Blog post

36 Advertising Stats: A Cheat Sheet

By Martin Kihn | October 09, 2017 | 6 Comments


Note that these numbers are rounded, sometimes seriously so. Any marketer could memorize them. Let’s start with a picture:

ad share graphic

Big Picture

  • Global ad spending: $500B
  • U.S. ad spending: $200B
  • Yearly growth rate: +4%
  • Brand spend vs direct response: 50 / 50%
  • Digital – brand vs DR: 30 / 70%
  • Global ad + promo* spend: $1Tr
  • U.S. ad + promo* spend: $440B

U.S. Ad Spend – Breakdown

  • TV ad spend: $70B
  • Percent of TV spend on cable: 30%
  • Radio, newspaper, mag ads: each about $17B
  • Out-of-home ads: $10B
  • Digital ad spend: $70B (yes, same as TV)
  • Percent of digital on search: 50%
  • Percent on banner: 30%
  • Percent on video: 13% aka $17B

U.S. Mobile/Vid Digital

  • Time spent on mobile by people: 2.5 hrs / day
  • Yearly growth rate: +20%
  • Time spent watching TV: 2.6 hrs
  • Yearly growth rate: none
  • Video ad spend mobile vs desktop: 2 to 1
  • Video ad spend brand vs DR: 2 to 1
  • Percent of Facebook ad spend from mobile: 80%

Ad Spend Concentration

  • Google + Facebook share of digital spend: 72%
  • Google + Facebook share of new ad spend: all
  • Top 25 sellers share of digital spend: 85%

Programmatic Advertising

  • Programmatic share of digital display: 80%
  • Direct/private deals vs open RTB: 70 / 30%
  • Share of all ad spend in programmatic: 10%
  • Share of all ad spend in open RTB: 3%
  • Percent of ads not viewable: 50%
  • Percent of ads fraud: 7%+

Consumer Trends

  • Cord cutters in the U.S.: 10%
  • Percent of video/TV time NOT on linear TV: 25%^
  • Ad blocking consumers: 10-20% by content type
  • Most common content types using blockers: gaming, adult
  • Percent product searches started on Amazon: 50%

* Promo includes direct mail, trade promos, co-op and telesales.

^ Non-linear includes OTT (e.g., AppleTV, Roku), DVR and SmartTV

Advertising Age 2017 Edition Marketing Fact Pack

IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report (2016)

BMO Capital Markets “Digital Marketing Hub 4.0” (3/17)

For more info see Gartner’s “The State of U.S. Advertising: 2017-2018,” by Haixia Wang (subscription required).

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

Comments are closed


  • Jed Record says:

    This data begs an infographic.

  • Ewan McKay says:

    The price of traditional advertising such as radio, television and newspapers has fallen in the UK which we have recently explored to supplement our online advertising spend.

    • Martin Kihn says:

      Thanks Ewan – I’ve heard the same from others – it’s ironic that traditional channels (after years of bleak news) are gaining back a little luster. Particularly direct mail (which is costly) and out-of-home (less so), which have retained some audience.

  • Great set of figures.

    A couple of observations:

    (1) Banner 30% vs. Search 50%. For a channel who death has been predicted for over a decade, Banner seems to be quite alive and kicking.

    (2) If this is what happens to things whose death is predicted, Adblockers must be wishing that someone predicts their death soon!

    (3) Per FORTUNE, cord cutter was 22% in 2014 ( Now it’s only 10%. Does it mean there has been a “cut down” in cord cutting?

    (4) Revenues in 2016 for Google was $89.46B (Alphabet $90.27B) and for Facebook was $27.64B. This totals up to $117.10B. Curious to know why this is more than double of the the $50B figure mentioned against Google and Facebook in your chart. Is this an example of the serious rounding you’d warned about at the beginning of your post?:)

    • Martin Kihn says:

      Thanks – interesting points. And just to clear up – I don’t round that much 🙂 My chart is U.S.-only revenue from advertising and is for 2016, which I think accounts for the discrepancy you noted.