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Google, Facebook Took 77% of Digital Ad Revenue in 2016

Mobile advertising accounted for more than half (51%) of the record-breaking $72.5 billion spent by advertisers last year, according to the latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report released today. Google and Facebook took 77% of that. Is there a silver lining for independent creators? We think so. 

The total represents a 22% increase, up from $59.6 billion in 2015.

Mobile experienced a 77% upswing from $20.7 billion the previous year, hitting $36.6 billion in 2016.

  • Digital video hit a record $9.1 billion in 2016, up 53% YOY ($5.9 billion 2015)
  • Mobile video revenue skyrocketed, more than doubling—up 145% YOY—to nearly $4.2 billion
  • Social media advertising generated $16.3 billion last year, climbing 5% ($10.9 billion 2015) 
  • Search revenues reached nearly $35 billion in 2016, up 19% ($29.5 billion 2015)
  • Digital audio, measured for the first time in this report, brought in revenues of $1.1 billion in 2016
  • Retail, representing 21.3% of internet ad spend in 2016, Financial Services at 13.3%, and automotive at 12.5%, continue to have the largest category share, with Media (5.2%) picking up speed, up 13% over 2015

Youtube censorship #AdsenseGate

2016 was the year of “mobile first”. IAB now predicts more brands will opt for a “mobile only” approach to ad spend. 

“Mobile fueled the internet economy in 2016, with advertisers showing their confidence in digital to achieve their marketing goals,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “This increasing commitment is a reflection of brands’ ongoing marketing shift from ‘mobile-first’ to ‘mobile-only’ in order to keep pace with today’s on-the-go consumers.”

Youtube censorship #AdsenseGate

With Google and Facebook accounting for 99% of digital advertising revenue growth and 77% of total digital ad spend in 2016 between them, it’s no surprise they’re “cracking down” on so-called “fake news” (read: censoring dissidents). They have a duopoly to protect. Remember when they say “advertiser friendly” they mean “absent opinion”. They’re trying to create a “safe space” for global brands. 

So what does all this mean for independent creators who are at risk of demonetisation and outright censorship

Digital audio is still a relatively untapped channel. I expect podcasts will see huge growth, especially among political commentators and cultural critics on the right. Even if that’s as simple as YouTubers converting their episodes to audio-only podcasts. If that sounds like you, don’t rely solely on programmatic ad revenue to support you. Get your own sponsors who won’t cuck and leave you without a source of income.

Youtube censorship #AdsenseGate

If we’re looking at audio, you better believe Big Tech is eyeing it off too. “Mobile, social, video, and programmatic trends combine to redefine the digital landscape, providing unprecedented access for advertisers to reach consumers,” said David Silverman, partner, PwC US. “Digital audio, generating $1.1 billion in 2016 speaks to the continued evolution of new formats that enable marketers to find audiences at home, behind their desks, or wherever they are.”

Expect the next wave of smear campaigns to target podcasters like WSJ did PewDiePie

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