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Global internet advertising spend is projected to account for about half of total media advertising dollars next year – and it’s well on its way to fulfilling this projection, according to new research [subscription required] from WARC. The research firm analyzed media advertising spend in 96 global markets, revealing that internet advertising spend is expected to reach $298.1 billion this year and account for 47.7% of total media advertising spend.

North America is ahead of the pack in its shift to digital ad spend: this year online ads will account for the majority (56.3%) of total advertising budgets in the region, per WARC. This includes a forecast 15.2% rise in spend in the US. The US is one of 8 markets where internet advertising has already reached a majority of media spend, per the report. It is also the largest internet advertising market. Recent figures from the IAB and PwC noted that the US internet advertising market exceeded $100 billion last year.

Meanwhile, MAGNA last year forecast digital to take a majority share of US online ad spending for the first time.

Mobile Is The Primary Channel For Internet Ad Growth

WARC expects mobile ad formats to account for 94.6% of internet advertising growth this year, with mobile ad spending reaching $175.3 billion globally. Mobile’s 58.8% share of all internet ad spend in 2019 represents a dramatic shift, considering that less than 10 years ago mobile only accounted for 2% of internet advertising spend.

In the US, mobile advertising is taking an ever-larger piece of the internet advertising pie. The above-referenced data from the IAB and PwC found that almost two-thirds (65.1%) of US online advertising spend went to mobile last year.

Some 45.1% of internet advertising spend this year is expected by WARC to go towards online display formats, which include banner ads, rich media, advertorial and sponsorship, online video and social media in 12 key markets. Online display formats are also expected to drive 53.6% internet adspend growth in these key markets.

In the US social media’s share of the online display market is estimated to be 58.1%, with the vast majority (83.4%) of that directed to Facebook advertising. Facebook, along with Google, form the duopoly that last year captured almost 6 in 10 US digital ad dollars.

Spend Per Internet User Propels Growth

In developed markets, internet penetration has approached near saturation – for example, in the US, just 1 in 10 adults do not use the internet. As such, spend on internet ad formats has grown faster than the number of users.

Across the markets analyzed by WARC, advertisers are investing $73.91 per internet user this year, more than double the $35.43 spent per user in 2010. But the figures are very different across markets.

At the top is the US, where advertisers spend $491.50 per internet user. In second place is Australia at $302.23, followed by the UK ($294.29), Canada ($163.84), Germany ($136.10), France ($131.42) and Japan ($111.43).

Markets with less than $100 spend per user include Italy ($91.89), China ($67.79), Russia ($51.87), Brazil ($33.16), and India ($2.63).

About the Data: Findings are based on an analysis of 96 markets included in WARC’s Adspend Database.

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