Paid Media News Round Up: November 2020

– 9th December 2020 –


Paid Media News Round-Up: November 2020


November has been a busy month for Paid Media, with the significant impact of Google’s Search Term limitations becoming evident and the announcement of YouTube’s new audio ads.

If you want to check out last month’s round-up you can view last month’s summary here. Here are our highlights from the past few weeks:


Impact of Search Term Update

In September Google announced changes to the search term report, whereby advertisers would only have visibility of those search terms deemed ‘significant’ by Google. Performance agency Tinuiti, reported on the magnitude of this change for advertisers, particularly those operating in niche markets. The impact of the change can be seen below by the reduction in spend share attributed to search queries across all devices.


Bar Graph showing Search Term Update Changes


While search term reports are going to remain integral, the reduced search query visibility is driving advertisers to take more proactive measures. For example, creating more substantial negative keyword lists. Tinuti also advises using Google’s keyword research tools and checking Microsoft Advertising query reports to fill any gaps where possible.


YouTube Launches Audio Ads


iPhone displaying YouTube logo

With 68% of music seekers aged 12+ using Youtube for music discovery it is clear that consumers of the previously video-focused media platform are seeking out more audio-centric content. In response to this, Youtube have announced the creation of Audio Ads. After a month of alpha testing, more than 75% of audio ads drove an increase in brand awareness, demonstrating the huge scope for this type of advertising. It will be interesting to see whether advertisers utilise this new channel in the lead up to Christmas, despite the risks associated with it being unchartered territory for the video-specialist.



The Effect of the Pandemic on Search Ad Spending

While nobody could forecast the longevity of the pandemic, specialists are optimistic in projecting long-term growth for the search ad industry. Despite the fall in travel and automobile expenditure, digital ad spend growth in the UK is forecast to be faster in 2020 (14.3%) than it was in 2019 (13.2%). For search ad spending, mobile devices are driving growth in the US, while desktop and laptop search spend plateaus in light of the pandemic.

For the multinational Search giants, there is one notable winner from the increase in ecommerce. Amazon is the only firm to report Search Ad Revenue growth in 2020 (see below table). However, long term growth is predicted for all other major companies, highlighting one positive thing to come out of the pandemic! Acknowledging these trends will allow advertisers to invest their media spend in the highest growth search channels at the right time.

Table showing Search Ad Revenue Growth in the US by company 2019-2022


If there was anything else that happened in the last few weeks that you found particularly enticing, feel free to tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at, or simply send us a message through our contact page.



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