Digital Advertising Formats – Statistics & Facts

Digital Advertising uses the internet to deliver marketing messages via various formats to internet users. This includes banners (e.g. Skyscrapers, Overlays, Rich media formats), video pre-rolls or mid-rolls, search engine advertising as well as online classifieds and social media advertising.

Furthermore, the digital advertising market is segmented into desktop and mobile revenues depending on the delivery method such as desktop computers or mobile devices (smartphones and tablet PCs).

E-mail marketing, audio ads, influencer sponsorships and commission-based affiliate systems are not considered here.

The market “Digital Advertising” includes the following sub-segments:

Banner Advertising

Banner advertising is one of the most common forms of digital advertising. Banners come in various shapes, sizes and formats and are displayed on a website accessed via desktop PCs or on a mobile-enabled website or in an app.
Typical formats are e.g. skyscrapers, wallpapers, interstitials or pop-ups which usually link to a landing-page of the advertiser.

In addition to these static banners, so-called rich media banners allow playing sounds, animations or videos. Videos which are displayed instead of a static banner outside of a certain video player are considered Rich Media.

Overlay advertisements and pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll video ads within web- or app-based video players are no banners but are categorized as video advertising.

Video Advertising

Video advertising considers all ad formats within web- or app-based video players. These formats are typically video ads that appear before, during or after the streamed video (pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll video ads).
In addition to these video ads text- or image-based overlays that appear while watching a video are also categorized as video advertising.

Video ads on a page (that is not in a video player) are categorized as rich media banner advertisements.

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Search Advertising

Search engine advertising (SEA) or Paid-for-search advertising describes advertisements that are displayed on search result pages above or next to organic search results. These advertisements are usually text-based, but can be displayed as images where applicable.

Sponsored links and keyword advertising are part of search engine advertising which can be targeted on local or keyword-related factors. Google AdWords is the biggest provider of search advertising on the market.

Not included are revenues generated through search engine optimization (SEO).

Social Media Advertising

Social Media advertising includes all ad revenue generated by social networks or business networks such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Ads in social networks can appear as sponsored posts within organic content or besides the newsfeed.

Social advertising does not include revenue generated from membership-subscriptions or premium fees.


Revenues from classified ads are the fees paid by advertisers in order to display an ad or listing around a specific vertical such as automotive, recruiting or real estate.

The fee has to be paid by the advertiser, regardless of the outcome of the ad, instead of depending on factors such as the ad’s position, size or display duration.

Statistics and Data

Data on the global internet advertising expenditure from 2010 to 2016 as well as a forecast until 2019, broken down by type. Paid search advertising is expected to grow from 33.85 billion in 2010 to 101.7 billion U.S. dollars by 2019.

In the digital era, when the market grows and changes in an incredibly fast pace, the advertising industry needs to adapt and match the speed of those transformations.

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Sources predict that the share of digital in total advertising spending will grow from 22.3 percent in 2012 to more than 37 percent in 2018.

While the digital format is experiencing a growth, it needs to be noted that the advertising expenditures are being redirected from desktop to mobile advertising.

Starting with 2015, which is expected to be the turning point for the shift in focus, and with Digital Advertising spending on both channels more or less leveled that year, mobile expenditures are projected to grow by 129 percent and reach nearly 65.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.

According to figures reporting the 2015 mobile advertising spending in the United States by industry, retail will be the one vertical to be most devoted to this marketing channel.

In terms of development potential, programmatic advertising is leading the way. Marketers are investing more and more money into this method. In the last quarter of 2014 alone, programmatic digital ad spends increased by 71 percent and outpaced other media spending by roughly 60 percent.

It was estimated that, globally, marketing professionals spent 15.7 billion U.S. dollars on programmatic advertising in 2014. In regards to most popular ads bought programmatically in the United States, standard banners held the majority that year, but mobile ads followed closely, with approximately 60 percent of marketers and agencies, and 71 percent of publishers devoted to this type of advertising.

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