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

Most US industries see strong digital ad spending growth this year, as 2020’s roller coaster subsides

US digital ad spending saw mixed results across industries last year. On the one hand, total spending growth slowed from its pre-pandemic pace, and two industries—automotive and travel—severely cut back on their budgets. On the other hand, several industries unexpectedly accelerated their digital investments, as the pandemic created new consumer behaviors that drove more of their business online.

Collectively, digital ad spending across all industries increased by 14.9% year over year in 2020, a moderate deceleration from the previous several years. For 2021, we anticipate a strong rebound overall, at 25.5%, but industry-level performance will continue to diverge widely.

Last year, among the 10 industry verticals we cover, shifts in spending ranged from a 30.5% increase to a 51.0% decrease. This year, however, every industry will raise ad spending by at least 10%. Some will demonstrate massive rebounds, whereas others will hold steady or even rein in their growth.

  • Retail, consumer product goods (CPG), and financial services still rule in digital ad spending. The retail industry has always led the US in this metric, and it will continue to do so this year with $47.59 billion in outlays. CPG will be a distant second with $30.56 billion, and financial services will follow with $24.49 billion.
  • Entertainment will grow the fastest in 2021, thanks to pent-up demand from 2020. The industry grew its digital ad spending by just 12.7% last year, after many years of much greater increases. We expect growth will rebound to 37.2% this year. Retail will grow the second fastest, by 34.5%. CPG will also exceed the 30% threshold, by more than a percentage point.
  • Auto, telecom, and healthcare and pharma will account for smaller shares than before. Auto’s share of the digital ad market has been shrinking for years and will continue to do so. Healthcare and pharma expanded its share from 6.5% to 7.2% last year, but it will give all of that back as its spending growth heavily decelerates this year.