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The adoption timeframe for new digital ad platforms is shrinking

The takeaway: It took more than a decade for search and social to gain wide market traction, but the timeframe is shortening. Marketers who are slow to embrace emerging platforms will find themselves left behind even faster than before.

The numbers: Insider Intelligence has described retail media as the third big wave of digital advertising. A look at the rise of retail media shows just how quickly this new type of platform emerged, particularly when compared to the prior two waves:

  • Search ad spending in the US grew from $900 million in 2002* to $33.1 billion in 2016
  • Social ad spending in the US grew from $1.2 billion in 2008 to $37.3 billion in 2019
  • Retail media ad spending in the US grew from approximately $1.2 billion in 2016** to $31.1 billion in 2021