Global Content Marketing Revenues Forecast to Grow by More Than 14% Annually Through 2021

August 31, 2017

Global content marketing revenues grew by 14.4% last year and are expected to maintain a similar rate of growth through 2021, according to a recent study from PQ Media. That growth trajectory pegs content marketing revenues well above growth rates for marketing and advertising spending, estimated to be in the 5% range annually.

PQ Media’s forecast defines content marketing as “an alternative marketing platform that targets specific audiences with content related to the target’s interests, beliefs and needs. It differs from product placement, a branded entertainment channel, in that content marketing messages are exclusively sponsored by brands in a stand-alone product, whereas product placement is embedded into existing content, such as TV programs that would be produced regardless of any paid placements.”

Market Size

The content marketing revenue projection is based on an analysis of pure-play revenues; in other words, revenues generated by companies that specialize in content marketing that is outsourced to them by brands. Globally, PQ Media puts this figure at $28.1 billion last year, with the projected 14.2% growth rate increasing that figure to $32.1 billion this year.

As such, by the end of this year, global content marketing revenues are expected to have more than doubled from 2011 ($15.2 billion).

The market size excludes internal brand spending (such as in-house production and distribution costs), the inclusion of which would result in a market size several times larger. It also excludes content marketing in other media platforms, such as annual reports from PR firms.

Top Channels

The report offers additional insights into the largest and fastest-growing content marketing channels, a few of which are highlighted below.

Hybrid Print & Digital Content Marketing

  • Branded Print & Digital Magazines are the largest channel in this area, accounting for more than half of hybrid print and digital revenues last year.
  • The market is trending more towards Branded Print Books & E-books, however, with these leading the hybrid market in growth rates last year.

Digital-Only Channels

  • This market is more evenly split between Branded Webinars & Presentations, Branded Social Media & Visuals, Branded Postings & Case Studies, and Branded Mobile Content & Apps.
  • While the largest share of digital-only content marketing revenues went to Branded Webinars & Presentations last year, Branded Mobile Content & Apps sported the fastest growth rate.

Non-Textual Channels

  • Not to be forgotten in the content marketing mix are Sponsored Events & Event Publications, Branded Digital & DVD Videos, and Branded Games & Tools.
  • Last year, Sponsored Event & Event Publications captured almost half of non-textual revenues, but revenues grew fastest for Branded Games & Tools.

The US is the Largest Market

The US is the largest advertising market in the world, and it also holds that distinction in pure-play content marketing revenues, far ahead of next-placed Germany.

Rounding out the 5 largest markets for content marketing pure-plays are Japan, the UK, and France.

Leading the charge in growth rates last year were South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and China, with the US further back in 16th.

The report, which contains a host of data by country, platform, and target audience, is available for purchase here.

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