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Digital Ad Spending Worldwide to Hit $137.53 Billion in 2014

Spending on digital ads will make up around one-quarter of total media ad spending around the world

Spending on ads served to internet-connected devices including desktop and laptop computers, mobile phones and tablets will reach $137.53 billion this year, according to eMarketer’s latest estimates of worldwide paid media spending.

Digital spend will be up 14.8% over 2013 levels, according to the forecast, and will make up just over one-quarter of all paid media spending worldwide. That’s up from about one-fifth of spending in 2012, and it is set to rise to nearly one-third of the total by the end of our forecast period, when advertisers around the world will invest $204.01 billion in digital.

The US is still the single biggest spender on digital ads, with North America thus the highest-spending region. Nearly two in five digital ad dollars this year will come from advertisers in North America, compared with 28.6% in Asia-Pacific—where share is actually dropping slightly. Western Europe accounts for nearly one-quarter of all digital spending around the world, and other regions make up just a small share.

Total media ad spending worldwide will grow at a significantly slower pace, hovering around 5% growth for the next several years. eMarketer expects that by 2018, total media spending will reach $656.3 billion.

While the US is the highest spender on digital media in terms of absolute dollars, it’s the UK that sports the highest share of total media spending on digital channels, at 47.5% expected this year. That compares with 40.1% in second-place Denmark, 37.5% in third-place Australia, and 27.9% in the US.

eMarketer bases all of our forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all our forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

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