The vast majority of adults in the United States get at least some news online (via smartphone, computer or tablet), and the online space has become a host for the digital homes of both legacy news outlets and new, “born on the web” news outlets.* Digital advertising revenue across all digital entities (beyond just news) continues to grow, with technology companies playing a large role in the flow of both news and revenue. Explore the patterns and longitudinal data about digital news below.

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Economics

Digital advertising continues to grow as a proportion of total advertising revenue, a trend driven in large part by growth in advertising on mobile devices. The estimates below are for all digital advertising revenue, not just for news outlets, and thus are an indicator of the general direction of the economic health of the digital realm rather than the digital news sector specifically.

In 2020, according to eMarketer estimates, digital advertising grew to $152 billion, an increase from $132 billion in 2019 and $111 billion in 2018. It was estimated to comprise 63% of all advertising revenue, up from 55% in 2019 and 49% in 2018.


Digital and non-digital advertising revenue

YearNondigital advertisingDigital advertising
2011$124,821,360,000$31,998,790,000
2012$126,904,910,000$36,820,240,000
2013$126,215,710,000$43,026,350,000
2014$124,967,230,000$49,688,350,000
2015$121,687,590,000$59,347,360,000
2016$121,065,630,000$71,944,310,000
2017$116,896,750,000$88,664,170,000
2018$114,806,390,000$111,074,820,000
2019$109,734,470,000$132,456,430,000
2020$89,842,390,000$152,252,850,000

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Mobile advertising revenue also continued to grow rapidly in 2020, increasing from $87.3 billion in 2019 to $102.6 billion. Between 2011 and 2020, mobile advertising revenue increased roughly sixtyfold, from $1.7 billion in 2011 to $102.6 billion in 2020. Desktop advertising revenue increased from $30.3 billion to $40.6 billion over the same time period. In 2020, mobile advertising revenue comprised two-thirds of digital advertising revenue on mobile and desktop devices, up from 5% in 2011.


Digital advertising revenue on desktop and mobile

YearDesktop digital advertisingMobile digital advertising
201130,296,080,0001,702,710,000
201231,797,860,0005,022,380,000
201332,897,440,00010,128,910,000
201431,720,100,00017,968,250,000
201531,413,230,00027,934,130,000
201631,141,770,00040,802,530,000
201731,739,070,00054,289,360,000
201835,759,110,00070,960,710,000
201938,732,920,00087,299,060,000
202040,623,930,000102,598,810,000

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Looking more specifically at digital display ads, which include banners, videos and other advertisements that news organizations and other websites typically run alongside their content, revenue continued to rise for most formats in 2020. The rise was driven primarily by growth in mobile display ad revenue (desktop display includes advertising on desktop and laptop computers and other nonmobile internet-connected devices).

Video ads were the largest segment of this market in 2020 at $41.4 billion, growing 30% from the previous year. Banner ads also showed double-digit growth, rising 14% over 2019 to $35 billion in 2020.

Digital display advertising revenue by device type
YearDesktop display advertisingMobile display advertising
201111,761,460,000563,760,000
201212,271,170,0002,247,910,000
201312,181,650,0005,308,920,000
201411,420,280,0009,645,840,000
201510,733,210,00015,709,950,000
201612,231,300,00022,403,170,000
201712,659,390,00029,873,160,000
201813,605,810,00039,706,280,000
201914,567,960,00050,012,400,000
202014,967,270,00061,185,220,000

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Type2017201820192020
Banner ads22,270,670,00026,583,740,00030,830,100,00035,081,550,000
Sponsorship ads2,184,880,0002,524,900,0002,839,380,0002,782,600,000
Video ads16,310,250,00023,504,760,00031,858,630,00041,440,150,000
Rich media other4,402,490,0005,053,690,0005,476,710,0005,878,300,000

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Digital display advertising revenue continued to be dominated by just a few companies in 2020. Facebook comprised 45% of this advertising segment, according to eMarketer estimates. Google accounted for 10% of this segment, while no other company controlled more than 5% of this market. (In 2017, Verizon purchased Yahoo and created a new subsidiary called Oath that incorporated Yahoo, AOL and Verizon’s other digital entities. In 2019, Oath was renamed the Verizon Media Group. And in 2021, after this data was collected, Verizon sold Yahoo to Apollo Global Management.)

In the mobile sector, Facebook captured more than half (60%) of mobile digital display advertising revenue, according to eMarketer estimates. No other company controlled more than 10% of the mobile market.

Digital display advertising revenue by company
YearOtherTwitterVerizonYahooAmazonGoogleFacebook
20144844611523
20154354511429
20164143411236
2017402521140
2018372431143
2019362341144
2020352351045

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YearOtherLinkedInMicrosoftSnapchatTwitterGoogleFacebook
201448171134
2015451

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Find out more

This fact sheet was compiled by Senior Computational Social Scientist Galen Stocking and Maya Khuzam, who was a Research Assistant at Pew Research Center from 2019-2021.

Read the methodology.

Pew Research Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. This is the latest report in Pew Research Center’s ongoing investigation of the state of news, information and journalism in the digital age, a research program funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, with generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

* Note (November 2019): We have removed a previously posted data point from this sentence because of methodological concerns about measuring total online news use using an online panel. A new data point for online news consumption is available in this blog post.

See more: Which Of The Following Can Be Represented By A Discrete Random Variable S

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About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.