U.S. Advertisers Spent $7.2 Billion on Paid Social Media in Q2, As COVID-19 Fuels Continued Focus on Digital
Kantar and Pathmatics announce expanded global strategic alliance today, integrating Pathmatics’ Twitter, Facebook and Instagram metrics with Kantar’s broader advertising insights across traditional and digital media.
New York, NY, and Santa Monica, CA September 30, 2020 – In Q2 2020, U.S. advertisers spent $7.2 billion on paid social media, accounting for 22% of total advertising in the quarter. Despite the market pressures caused by COVID-19, social media held its own in a rapidly evolving media landscape and expanded throughout the quarter. That’s according to a new analysis by Kantar, a global leader in media intelligence, and Pathmatics, the marketing intelligence platform that champions digital ad transparency.
Holistic multimedia perspectives like these will be available to Kantar clients exclusively through Kantar’s Advertising Insights platform, thanks to a newly extended partnership between Kantar and Pathmatics announced today. The partnership builds on Kantar’s broad range of rich digital and traditional ad intelligence insights, adding Pathmatics’ Twitter and Instagram metrics to existing Facebook data available in Kantar platforms. Kantar and Pathmatics are also expanding globally by launching a Facebook focused solution in Brazil in Q4 of 2020.
Social media is a critical channel for both advertisers and consumers: According to Kantar's DIMENSION 2020 study, 85% of US consumers are using social media, and 63% do so at least once per day. With this enhanced solution, brands and marketers can make better-informed decisions based on competitive advertising trends that include important insights about paid social, including spend, ad type, size and creative.
Social media rises, despite boycotts
During Q2 2020, brands spent $7.2 billion on paid social advertising, or over one-fifth of all advertising spend for the quarter – far outpacing spend on traditional channels such as print or radio. With the inclusion of paid social, digital advertising exceeded 47% of measured ad investment for the quarter, exceeding spend on TV. While Facebook contended with controversies that led to boycotts by some advertisers in July, the platform achieved $4.1 billion in revenue or 12.5% of overall industry spending during the quarter, as compared to Instagram at $2.9 billion or 8.8%.
COVID-19’s impact on advertising
Kantar and Pathmatics’ analysis finds that the pandemic caused significant fluctuation in advertising spend, with deep cuts in early stages followed by partial recovery for some media. April marked the first full month of the crisis and led to particularly deep cuts of over 30% for print, radio and outdoor, while TV and digital fell by close to 20%. However, spend then rebounded for most media in May, with paid social increasing by close to 3% as TV grew by 7.3%.
Advertising spend declined again in June, dropping a modest 1.3%. Television was largely flat at -0.7%, while paid social declined by 2.1%. Meanwhile, other media such as outdoor experienced a delayed recovery, growing by 9.8% in June after a 10% decline in May as lockdowns were eased across the country.
Trends like these reflect a quickly changing media landscape, underscoring the importance of the robust, single source perspective Kantar provides into these emerging shifts and maneuvers.
Delivering expanded insights for clients
“With advertisers and brands leveraging such a broad range of media channels, cross-platform measurement is more essential than ever,” says Pete Rumpel, CEO of Kantar’s Media division. “By expanding our direct partnership with Pathmatics to include Twitter and Instagram insights, our clients will gain an essential advantage as they become the first in the industry to access critical social advertising data in addition to traditional and digital media, all through a single insights platform.”
"Social media use is exploding while Americans spend more time at home, and despite a major Facebook advertising boycott in July, social platforms on the whole remain valuable, wide-reaching tools for advertisers” said Gabe Gottlieb, Founder and CEO, Pathmatics. "Our continued collaboration with Kantar brings greater transparency and visibility into a marketing teams' own paid social media strategy — and their competitors — enabling them to bolster existing media plans and identify new, better ways to engage social media users."
For more information about the Kantar and Pathmatics solution, please click here.
Kantar is the world’s leading evidence-based insights and consulting company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks, our innovative analytics and technology, we help our clients understand people and inspire growth.
Pathmatics turns the world’s marketing data into actionable insights. As consumption rapidly shifts to digital, media decisions have become complex and opaque. Pathmatics Explorer, the Pathmatics marketing intelligence platform, creates trust and transparency, bringing visibility into the digital ad performance of brands, their competitors, and entire industries across display, social, video, mobile, and native advertising data. Brands and agencies get access to the creative used by all advertisers, spend and impression data, and path from publisher to viewer, empowering them to minimize waste from their budgets, better position their marketing, and predict the next moves of their competitors. Pathmatics data powers Nielsen’s digital ad intelligence offering, Kantar Media’s social ad intelligence, and is used by agencies like Mindshare, Mediacom and Possible. Founded in 2011, Pathmatics is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and backed by Upfront Ventures, BDMI, and Baroda Ventures.