Digital advertising trends in 2020: Mobile, Video, CTV

Digital advertising trends in 2020: Mobile, Video, CTV

2020 will undoubtedly be remembered as a life-changing year for many industries. Some businesses are struggling, while others get unexpected profits and lots of new clients. The digital advertising industry is also seeing massive changes, and the current trends vividly illustrate the transformation.  We are going to explore this year’s digital advertising trends and try to find out how to navigate the changing landscape.

1. COVID-19 update on previous forecasts

The coronavirus pandemics have a severe impact on global media ad spending, mainly due to social distancing and quarantine measures. According to Emarketer’s updated forecasts, global ad spending is going to reach $691.7 billion in contrast to previously estimated $712.02 billion. Out-of-home advertising faces the worst consequences, with consumers avoiding public places and gatherings. At the same time, digital media consumption is steadily rising, especially across social media, online gaming, and video streaming platforms.

2. The rise of e-commerce

Although it was expected that e-commerce would rise in 2020,  no one could predict how rapid this growth would become. Strict isolation measures in many countries dramatically changed the way we purchase. Consumers started to avoid shopping centers and malls while turning their attention to online shopping. Such a shift to digital trading requires companies to focus more on delivery and logistics. Moreover,  it has also become essential for any business to have a robust digital advertising strategy. Luckily, with lots of accessible programmatic advertising platforms and new formats emerging, it’s not difficult to launch digital ad campaigns even for a novice.

3. Boost of ad tech and programmatic

With an increased demand for online services, even brands previously focused on offline activities are now forced to rely on digital advertising. This pushes the ad tech industry and programmatic to evolve and develop further. Automation of media-trading enabled by demand-side platforms creates unique opportunities for advertisers to reach their customers in a fast and efficient manner. In 2020, targeting options are going to develop even more so that advertisers can personalize their messages and timely deliver them via DSPs to each of their customers.

4. Mobile and in-app growth

It’s no secret that many people rely less on broadcast TV and print media in favor of digital. Mobile usage is showing unusually high growth rates, with new formats constantly emerging and creating opportunities to connect with potential clients. Due to quarantine measures, people globally started to use their mobile devices in a multifunctional way – from payments and shopping to games and entertainment. Therefore, the key trends for mobile are now in-app formats and rewarded video ads – and with an increase in daily time spent on smartphones, their profitability will only increase.

5. Immersive video formats

When it comes to video, this format is booming, not only for mobile formats. Numerous reports, including IAB’s, show that digital video ad spending is on the rise. With the development of ad tech, marketers will be able to deliver more immersive and personalized ads to the users. Showcasing your product in a short video makes it easier for consumers to evaluate details, make a decision, and proceed to purchase. Some of the most recent trends for video include live videos, event streaming, native videos, rewarded ads, 360-degree video content as well as other different types of videos for social media.

6. Streaming services

Finally, the one industry that will undoubtedly get the most benefits from the current situation is streaming services. Although it is still somewhat early to draw conclusions, we can already see that millions of people under the lockdown turn to streaming services and connected TV. Apart from entertainment, online meetings became a must for many industries as an alternative to in-person business conferences. Youngsters are also spending lots of time on streaming platforms due to school closures. They are using those both for education & entertainment, and connection with peers.


The coronavirus outbreak has changed a lot in terms of our media usage and convinced many advertisers to focus on digital advertising. The leading digital advertising formats in 2020 are mobile and desktop, video, native, connected TV, and rich media. What has changed most is the application of these formats. The e-commerce niche grows rapidly as well as the usage of streaming services, mobile, CTV, and video formats. The development of ad tech and programmatic opens new horizons for digital marketers as now they’ve got plenty of opportunities to reach their customers at the right screen, channel, and at the right time.

Thanks to Irina Kovalenko, Chief Marketing Officer at SmartyAds, for her contribution to this post! Her extensive experience in dealing with advertising technologies and business strategies allows her to understand the subtleties of the changing digital landscape and share these insights with our readers.

Kean Graham

CEO and Founder at MonetizeMore

Kean has been a pioneer in the AdTech world since 2010 who believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals, programmatic advertising, and building ad technology as keys to scaling ad revenue. Here, he provides publisher resources and guides covering areas like website monetization, AdSense optimization, Google Ad Manager, Ad Exchanges, and much more.

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