IAB: Mobile drove paid search growth in first-half of 2018, desktop revenue flat

November 13, 2018

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According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), U.S. digital ad revenues reached $49.5 billion in the first half of 2018, an all time high. Last year revenues were $40.3 billion. Growth was 23 percent year over year. Search accounted for a declining share of overall revenue.

Search numbers grow, contribution percentage declines. Overall, search revenue was 46 percent of the total and reached $22.8 billion. Total paid-search dollars were up compared with last year ($19.1 billion). However, search as a percentage of total digital revenue declined from 47.5 percent in 2017.

Mobile search brought in $13.5 billion, representing 37 growth year over year. Desktop search ad revenues were flat at $9.3 billion.

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Source: IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, Half-Year 2018.

Mobile advertising drove 62.5 percent of total revenues, up from 54 percent a year ago. Desktop revenue was 37.5 percent.

Why it matters to marketers. Search remains the single dominant digital marketing channel in terms of revenue, with mobile as the growth engine. However, as more digital ad dollars migrate to mobile, other formats (video, in particular) and channels are encroaching on its dominance.


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