Brand Safe Workforces across every step of the digital advertising supply chain. The BSI site also has a resource library complete with brand safety tools, best practice guides, and more to help everyone involved, individuals and organizations alike, be better prepared to protect the digital ad ecosystem.

Click here to see the IAB’s full report.

Topics: Brand Safety, Brand Suitability, revenue, IAB, Mobile, Digital Video, Digital Audio, Social Media, annual report