Study: Instagram Ads Saw Massive Demand In 2015, Thanks In Part To Video Surge - Creative Group Studios
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03 Feb Study: Instagram Ads Saw Massive Demand In 2015, Thanks In Part To Video Surge

2015 was the year of the ad on Instagram. Brand Networks released a report breaking down costs across verticals, popularity of ad types and much more.

A new study from Brand Networks paints quite the rosy picture for Instagram’s ad platform. Instagram’s ad API opened up in August of 2015 and  saw an influx of ad volume and interest in the platform. Brand Networks analyzed 1.6 billion Instagram ad impressions over the last six months for this study and uncovered some interesting facts.


One of the biggest areas of growth that was discovered was the rise of video. From September to November, a five-fold spike occurred, shooting monthly video impressions served to 250 million. All in all, video made up 22.52 percent of all Instagram impressions in December, up from just 9.54 percent in September.


Another finding was that since the API opened up, the overall costs increased along with volume. In September, the average CPM was $5.21, while in November, the average CPM jumped to $7.20 before settling at $5.96 in December. The fashion vertical had the priciest ads, with CPMs eclipsing $16. Fashion was closely followed by the organizations, education and retail verticals, all with CPMs north of $10. Consumer packaged goods (CPGs) saw surprisingly lower CPMs that ranged from $2.00 to $4.92 during the holidays.

Kyle Psaty/

A few highlights from the report:

Increasing Demand Caused Surge in Pricing: With the launch of Instagram’s Ads API Partner Program, a lot more players joined what was previously a very spacious field. This led to cost benchmarks rising globally across industries.

CPG, Fashion and Retail Industries Winning in Unique Ways: The holiday shopping season brought standout performance to our clients on Instagram. Across consumer packaged goods, fashion, and retail, advertisers in all three verticals drove competitive cost benchmarks––some even lower than the average for their brand.

Video Ads On the Rise: As our CEO, Jamie Tedford, puts it: “Video advertising on Instagram is rising to prominence incredibly quickly. Over the past six months, we’ve learned that users are willing to increase their time spent interacting with a brand when shown a short video clip.” Knowing this, it’s no surprise that more and more advertisers are experimenting with video formats.

Instagram Played a Key Role in the Year’s Top Shopping Dates: Of course, advertisers can expect a surge of activity on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc… But our study actually showed five dates that stood out in Instagram advertising performance, including Green Monday and Free Shipping Day.