Aug 13 2021
Ben Larrison

Digital Video Advertising Trends


Video advertising used to be so simple: there were three major networks, you placed your TV ad in front of tens of millions of people during primetime and...well, yeah, that was pretty much it.

Today, however, is a different story. While good ol’ fashion television remains in the top spot for video consumption, digital video viewership is soaring. In fact, by 2023—just two years from now—digital video viewership in the US is expected to surpass time spent with TV for the first time in history. With Millennials and Gen Z increasingly cord-cutting (or cord-never-ing), the digital video revolution is only just beginning.

What does this mean for advertisers, and why should you think about expanding your digital video ad budget? Let’s take a closer look:

Why Video Advertising?

In short: because that’s where the eyeballs are. According to eMarketer, US adults will spend 2 hours and 29 minutes per day viewing digital video this year—up nine minutes from 2020. US digital video viewership has steadily risen in recent years, climbing from 229.7 million in 2018 to 244.4 million in 2020, and is projected to hit 260.5 million by 2024.

It’s not just younger people who are watching more and more video, either—it’s everyone. Out of 244.4 million digital video viewers in the US, 32.6 million are from Gen Z, 45.7 million are Millennials and 21.7 million are Gen X or older.

It’s also worth noting that the growth of digital video viewership is not limited to the United States—the numbers are also expected to grow in the UK (from 47.0 million in 2020 to 50.7 million by 2024) and Latin American countries like Argentina (from 26.3 million in 2020 to 27.7 million by 2024).

How are People Watching Digital Video?

Everywhere, all the time, possibly even right behind you RIGHT NOW!

(Did we scare you? Sorry. We just get really excited about digital video!)

In the US, 58% of smartphone users say they use mobile to stream digital video content. Smart TVs are not far behind, with 53% of people tuning into platforms such as streaming services on their bigger screens.

On average, US adults watch 26 minutes of digital video a day on their desktops/laptops, 51 minutes a day on their mobile devices (such as smartphones or tablets) and one hour and 12 minutes per day on other connected devices such as connected TVs or gaming consoles.

Video’s triumphant rise will only grow in years ahead, as the introduction of new social media tools (such as TikTok, Instagram Reels and Facebook Stories) and the unstoppable rise of video-on-demand services (such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime and others) continue to transform the way we create, view, and interact with video.

How Has Digital Video Impacted the Advertising Industry?

As you might expect, the abundance of free and subscription-based content distribution services and platforms—combined with skyrocketing viewership across a range of demographics—has created an extraordinary opportunity for marketers to engage their target markets.

Digital video ad spend in the US grew is expected to grow to a record-breaking $76.2 billion in 2022. By 2024, it will hit an astonishing $105.2 billion.

What about programmatic, you say? US programmatic TV ad spending is forecast to grow by 35.4% in 2021 to nearly $5.5 billion and is expected to hit $7.95 billion by 2023. By 2022, more than 10% of linear TV advertising will be transacted or fulfilled programmatically.

Video Unleashed

The market for digital video advertising is growing increasingly large—and increasingly programmatic. Want to dig deeper? Download our Video Unleashed guide to get tips for how to run a strategic video campaign, gain more digital video advertising insights, and a whole lot more.