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Digital Ad Revenue Hits New Record in 2023

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CTV is growing FAST amid the ad industry’s record-setting results in 2023.

Ahead of upcoming NewFronts events, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released its annual Internet Advertising Report today, revealing that the ad industry hit new highs in 2023.

According to the report conducted by PwC Advisory Services LLC, internet ad revenues reached a record high of $225 billion, increasing by 7.3% year over year. Additionally, Retail media, connected TV and audio advertising saw double-digit growth.

“The fact that we’re still seeing growth despite the economic outlook, privacy increases, job cuts, mergers—all those things—is pretty inspiring,” Jack Koch, svp, research and insights, IAB, told ADWEEK. “I think we’re going to look back on this year and say, ‘Whoa, that was a pretty exciting year because there are a lot of transformative things happening.’”

Among the transformative happenings, video advertising revenue grew 10.6% year over year, rising to $52.1 billion in 2023. For the first time, IAB broke out the CTV and OTT components of that, finding that 42% of the growth came from that category.

Additionally, IAB expects the combination of CTV/OTT to be the fastest-growing media channel in 2024.

“We’re seeing more inventory than we’ve seen. We’re finally seeing that pivotal shift,” Koch said. “Everybody started a streaming and CTV network, and now it’s, ‘OK, what are we going to do with this thing?’ It’s all coming to fruition this year and next year.”

FAST channels saw a big boost in 2023, with Samsung Ads reporting that there were 1,900 free ad-supported streaming channels available in the U.S. as of the end of last year, and IAB expects the relatively recent addition of ad tiers at major streamers to boost growth in 2024.

Other 2023 highlights include audio advertising growing 18.9% to $7 billion. Plus, retail media revenues had a boost of 16.3% year over year in 2023, reaching $43.7 billion, with major e-commerce companies expanding retail media platforms.

“The ecosystem and how retail media networks expand—like Walmart and Vizio—we’re going to see a transformation from what we typically know as retail media networks to retail commerce,” Koch said. “That’s what we’ll start seeing in 2024.”

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