PQ: Global Ad Spend Up This Year and Next


According to a new report from PQ Media, Global advertising and marketing spending, including traditional, digital and alternative media worldwide, is on pace to rise 7.2% to $1.376 trillion in 2021 and grow at an accelerated rate in 2022. 2020 was down 6.4% globally and 6.8% in the U.S. due to the pandemic.

PQ Media’s Patrick Quinn says the growth is being fueled by double digit growth in 28 of the 45 digital & alternative media channels covered in PQ Media’s just-released Global Advertising & Marketing Spending Forecast 2021-2025.

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. PQ projects global digital & alternative media spending 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 US, the world’s largest media market, which ranks third in global 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.

PQ Media CEO Pat Quinn

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.

PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn said, “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.”

Among the unfortunates are print newspapers, magazines and directories, as well as online search and display, all of which will post declines in 2021. Newspapers still 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%).

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.

PQ Media’s Global Advertising & Marketing Spending Forecast 2021-2025 covers nearly 200 media sectors, silos, platforms and channels, including the advertising and marketing sectors; 15 hybrid traditional & digital media silos; 10 overall digital & alternative media platforms; 45 digital & alternative media channels; and 11 overall traditional media platforms.



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