Media Buying


As more people watch video content on their mobile devices, the nature of mobile video monetization is changing. This is particularly the case for programmatic advertising, which we define as an automated, technology-driven method of buying, selling or fulfilling digital display ad placements. Overall, mobile video ads sold programmatically generated $19.93 billion in revenues in 2019 in the US and will generate $24.87 billion in 2020.

eMarketer principal analyst Mark Dolliver and vice president of research Jennifer Pearson discuss children's behavior online, the screen time stigma and YouTube child policy changes. Then, junior analyst Blake Droesch addresses questions about a TikTok sale, Facebook's stance on political ads and a new way to limit who can reply to your tweets.

The ad tech world may feel targeted (pun intended) by privacy-related scrutiny in the press, but the fees earned by the ecosystem of partners that facilitate programmatic display transactions in the US were up almost 20% this year.

The first primary contests for the Democratic presidential nomination are not happening until February 2020, but the heat is already on the biggest digital ad sellers to restrict what they allow political and issue-oriented advertisers to do.

We couldn’t have been more correct in late 2018 when we predicted that privacy concerns would snowball in 2019, creating greater challenges for digital marketers with regard to audience identification, targeting and tracking.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), enacted in May 2018, was supposed to cause a huge backlash against programmatic trading in the UK. It was going to bring heightened awareness of privacy among consumers and more scrutiny of ad tech than ever before. Marketers were going to become wary of playing “fast and loose” with consumer data. Of course, there have been varying degrees of truth in those statements, and while initial effects were felt, the longer-term impact on programmatic ad spend has not been substantial.

Netflix and YouTube may be the video platforms US adults are watching most, but their days at the top may be numbered. New services such as Disney+, HBO Max and Apple TV+ will fragment digital video viewing time even further. According to our first forecast on time spent watching Netflix and YouTube, both platforms will see their share of daily video time drop in the coming years.

eMarketer principal analyst Mark Dolliver, junior analyst Blake Droesch and vice president of content studio Paul Verna talk about Uber testing ad displays for its cars, YouTube attempting to invite more edgier advertising, Netflix making deals to extend its reach, Plex launching a free, ad-supported streaming service, Americans tell us their favorite Thanksgiving pie flavor, and more.

Connected TV (CTV) ad buyers must consider how CTV purchases factor into their broader digital and TV campaigns. Figuring out how to best plan, buy and measure CTV ads is becoming more consequential as more money flows into this area.

eMarketer principal analyst Mark Dolliver and junior analyst Lucy Koch discuss how teens are using the Internet. Where are they spending their time? And how is that time spent online affecting their well-being? Mark and Lucy then talk about what younger sports fans are craving and the demographic that feels ignored by beauty brands.

Mobile dethroned TV in 2019 as the channel where US adults spent the most time. While it may be a symbolic threshold for now, it’s still notable that the average US adult spent 3 hours, 43 minutes (3:43) on their mobile devices in 2019, compared with the average 3:35 spent watching TV. As recently as 2016, US adults watched nearly an hour more of TV than they spent on their smartphones and tablets (4:05 vs. 3:08).

Despite the acceleration of cord-cutting, the demand for TV advertising remains strong. In 2019, that demand was reflected in increased ad prices and a growing appetite for targeted TV ads.

eMarketer principal analyst Nicole Perrin discusses one thing that summed up 2019 for her and some of her predictions for 2020, focusing on the measurability of digital advertising.

Marketers have embraced location data for several reasons. It can help personalize experiences for customers, better isolate customer paths to purchase, create better customer segments, and identify opportune moments to target potential clients. But new restrictions on collecting location data will make it more costly for advertisers in 2020.

For brands and retailers in some categories, Amazon is a significant channel for ecommerce sales. And that often means paying for prime placement on Amazon properties, including in search results. We estimate Amazon will have earned 72% of its $9.85 billion in net US digital ad revenues from search ads in 2019.

eMarketer principal analyst Yory Wurmser joins host Nicole Perrin to discuss eMarketer’s latest estimates of spending on mobile ads in the US. They break down our forecast to explain where the nearly $100 billion in US mobile ad outlays this year actually goes.

Asia-Pacific is home to some of the world's fastest-growing and most dynamic economies, but the current US-China trade war and other geopolitical factors are threatening the regions' economic vitality and are impacting digital ad spend.

eMarketer principal analyst Lauren Fisher joins fellow principal analyst Nicole Perrin to talk about recent coverage from The Wall Street Journal about how Google came to have the biggest digital ad business. Then they discuss ad tech consolidation and a handful of recent video-focused deals, including Roku’s acquisition of DSP dataxu and Xandr’s purchase of SSP Clypd.

US advertisers will pump more than $57 billion into programmatic display advertising this year, and more than half of that investment will go to digital display ads on social networks.