This global ad spending forecast is surprisingly optimistic
Despite the coronavirus forcing economic activity into a near-standstill, one forecast suggests that the ad market might still end up in pretty good shape this year.
Emarketer now expects worldwide media spending to grow by 7 percent in 2020 to $691.7 billion, marking just a slight downward revision from its previous forecast of 7.4 percent growth. That seems pretty rosy, especially when viewed from the perspective of the U.S., where the pandemic this week has forced shelter-in-place orders, widespread store closures, layoffs and suspended or canceled ad campaigns.
But eMarketer urges perspective: “Our forecasts are for the full year, and there is still a strong possibility that the virus could be contained in the coming months, allowing for a rebound in [the second half of 2020]. In most countries, the bulk of ad spending takes place in the latter part of the year for the holiday season.”
Most of the downward revision is due to China, the world’s second-largest ad market after the U.S., where eMarketer expects spending to reach $113.7 billion, down from its previous estimate of $121.13 billion.
The worldwide forecast carries plenty of caveats. For instance, it “assumes that the Olympics will still take place in June, and we expect that to provide a boost in ad spending in the U.S. and worldwide.” If the games are cancelled, eMarketer states that it “could cause us to re-evaluate our outlook.”
Also, eMarketer states that “out-of-home ad spending could also feel a negative impact worldwide if the social distancing and isolation measures that have emerged in some cities expand to larger territories.”