Global Ad & Marketing Spend Pacing for 7.2% Rebound in 2021 and 7.6% Growth in 2022, Fueled by Digital Audio, Streaming Video, Mobile Games, Product Placement, Influencer

Global advertising & marketing spending, including traditional and digital & alternative media in all major markets worldwide, is on pace to rise 7.2% to $1.376 trillion in 2021 and grow at an accelerated rate in 2022, as the media economy’s rebound is fueled by double-digit growth among 28 of the 45 digital & alternative media channels covered in PQ Media’s just-released Global Advertising & Marketing Spending Forecast 2021-2025.

Global advertising and marketing spending, including traditional, digital and alternative media in all major markets worldwide, is on pace to rise 7.2% to $1.376 trillion in 2021 and grow at an accelerated rate in 2022, as the media economy’s rebound is fueled by double-digit growth among 28 of the 45 digital & alternative media channels covered in PQ Media’s just-released Global Advertising & Marketing Spending Forecast 2021-2025.

This year’s strong rebound in overall global media spending follows a 6.4% decline in 2020, as the flash flood caused by COVID-19 and the pandemic’s aftershocks resulted in the first worldwide media spending decrease in 11 years. In the United States, total advertising & marketing expenditures fell 6.8% last year, as the pandemic lockdowns had the dual effect of squelching a decade-long expansion of the overall media economy, while also hastening the emergence of new advertising & marketing opportunities in streaming video, digital audio, mobile gaming, social media, influencer marketing, digital product placement and virtual events, according to PQ Media.

The global advertising sector is projected to grow 6.2% to $628.28 billion in 2021, while the overall marketing sector is expected to grow 8.1% to $748.13 billion. Global digital & alternative media spending is projected to increase 12.6% in 2021 to $613.89 billion, while global traditional media growth is expected to rise 3.3% to $762.52 billion.

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The robust recovery in overall global and US media spending this year returns these markets to their pre-pandemic 2019 levels, fueled by double-digit growth in streaming audio & video advertising, digital videogame advertising, digital product placement, social media ads and influencer marketing.

In the US, which will remain the world’s largest media market and rank third as far as spending growth, total ad & marketing spend is pacing for an 8.7% increase this year to $539.04 billion, driven by double-digit upside in both the overall digital & alternative advertising and marketing platforms. Combined US digital & alternative media expenditures are on pace to grow 14.7% to $257.91 billion in 2021, while US traditional advertising & marketing is estimated to finish the year up 3.7% to $281.13 billion, according to the Global Advertising & Marketing Spending Forecast 2021-2025

“The robust recovery in overall global and US media spending this year returns these markets to their pre-pandemic 2019 levels, fueled by double-digit growth in streaming audio and video advertising, digital videogame advertising, digital product placement, social media advertising and influencer marketing, among others. In addition, several top 20 global media markets, such as India, Argentina, the US and China, are all expected to post 9-10% growth rates in 2021,” said PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn. “But the good fortune hasn’t been shared by all media platforms, channels and top 20 markets in 2021, as we began to see a gradual leveling of some of the pandemic-fueled cyclical trends and the re-emergence of secular trends that have been driving the industry for years going into 2022.”

Among the unfortunates are print newspapers, magazines and directories, as well as online search and display, and top 20 media market Italy, all of which will post declines in 2021. Nevertheless, print newspapers remains the fifth-largest traditional media channel worldwide this year, while the top four include traditional direct marketing with spending of $205.72 billion, broadcast television advertising at $171.86 billion, traditional promotions ($143.81 billion), and cable TV ads ($72.08 billion). The fastest-growing traditional media channels in 2021 were public relations (up 10.5%), print content marketing (up 7.4%), and broadcast radio (+7.3%).

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On the digital front, the unprecedented shakeup of the media economy in 2020 positioned newer digital media channels to capitalize on the pandemic-fueled turbulence across the industry, as leading advertisers were compelled to quickly change media strategies and tactics to target, engage and activate overwhelmed consumers. Astute brand marketers shifted their budgets to media channels capable of breakthrough engagement, which led to the proliferation of new streaming video and audio services concurrent to the pandemic lockdowns forcing consumers indoors for longer periods, driving up digital video, audio and game consumption in 2021 as well. These trends were also a boon to product placement and influencer marketing, as well as social media advertising.

Among the fastest-growing digital & alternative media channels worldwide in 2021 were mobile smart tech marketing, which surged 118.1%, followed by digital podcast advertising (up 38.5%), mobile game advertising (up 25.3%), influencer marketing (+22.8%), mobile search advertising (+21.3%), streaming video (+21.0%), streaming audio, product placement and social media. The largest digital & alternative media channels in 2021 were mobile search at $56.35 billion, online search at $45.14 billion, online display & classifieds ($44.52 billion), consumer event sponsorship ($35.68 billion), mobile social media, and mobile video streaming.

Global ad & marketing spend is projected to grow 7.6% in 2022, as both the overall advertising and marketing sectors are estimated to post accelerating growth, driven primarily by 12.5% upside in the digital & alternative media segment. However, PQ Media indicates that two key variables could negatively impact its current projections for 2022, including the emergence of the Omicron variant in November 2021 and rising global inflation, both of which could stifle growth.

With digital & alternative media projected to post much stronger growth than traditional media over the next several years, PQ Media forecasts that digital & alternative media will command a larger share of the total ad & marketing pie for the first time in 2023 – both in the overall global market and in the US.

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