The advertising industry may soon need another comma to support the sheer size of its global investments.
Global ad spend projected to hit $1 trillion by next year
Ad spend around the world is projected to surpass $1 trillion by next year, according to new data released by marketing analytics firm WARC. This would be an 8.2% increase in expenditure as compared to this year, and the first time that the metric will have crossed the trillion-dollar threshold. By the end of 2023, global ad spend is on course to grow 4.4% year-over-year to a total of $963.5 billion, according to WARC.
Much of this current and projected growth has to do with the surging power of ad giants. Five companies—Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, ByteDance and Meta—now account for over half (50.7%) of advertising revenue worldwide, according to WARC's analysis. This share could reach 51.9% percent by next year, the firm estimated.
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All five of these players are technology companies, a testament to the sector’s continued dominance in advertising. Alibaba and Amazon rule e-commerce, Meta and TikTok-owner ByteDance lead social media, and Alphabet towers over them all thanks to Google’s search engine powerhouse. Total ad revenue accumulated by this group is projected by WARC to grow 9.1% this year and 10.7% next year.
If next year does indeed see a trillion-dollar breakthrough, social media will be largely responsible, WARC said, noting that the category currently accounts for a fifth of all ad spend. Meta is the clear leader in this category with a 64.4% share of total expected ad revenue, followed by ByteDance, which maintains a 17.6% share.
Newer categories, such as retail media and connected TV, are also expected to make strong contributions to global expenditure. The former, led by Amazon and Alibaba, is forecast to grow 10.2% this year and 10.5% next year, accounting for 13.6% of all ad spend. CTV is projected to grow 11.4% this year and 12.1% next year, resulting in a 3.2% share of total spend.
Much of the expected growth in overall expenditure will come from financial services, technology/electronics and pharma/healthcare, WARC said.
The U.S. continues to grow and command the largest share of global ad spend, although it is projected to drop from a 32.2% share of the market in 2022 to 31.3% in 2024. Political spend, fueled by next year’s presidential election, is forecast by WARC to hit at least $15.5 billion, which would surpass numbers reflected by the 2020 election cycle.
WARC’s analysis combines survey data of advertising firms worldwide with ad revenue data from large media owners.