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2018 IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report: Mobile, video drive US digital ad revenues past $100B

According to the 2018 IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, U.S. digital advertising revenues reached an all-time high of $107.5 billion — representing the first time that U.S. digital ad revenues surpassed the $100 billion milestone. This was a rise of 22% year-over-year, up from $88.3 billion in 2017.

The IAB’s ad revenue report comes at a critical time for digital advertising. According to eMarketer’s most recent report, digital now accounts for over 50% of all ad spend for the first time. However, ad fraud is still on the rise.

IAB: Mobile, video are driving growth

"Mobile and video continue to lead digital marketing’s steady2018-iab-internet-digital-advertising-revenue-report growth,” wrote the IAB in its release of the report. "Accounting for nearly two-thirds (65%) of 2018’s internet ad revenues, mobile reached $69.9 billion, up 40 percent from the previous year at $50.1 billion.”

Regarding video, the IAB wrote: "Advertising revenues from digital video saw the largest rise among all formats—an uptick of 37 percent—catapulting to $16.3 billion in 2018 from $11.9 billion in 2017.”

Mobile video rose 65% year-over-year

Given that mobile and video are individually driving growth, it’s no surprise that the combination — mobile video (e.g. watching video on mobile devices) — is also gobbling up more ad revenue.

The new IAB report notes that digital video on mobile devices eclipsed $10 billion in revenue last year, representing a rise of 65% year-over-year.

Per the report, nearly two-thirds (63%) of all digital video ad revenue is mobile — up from 52% last year.

However, mobile and video are at high risk of ad fraud

ad-fraud-invalid-traffic-ivt-video-advertising-q4-2018

While mobile and video are key drivers of growth — eMarketer’s report echoed the same sentiment as the IAB’s — they are also the riskiest channels in terms of ad fraud.

As Pixalate recently highlighted, fraudsters are flocking to mobile and video, too.

"In a troublesome reminder of the sophistication of fraudsters, we once again see ad fraud rise in lockstep with brand budgets. Pixalate’s Q4 Ad Fraud Report 2018 shows that the highest ad fraud risk can be found at the intersection of video and mobile. In-app video advertising has ad fraud rates much higher than any other video ad environment - Video IVT rates in-app are up to nearly 30%,” Pixalate wrote in a blog.

You can see the full 2018 IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report here.


To take a deeper dive into ad fraud across all channels, including video and mobile, which are driving digital ad budgets, schedule a demo and learn more about our ad fraud solutions.

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