Led by an unprecedented expansion in digital advertising, total worldwide ad spending will set a record for growth this year. In 2021, traditional ad, digital ad, and total ad spending will all post their highest rates of increase since we began tracking these categories internationally in 2011.
Pandemic conditions caused worldwide ad spending to decline by 1.2% last year, the first contraction on record. However, thanks to 2021’s extraordinary rebound, total spending by the end of this year will exceed 2019’s pre-pandemic figure by more than $120 billion.
We foresaw a huge rebound in our 2021 forecast earlier this year, but digital spending is on track to far exceed our expectations, and this will pull up the overall numbers substantially.
Much of 2021’s growth spurt was due to unusual circumstances, and the advertising industry is highly unlikely to see a year like 2021 ever again. As of Q4 2021, there are already signs that the digital ad boom is losing steam, and we expect significant deceleration in spending growth in the coming years. Nonetheless, 2021 will be one for the record books.