Global Ad Spend Expected to Rise by 4.3% This Year

March 8, 2019

Global ad spend will again experience healthy growth this year. A new forecast for 2019 has global advertising hitting $616 billion, according to a report [download page] released by WARC – although the projected 4.3% rise this year would be slower than last year’s uplift of 5.4%.

The picture for spending on the online ad duopoly continues to be rosy (depending on one’s perspective), with ad spending going to Google and Facebook expected to rise by 22%. However other players may be bracing themselves, as WARC data predicts internet ad spend for those outside the duopoly will decline by 7.2%.

The internet is likely to have a 46.7% share of media spend internationally and 54% share of media spend in the US if digital ad spend goes up the expected 12.1%. This would result in worldwide internet ad spend of $287.4 billion.

As the second largest ad channel across the globe, mobile is predicted to grow by 21.9% this year, bringing in $165.7 billion. Illustrating mobile’s continued strength in acquiring ad dollars, mobile made up almost two-thirds of total US ad spend for H1 2018.

This means that in several markets, the US included, mobile may very well become the largest advertising medium in 2019, a place that has long been occupied by TV. This year, TV is expected to see a decrease globally of 1.3%, to $195.5 billion. This would be in contrast to earlier data that showed television ad spend and revenue remaining steady between 2017 and 2018.

Another medium expected to lose ad share is print, which is forecast to fall by 9.5%. While media consumption globally is on the rise, consumer time spent with print publications has almost halved since 2011, indicating that digital continues to eat into this once dominant space.

But it’s not all bad news for traditional media. Despite the rise of Netflix, cinema advertising is expected to see healthy growth of 7.7%. According to Kantar Millward Brown, ads in theaters experience some of the highest levels of receptivity among consumers – both globally and in the US. However, its share of spend is dwarfed by other ad formats and box office takings, making it at most a supplementary channel for the largest advertisers.

The other traditional channels with a positive outlook are out-of-home (OOH) – though its predicted growth of 2.3% owes entirely to digital OOH – and radio, which will also see a small uplift of 1%.

Here are some other highlights from the report:

  • The North American market is predicted to grow by 3.7% in 2019, which would be down from 6% growth last year.
  • Google and Facebook take up 61.4% share of internet ad spend.
  • Traditional media received more than half (53.3%) of global ad spend.
  • Programmatic is expected to account for almost two-thirds (65.3%) of display ad spend globally, far lower than its share in the US.
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