Global Ad Spending To Grow Nearly 20% This Year

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After slumping 3.5% to $628 billion last year, global advertising was positioned for a rebound in 2021. But new data released Monday shows it’s kicked that up a notch and gone full Dennis Rodman.

Worldwide advertising revenue is set to jump 19% to $749 billion in 2021, according to media and ad giant GroupM. In December, forecasts pegged that number at just 12%.

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If sales keep up this pace, 2021 will see 15% higher global ad revenues than 2019, making the pandemic’s interruption seem more like a brief commercial break.

But the shift in consumption habits – which saw consumers flock to online shopping faster than ever before – served as an impetus for advertisers to accelerate their own digital plans:

  • GroupM now forecasts 26% growth for digital media advertising in 2021, up from a 15% forecast in December. U.S. growth will be even higher at 33% – up from 10% last year.
  • Connected TV or over-the-top television ad inventory (that’s Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, etc.) is set to bring in $16 billion in media company ad revenue, 25% more than last year. And it’ll grow to $31 billion globally by 2026.

“It has become apparent that the market is growing much faster than we expected,” said GroupM, in a report, calling the pandemic an “accelerant” of growth factors.

Globalization Consolidation

Rapid proliferation of streaming and digital ads means one thing’s certain: giant checks for the tech giants.

In 2020, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, and ByteDance – the world’s top five ad sellers – made $296 billion in ad revenue. That was good for 46% of global ad spending, according to GroupM. The top five a decade ago – Google, ViacomCBS, Disney, Fox/News Corp. and Comcast – managed just 17% of global ad spending.

Samba and Sausages: Overall advertising growth will hit 17% this year in the U.S. and 23% in China – but Brazil and the U.K. are poised to be the top two expanding major markets at 24% growth apiece.