Social Media to Surpass Print in Global Advertising Spend This Year

December 3, 2019

Although digital advertising revenue growth is slowing down, at least in the US, digital channels are continuing to rise as advertisers make even larger investments in them at the expense of more traditional platforms. Case in point, a recent ad spend forecast from Zenith reveals that social media is set to become the third-largest advertising channel in 2019.

This year, social media advertising expenditures are forecasted to grow by 20% to achieve a 13% share of total global ad spend (or $84 billion). This puts social media ahead of newspaper and magazine advertising, which are expected to have a combined expenditure of $69 billion, a decrease of 6% year-over-year.

The forecast calls for sustained growth in social media ad spending, albeit at a slower rate, reaching 16% of the total global ad spend by 2021. In other words, by 2021, 1 in ever 6 ad dollars spent around the world will be allocated to social media.

Meanwhile, TV (29%) and paid search (17%) account for the largest shares of global ad spend this year. TV advertising is expected to continue to decline in the coming years, falling from $182 billion in 2019 to $180 billion by 2021, when it will account for 27% of global ad spend.

Paid search, on the other hand, is predicted to pass the $100 billion mark this year to reach $107 billion in spending. If it continues to grow at the forecasted rate of 8% per year it will reach $123 billion by 2021 and account for 18% share of total global spend. That would mean that the global paid search market would be roughly two-thirds of the global TV advertising market.

Meanwhile, total global internet ad spend is forecast to grow by 11% this year and by an average of 10% per year through 2021, when it is predicted to account for more than half (52%) of global ad spend. In the US, a forecast by PwC shows similar findings with internet advertising being more than double that of TV by 2023.

Per the report, the US now accounts for almost half (48%) growth in global ad spend. At the same time, growth in Europe and Asia has decreased in the last quarter.

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