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Digital Advertising Slowed in 2022 but Was Still Up 10.8%

After record-breaking growth in 2021, U.S. internet ad revenue slowed last year — but continued to show double-digit growth.

That’s according to the 2022 annual ad revenue report from the Internet Advertising Bureau trade group, conducted by PwC. Between 2021-22, U.S. internet advertising revenue grew 10.8% year-over-year to a total of $209.7 billion, compared with a 35.4% surge the previous year, per the study. In 2022, digital ad spending saw the highest growth in Q2 (21.1%) followed by Q2 at 11.8% before slowing in Q3 (8.4%) and Q4 (4.4%).

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By comparison, U.S. TV advertising revenue in 2022 grew 2%, to $71 billion, according to estimates from PwC’s Entertainment and Media Outlook 2022-2026 report.

“After unprecedented growth in 2021, we expected more moderation in 2022,” IAB CEO David Cohen said. “Looking ahead, there is definitely still growth to be had, but it will be harder to achieve and likely less than we have become accustomed to.”

Breaking it down by category, in 2022 search revenue grew 7.8% to $84.4 billion, but overall market share continued to decrease as buying shifted to digital video and display. Display advertising totaled $63.5 billion in 2022 (+12%) while digital video revenue totaled $47.1 billion (+19%) and digital audio revenue hit $5.9 billion (+21%), per PwC’s report for IAB. Other digital ad revenue, which includes classified, directories and lead generation, declined 11% to $8.8 billion.

IAB released the annual internet advertising report last month, ahead of the NewFronts presentations by digital media companies and platforms this week (May 1-4). The report uses data and information reported directly to PwC from companies selling internet advertising as well as publicly available corporate data.

The ad industry is seeing a shift toward solutions that can tap into first-party data, which has resulted in the continued growth in connected TV (CTV) and retail media networks (RMNs), given that “these channels provide advertisers with a way to reach their desired audience with relevant ads at scale,” according to the PwC report for IAB.

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