Social and Search Forecast to Contribute Two-Thirds of Global Ad Growth Through 2020

October 2, 2018

The global advertising market is expected to expand by 4.5% this year and then by 4.2% in both 2019 and 2020, according to a forecast from Zenith. Driving growth will be social media advertising, predicted to rise by 16% annually from 2017 through 2020, and search, with a forecast annual growth rate of 8% through that period.

Display is the fastest-growing internet sub-category, with an expected annual growth rate of 13% from 2017 through 2020. Display’s rise is being fueled largely by the video ads replacing static image ads on social media, per the analysts, as online video ad spend is set to grow by 18% annually and social media ad spend by 16% annually.

As a result of that above-average growth, the internet display advertising market will be almost a third larger than the paid search market by 2020 ($143.7 and $108.9 billion, respectively).

In dollar terms, Zenith expects that the internet display advertising market (which includes banners, online video and social media) will grow by more than $44 billion between 2017 and 2020. In doing so, it will be the single largest contributor to global advertising spending growth, with social media advertising by itself responsible for $28 billion (or around 64%) of that growth. Paid search is expected to add more than $22 billion to ad spending, with the $50 billion combined between paid search and social representing about two-thirds of global ad growth.

(Much of that will of course go to the duopoly, which WARC last year said combined for one-quarter of all media ad spending globally.)

Other media – including TV, outdoor, cinema and radio – are also forecast by Zenith to see some spending growth, but those will be offset by a more than $13 billion decline for print ad spend.

By 2020, Zenith estimates that advertisers globally will spend as much on internet display (23.4% share of total spend) as they will on newspapers, magazines, radio, cinema, and outdoor combined (23.8%).

Even with that said, TV will continue to be the dominant form of display advertising, accounting for 42% of display spend last year and about 40% in 2020. Audiovisual advertising, meanwhile – TV and online video combined – is cementing its share of display advertising. Zenith expects that TV and online video together combined for 48.3% of total display advertising last year, up from 43.6% in 2010, and will rise slightly to 48.9% share by 2020.

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