Digital Ad Spend to Near $60 Billion in 2015

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Retailers will account for more than a fifth of that, followed by automotive and financial services.

Marketers will spend $58.6 billion on digital advertising this year, paced by retailers who will account for about 22% of that total, according to eMarketers 2015 “Digital Ad Spending Benchmarks by Industry” report. Retail will lead spending in all three classes of digital spend measured by eMarketer: mobile, programmatic display, and video.

The retail community will spend almost twice as much on mobile advertising ($6.7 billion) as the financial services ($3.5 billion) or automotive ($3.4 billion) categories, the next biggest spending verticals in the channel. The report notes that retailers continue to increase efforts to reach shoppers on the go with advertising, since the vast majority of their sales still occur in brick-and-mortar stores. Only 7.2% of U.S. retail sales will be made via the Internet, eMarketer estimates.

The $3.71 billion that retailers look to spend in display advertising represents 25% of all outlays in that channel. Consumer packaged goods companies will finish second in programmatic buys with $2.1 billion, followed by financial services ($1.7 billion) and telecoms ($1.6 billion). Procter & Gamble announced last year that it would dedicate 70% of its digital ad budget to programmatic buys.

Retail ($1.6 billion) and automotive ($1.1 billion) will lead video spending in 2015.

“While digital ad growth remains the story for all industries, it's not one-size-fits-all. Nuances among sectors reflect a variety of trends in the ways each industry targets consumers and closes sales,” said Victoria Petrock, principal analyst at eMarketer.

eMarketer bases its Benchmarks report findings on analysis of hundreds of data sources and interviews with executives at ad agencies, brands, and digital media companies.

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