Why Video Is Now a Quarter of All Digital Ad Spend

Posted by Sophie Palmer on Oct 19, 2018 3:03:00 PM

Last week, eMarketer published a report that showed video has expanded to 25% of all US digital ad spend. To frame it another way, that’s nearly $30 billion. Find this hard to believe? Take one look at any of your social feeds. I’m willing to guess they’re chock-full of video.


We know that video works. There’s plenty of stats out there to support what is now essentially common knowledge: video is more effective than static.

What we sought to answer is why video works—why is it that consumers are 27.4 times more likely to click through an online video over a banner ad?

Turns out, it all boils down to some simple brain science.


While your standard, static banners blend in, video hooks the audience with movement. Why? Because humans are naturally biased towards movement. 

A study done at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, measured the magnitude of response, in several parts of the brain, to both dynamic and static stimuli. 

No surprise here: The regions of the brain responsible for our social perception responded nearly three times as strongly to dynamic over static stimuli. Additionally, within that same region, a portion of our social processing center never responded to static stimuli.

As it turns out, movement helps us process key information about our emotional and physical surroundings, which is why our brains prioritize that information above all else.


Of all the social platforms, Facebook and Instagram’s news feeds are especially busy with this rise in video ad spend. Currently, Facebook (which also owns Instagram) is the top social video ad platform in the US. And with eMarketers projected double-digit growth through 2020, Facebook’s continued love for video is only getting bigger.

However, Twitter and Snapchat are also big players in the video game. Per eMarketer’s report, Twitter will attribute over half (55%) of it’s US ad revenue to video. And through 2020, 60% of Snapchat’s US ad business will be made up of social video ads. 


Video provides an exciting opportunity for brands to capture attention and capitalize on their digital ad spend. The trick for marketers who want to stand out on social? Always be moving: move your ads to video, move old creative in favor of new creative often, and tell moving stories. Your audience will thank you.

Topics: video, promoting, ads, ad spend