‘Still dreadful, but trending in the right direction’: Digital ad spend began recovering in May

Digiday 08 Jun 2020 04:03
June 8, 2020 by Lara O'Reilly

In March as the coronavirus crisis began escalating rapidly, publishers and ad tech companies battened down the hatches. Advertisers had begun to pause spend and media industry executives braced themselves for an even worse second quarter.

By most accounts, April was a terrible month too, according to the 13 publishing, ad tech executives and industry experts Digiday contacted for this article. But in May, things began looking up — albeit moderately. 

In April, total digital display ad spending (which excludes video and social media) in Europe was down 38% versus the prior year, according to IAB Europe chief economist Daniel Knapp. In May, spend was down between 25-28% on the prior year — but an improvement on April. Knapp estimates that June spending will be down around 16% versus last year and that digital advertising in Europe will decline by 5.5% for the full year, versus 2019. (IAB U.S was still compiling its May buy-side trends report at the time of writing.)

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