Digital Dominates Ad Spend, The Triopoly Dominates Digital; Holiday Ecom Sales Up – But Lower Than Expected

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Digital Wins, And So Does The Triopoly

Digital is expected to account for the majority of US ad spending this year, an industry shift driven (or forced?) by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to WPP media buying unit GroupM. GroupM expects US ad spend to hit $214.6 billion this year, excluding political outlays, with digital taking up 51% of that figure. Next year, it expects US ad spending to grow 12% to $240 billion, and digital advertising to account for $130 billion, or 54% of the total. Three years ago, digital advertising accounted for about one-third of all US ad spending, GroupM said – about the same size as newspapers, radio, magazines and local TV combined. As of 2020, those combined four categories now share only 21% of US ad spend. And, no surprise, the biggest beneficiaries of digital’s growth are the online giants Google, Facebook and Amazon, The Wall Street Journal reports, which together account for nearly two-thirds of 2020 US digital ad dollars. “They have done a good job of showing ad performance – and when they show performance marketers shift dollars,” said Christian Juhl, GroupM’s global chief executive.  

Cyber Friday, Cyber Monday

In the grips of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers looking to avoid crowded stores during the holiday shopping season made a dramatic shift to online this year and spent $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday, setting a record for the largest internet shopping day ever, according to Adobe Analytics data. CNBC reports that Cyber Monday spending rose 15.1% year over year. But that figure fell short of Adobe’s original forecast of $12.7 billion. Adobe had recently revised its Cyber Monday estimate downward, cutting its online sales forecast for the entire holiday season to $184 billion, which is a 30% increase from last year. It originally estimated online sales of $189 billion. This year, shoppers started their gift buying earlier than ever, as retailers spread out deals to avoid crowded stores during the pandemic. On Cyber Monday, Adobe said the number of orders picked up curbside was up 30% from a year ago, as shoppers sought out ways to safely retrieve their items bought online that same day. Thirty-seven percent of digital sales on Cyber Monday were made on mobile devices. And on Black Friday – a one-day event that’s typically centered around stores and malls – customers mostly purchased online instead of in person. “Throughout the remainder of the holiday season, we expect to see record sales continue and curbside pickup to gain even more momentum as shoppers avoid crowds and potential shipping delays,” said Taylor Schreiner, a director at Adobe Digital Insights.

’Tis The Season For SharedID

With third-party cookies coming to an end, the industry is ramping up the roll out of solutions. So, the indie organization that manages Prebid.js, partnered with Publicis’ data platform Epsilon way back in 2018 to develop the open source identifier SharedID. As of this week, that identifier is generally available. It includes Epsilon’s first-party PubCommon ID and’s third-party identifier. Read the release. While the industry has been prepping for the demise of third-party cookies by pushing out login solutions, SharedID is designed to fill the gaps from users who don’t log in, or publishers who don’t transmit their logins to buyers. SharedID is a publisher-controlled solution built to either transmit first-party information to buyers, or to create audience segments within the publisher domain – which can be shared across hundreds of publishers. Pubs, exchanges and DSPs using SharedID include Insider Inc., News Corp, CafeMedia, Publishers Clearing House, Magnite, Adform, MediaMath and Zeta. 


It’s official: Salesforce intends to buy Slack for $27.7 billion. Read the release. Salesforce plans to incorporate Slack as the new interface of its unified customer ID tool, Customer 360. “Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world,” said Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff in a statement. As per the release, Slack will be “deeply integrated” into every Salesforce cloud.

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