Digital ad spending outlook blows past previous forecasts

CTV ad spending is riding a wave of consumer adoption and platform launches. By 2025, spending will reach $34.49 billion, more than double the 2021 total of $14.44 billion. This means that, as a function of overall digital video ad spending, CTV will approach one-third in 2025 from roughly one-quarter in 2021. This escalation is driven by increased cord-cutting, more time spent on CTV, device companies like Roku and Vizio doubling down on their ad businesses, and the proliferation of ad-supported video platforms despite continued momentum in subscription-based ones. Yet another contributor is Amazon’s increasing focus on CTV as it grows its share of the US digital ad market.

Search and social also had huge years in 2021. Although search is a mature ad format, its 2021 growth of 39.1% was the largest year-to-year increase since we started tracking it in 2008. Social network ad spending also spiked in 2021, though not as sharply as search—mostly because social platforms held their own in 2020, while search suffered as many consumers were conducting online searches that weren’t easily monetizable. That said, social will overtake search for the first time in 2022, highlighting the scale, strength, and resiliency of platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and TikTok.

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