In the US, The Majority of Ad Impressions Are Now Being Delivered via Streaming Sites

September 9, 2021

Nielsen Digital Ad Impressions Share by Site Type Sept2021Online ad spend in the US is predicted to reach $139.8 billion this year, even as pandemic restrictions lift and people plan to spend more out of the home. And, with so many streaming platforms to choose from, streaming content online will remain a popular activity. This is good news for advertisers. Per a recent Nielsen study, streaming already accounts for more than half of ad impressions in the US.

With one-third of consumers saying they’ve watched an ad-supporting video on demand service (AVOD), streaming dominates in the US. As a result, 56.5% of ad impressions have been delivered via streaming sites (including YouTube) so far this year. This is compared to the share of ad impressions generated by programmatic (15.5%), major walled gardens (13%), publisher media (8.9%) and other social media (6.3%).

This isn’t the first year streaming has dominated ad impression delivery in the US. Indeed, streaming’s share of ad impressions has been rising in recent years, accounting for nearly two-fifths of impressions in 2018 (39.2%) and 2019 (39.8%), and jumping to nearly half (48.5%) in 2020.

These impressions appear to be effective. Besides increasing brand awareness, consumers say they have either purchased or are considering purchasing a product they learned about from streaming.

That said, globally, streaming has not had the same impact on ad impressions as it has in the US. Even as streaming impressions account for 36.8% of impressions in the 27 global markets analyzed, a similar share (34.5%) is attributed to major walled gardens. In fact, while the share of streaming ad impressions has risen steadily in the US, other markets haven’t experienced the same growth. Between 2018 (29.4%), 2019 (34.5%) and 2020 (33.0%), streaming’s share of ad impressions has been relatively consistent.

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