Search is So 2015; Here Come the Display Ads!

An estimate from research firm eMarketer is circulating that indicates that this could be the year that display ad spend surpasses search spend in the U.S. 

eMarketer is suggesting that display ad spend, spurred by the growth in video and native ad formats, will reach $32.17 billion in 2016 compared to 29.24 billion in search spend. You can almost hear the collective wail of SEM professionals right now. 

The research firm says one in five dollars will go to banners and other display formats, including native social ads on sites like Facebook and Twitter, with spend reaching $13.39 billion in 2016, up from $11.57 billion in 2015.

Video is expected to grow from $7.46 billion in ad spend in the U.S. last year to $9.59 billion in 2016. Video's share of the digital ad pie will grow from 12.8 percent in 2015 to 14.3 percent in 2016, according to eMarketer.

Rich media and sponsored brand ads make up the remaining formats in the display market; each are expected to see an increase in ad dollars in 2016. The rich media category is a bit confusing because it also includes some types of video formats.