Global Digital Ad Spending to Jump 14% YOY and Hit $395B in 2021


Although the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the growth of digital advertising, online ads are still expected to increase their market share this year. After a sharp fall in ad spending in March, the last few months have witnessed strong growth across all regions, as millions of consumers shifted to websites and webshops from brick-and-mortar stores.

According to data presented by BuyShares, the increasing trend is expected to continue in 2021, with global ad spending growing by 14% YoY to $395 billion.

Search Ad Spending to Jump 16% YoY, Social Media Ads Follow With a 15% Increase

In 2017, brands and media buyers spent $251.7 billion on digital advertising worldwide, revealed Statista Digital Market Outlook. Over the next two years, this figure jumped by 33% to $335.7 billion.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a sharp fall in ad spending between January and March 2020, as one quarter of media buyers and brands paused their budgets in times of economic uncertainty. Nevertheless, many of them adapted to a new environment where businesses and consumers are getting used to living with COVID-19 and adjusted their budgets in response. As a result, the global digital ad spending is expected to grow 3% year-over-year to $345.9 billion in 2020.

Statistics show that ad spending in the classifieds segment is expected to drop by 2.1% YoY to $18.5 billion in 2020. By the end of next year, this figure will jump over $19.7 billion.

Video ad spending is projected to rise by 4.1% YoY to $27.8 billion in 2020. Over the next twelve months, this figure is expected to jump to $30.9 billion.

Banner ad spending is forecast to hit $58.6bn value next year, a $6.5bn increase year-over-year.

Statista data indicate the search advertising segment is expected to witness the most significant boost in spending, and grow from $148.5 billion in 2020 to $172.2 billion in 2021, a 16% jump YoY. The social media ad spending follows with a 15% YoY increase to $113.6 billion in 2021.

Statistics show the global digital ad spending will continue growing in the following years and hit $447.4 billion value by 2023.

Mobile Advertising to Hit Almost 60% Market Share

Recent years have witnessed a surge in the use of mobile phones, which had a significant impact on the digital advertising industry. To keep up with consumer demands, generate higher revenues, and boost their brand name, companies had to create user-friendly mobile ads.

In 2017, 45% of the total digital advertising spending was generated through mobile devices. Mobile advertising continued growing in the last three years and hit a 55% market share in 2020. Statistics show this figure is set to jump to 57% next year, and by the end of 2022, mobile ads will account for almost 60% of total digital ad spending.

Analyzed by geography, the United States represents the world’s leading digital advertising industry, expected to hit $129.4 billion in spending in 2020, a 0.3% drop in a year. However, this figure is forecast to jump by 17% and reach $151.5 billion in 2021.

Digital ad spending in China, as the second-largest market globally, is expected to grow by 9% YoY to $77.7 billion in 2020. United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany follow with $21.8 billion, $15.8 billion, and $9.8 billion, respectively.

Statistics show the combined ad spending in the top five digital advertising markets is expected to jump by 14.5% YoY and hit $291.5 billion value in 2021.

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