The Majority of Advertising Dollars are Now Being Spent Online

The Growth of Internet Ad Spend in America

Ad spend in the U.S. generates billions in revenue—in 2019, the top 10 marketers spent over $41 billion on various forms of advertising.

While the ad industry has taken a significant hit in 2020 because of COVID-19, it’s projected to see overall growth in 2021, and a majority of this growth is expected to come in the form of internet advertising.

Internet ads have surged in popularity over the last decade. Here’s a look at the total spend on pure-play internet ads since 2012:

YearTotal spend on pure-play internet ads (in billions)% of total ad spend
2012$29 B16%
2014$39 B20%
2016$59 B28%
2018$92 B40%
2020$109 B49%
2022$133 B56%
2024$151 B60%

While internet advertising has increased over the years, more traditional forms have nose-dived in percentage terms.

For instance, ad spend on directories reached $6 billion in 2012. By 2024, they’re projected to generate merely $68 million in revenue.

Like directories, newspaper and magazine spend have seen significant drops since 2012, with projected decreases on the horizon.