Laura Bohannon · Uncategorized

Digital ads are beginning to take over in media

social media
Photo by Laura Bohannon

We’re in the midst of a digital age, spawned by creativity in technology and a growing – sometimes concerning – reliance on technology as a society. Answer me this: when is the last time you drove somewhere without using Waze, Google Maps, or GPS? With that said, it isn’t surprising to a lot of people that everything is becoming more digitized. This includes media and how its consumed.

Huge companies like Amazon have devices that can do anything from playing “Party Up” by DMX (which I can hear my neighbors blaring through the thin walls in my apartment building, and I’m not complaining) to ordering toilet paper from the site, just by asking “Alexa” to do so. I think it’s naive to believe that these devices aren’t listening to the conversations people are having to target ads better, but that’s just me.

So, should it be surprising that media companies are starting to really capitalize on the popularity of consuming content online? I don’t think so. In the United States, 93 percent of adults get their news online, whether that’s desktop or mobile consumption, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.

Digital advertising is also on the up-and-up, and not just in news media. Pew’s report notes that all digital advertising revenue is starting to make up more of total revenue for companies across different fields. Digital ad revenue has increased drastically, from about $32 billion in 2011 to about $72 billion in 2016.


Another interesting and for me, less-than-surprising finding from Pew Research is that mobile digital advertising has seen increased revenue compared to desktop revenue. Like I said, I’m certainly not surprised. The next time you’re in line for coffee or in a crowded room, look up from your smartphone and scan the room. How many other people are glued to their screens? How many smartphones, if they’re not in use, are sitting comfortably on the table in front of their owners? Phones are how people gather a lot of their information: via news sites, podcasts, social media platforms, etc.

I wasn’t surprised to see huge sites like Facebook, Google and Twitter accumulated a lot of digital display advertising revenue, but I was surprised Amazon wasn’t another leader in that category.


Overall, it’s an exciting time to work in the digital space, whether it’s through advertising or media, especially since we see how creative digital ads that are tailored for a specific audience can bring in valuable revenue for the company and advertisers as well. I don’t think I’m alone when I say I believe that Facebook is able to place ads better than anyone they’re competing against, because they have such deep access to the people who are giving them tons of information about their likes, dislikes and patterns of change over time. It’s a really exciting time for companies – especially in the media – to explore ways to reach consumers via digital advertising and generate more revenue that way.

5 thoughts on “Digital ads are beginning to take over in media

  1. Hi Laura,

    I like how you focused your blog specifically on the digital aspect of the article- that was definitely not surprising to many of us in the room. I have never thought about the idea of gadgets like Alexa being used to target ads more effectively. Do you think this is viewed as a convenience tool for many households who use it or do they see it as an invasion of privacy if they knew? All interesting topics to discuss.

    Most of us in the class grew up with this technology and this article confirms the growing demands and use for it.


  2. I thought you did an awesome job breaking digital ads in the media, it was super interesting. I like how you mentioned that when “you’re” in a coffee shop, look up and scan the room to see how many people are glued to their phones. I rarely ever think to do this because I am one of those people glued to my phones, especially because it kills times and I have access to so much on it. Next time I am in a coffee shop or somewhere else waiting for something I will definitely scan the room to see who is on their phone because it would be pretty shocking to someone off of it.


  3. Laura, I definitely see your point about our society becoming consumed with our phones and technology. We are becoming more and more reliant on tech, especially phones, for everything. Digital news does let consumers more easily and more quickly access the news but I wonder if we are missing out on anything now that newspapers are becoming less popular? As for Amazon, it definitely is a huge figure head online but it it doesn’t have the advertising capital that the social media sites do.


  4. Hi Laura,

    You make a great point adding in the ability that technologies like Amazon’s Alexa give us. It’s not enough that they know the answers to everything , now they are looking at the next best thing. What is the next piece of cutting edge technology? When can we finally rest and enjoy the features of these tools. It’s like the process is always a work in progress so will we ever truly be satisfied? It is definitely something that I have thought about. That is just a point that stuck out to me and helped me to look outside the fact that the digital age in fact is on the up and up and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere,


  5. I definitely agree with this! Me and my father have this conversation about everything being digitized all the time! He has about 4 of those amazon things in his house and it creeps me out! when we are having conversations it sometimes thinks we are talking to it. Digital advertising is everywhere and I think it’s taking some our independence away because we rely on technology to do basically everything for us.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s