ComScore released its Digital Future in Focus report for 2013, revealing that nearly 6 trillion ad impressions were served up the US. What’s more, social media is steadily taking the lead, accounting for 16.6 and will soon surpass portals as the most engaging online activity. Facebook naturally leads this surge, contributing to the largest share of online minutes with five out of six minutes on social media sites spent on Facebook.
“2013 is poised to be digital’s most exciting year yet as the growing ubiquity of digital platforms presents marketers with nearly endless opportunities to connect and engage with consumers,” said Linda Abraham, comScore CMO and EVP of Global Product Development. “It’s clear that the dynamics of the marketplace have fundamentally evolved through the adoption of smartphones and tablets and the increasingly ‘digital’ nature of all media. Navigating this changing landscape requires a holistic understanding of the key trends, underlying drivers and new opportunities that the digital ecosystem will bring in the year ahead.”
And while Google continues to lead online search, Bing has gained ground, pushing out Yahoo for the number 2 position in terms of search engine popularity. Now that Facebook’s search is powered by Bing, this trend will only continue to escalate, at least until Facebook’s new Graph Search grows large enough that it doesn’t need to rely on Bing so heavily.
Of those 6 trillion ads, about 1.4 trillion were served in the fourth quarter, a 6 percent increase over the previous year. About one in eight ads are socially enabled, encouraging the consumer to follow the ad through “like” or “follow” buttons.
Strong marketing ROI metrics have led to a healthy digital ad market, but the report noted that an average of 3 out of 10 ads fail to deliver correctly to be viewable, meaning ad companies paid for an ad spot that failed to load. The report predicts that the industry will respond, anticipating that advertisers will “demand more accountability and publishers to reconfigure their site design and ad inventory to improve performance in the coming year.”
Programmatic buying has led to smarter advertising, which has caused the industry to focus its targeting rather than expand its efforts. About 144 advertisers delivered 1 billion ad impressions in the fourth quarter of 2012, fairly comparable to the 145 that delivered advertising in 2011.
Advertisers are putting greater efforts into private exchanges where they can use analytics to prove the effectiveness of the ads.
AT&T took the lion’s share of the advertising at an impressive 1.04 tillion, more than double Microsoft’s 50 billion, which took second place.
Facebook was the most popular smartphone app in America, present on 76 percent of phones. Google, however, owned five of the six most popular apps Maps, Google Play, Google Search, Gmail, and YouTube take positions two through six.