PQ Media

There is more evidence of a rebounding advertising market across both digital and traditional media. Global ad and marketing spending is on pace to rise 7.2% to $1.376 trillion in 2021 and grow at an accelerated rate in 2022, according to PQ Media’s just-released Global Advertising & Marketing Spending Forecast 2021-2025. Double-digit growth in digital audio is one of the drivers, along with similarly sized gains in streaming video advertising, digital videogame advertising, digital product placement, social media ads and influencer marketing.

But it’s not just digital audio that is contributing to the global ad recovery. Broadcast radio, up 7.3%, is one of the top three fastest-growing traditional media channels in 2021, along with public relations (up 10.5%) and print content marketing (up 7.4%).

All told, 28 of the 45 digital & alternative media channels covered in PQ Media’s new forecast are on track for double-digit growth this year.

This year’s strong rebound in overall global media spending follows a 6.4% decline in 2020, as aftershocks from the COVID-19 pandemic triggered the first worldwide media spending decrease in 11 years. In the U.S., 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,” PQ Media says in the report.

Global Ad Spend To Rise 6% In 2022

The global advertising sector is projected to grow 6.2% to $628.28 billion in 2021. Global digital & alternative media spending is poised 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.

In the U.S. total ad & marketing spend is pacing for an 8.7% increase this year to $539.04 billion, driven by double-digit upticks in both the overall digital & alternative advertising and marketing platforms. Combined U.S. digital & alternative media expenditures are on pace to grow 14.7% to $257.91 billion in 2021, while U.S. traditional advertising & marketing is estimated to finish the year up 3.7% to $281.13 billion, according to the forecast.

“The robust recovery in overall global and U.S. 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,” PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn said in news release. “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.”

Every forecast has its winners and losers and in this one the latter includes print newspapers, magazines and directories, as well as online search and display, 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).

Last year’s unprecedented shake-up of the media industry accelerated the growth of digital media channels as consumers – pent up at home due to government-ordered lockdowns – spent more time with digital audio and streaming video. Marketers, in turn, followed consumer ears and eyes and the change in advertising strategies spilled over into 2021, PQ says. That helped digital podcasting advertising to surge 38.5% in 2021, making it one of the fastest-growing digital & alternative media channels worldwide, second only to mobile smart tech marketing, which surged 118.1%. Streaming audio was also among 2021’s top digital ad gainers.

Global ad & marketing spend is projected to grow 7.6% in 2022, driven mainly by a 12.5% upside in the digital & alternative media segment. However, PQ Media warns that the emergence of the Omicron variant and rising global inflation both 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 U.S.