Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Browse our upcoming and past events, recent podcasts, and other featured resources.
Learn More
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

10 Key Digital Trends for 2021

What Marketers Need to Know in the Year Ahead

About This Report
In this year’s “Key Digital Trends” report, we examine changes coming to the digital media and technology landscape in 2021—including legislation, privacy, entertainment, social media, and more—and why they matter to marketers.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

This year has been rife with uncertainty: a pandemic, social unrest, political division, and a changing digital landscape. For the ninth consecutive year, we have identified the top developments that should be on marketers’ radar.

With the election behind us, will Washington impact the digital landscape?

Before the election, some may have predicted some bolder regulatory moves to come. Instead, expect to see no Big Tech breakups and the passing of some weaker privacy regulations.

Will Facebook and Google continue to dominate digital advertising?

The duopoly is alive and well, that much is certain. That said, its combined market share in the US will actually drop in 2021, fueled by the rise of a new retail media triopoly. You may guess two of these players, but which is the third?

Will the crumbling of the cookie have an impact?

Advertisers will need to evolve their advertising tactics and strategies to address general uncertainty. At the same time, owned channels will benefit from the phasing out of third-party cookies and will place greater focus on marketing efforts with high returns on investment (ROI).

Where will consumers go for their entertainment?

Increasingly, they will be flocking to social media primarily for short-form entertainment, not commerce—which is still not ready for primetime. Consumers will also turn to streamers, including Disney+, which has cemented itself as a power player.

What other long-standing effects has the pandemic and social unrest had on marketing?

Virtual events are expected to take a big step forward in the year ahead, as will brands’ willingness to embrace social causes for motives both altruistic and financial.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report covers the top 10 digital trends that marketers need to track in 2021.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. A Look Ahead to 2021
  3. Prediction No. 1: Big Tech May Be Reined in, but No Breakups in the Immediate Future
  4. Prediction No. 2: A Federal Privacy Law Will Pass
  5. Prediction No. 3: A Retail Media Trio Rises Up to Challenge the Duopoly's Dominance
  1. Prediction No. 4: Advertisers Will Test New Targeting and Measurement Techniques
  2. Prediction No. 5: First-Party Data Will Reign
  3. Prediction No. 6: Virtual Event Shortcomings Will Drive Marketers to Accelerate Event Transformation
  4. Prediction No. 7: 'Brandstanding' Will Become the New Normal
  5. Prediction No. 8: Social Commerce Will Stall at Checkout
  1. Prediction No. 9: Social Entertainment Is Here to Stay
  2. Prediction No. 10: Disney Will Become a Streaming Heavyweight
  3. Read Next
  4. Sources
  5. Media Gallery


Jeremy Goldman


Ross Benes
Senior Analyst
Paul Briggs
Principal Analyst
Mark Dolliver
Principal Analyst
Blake Droesch
Junior Analyst
Jasmine Enberg
Senior Analyst
Bill Fisher
Senior Analyst
Lucy Koch
Junior Analyst
Andrew Lipsman
Principal Analyst
Nicole Perrin
Principal Analyst
Victoria Petrock
Principal Analyst
Jillian Ryan
Principal Analyst
Sara M. Watson
Senior Analyst
Debra Aho Williamson
Principal Analyst
Yoram Wurmser
Principal Analyst
Already have a subscription?Sign In

Access All Charts and Data

Gain access to reliable data presented in clear and intelligible displays for quick understanding and decision making on the most important topics related to your industry

Become a Client