Media Forecast Says AI Will Power 90% Of Ad Buying By 2029


    As the FCC moves to regulate the use of artificial intelligence in advertising for the first time, a new analytical prediction from global ad buying agency WPP reveals that the majority of ad revenue will be AI-enabled by the end of the year.

    WPP’s GroupM released its “This Year Next Year” midyear forecast, anticipating a significant acceleration in AI’s influence on ad placement and optimization. By the end of 2024, GroupM projects that 69.5% of advertising revenue will be AI-enabled and that AI will power over 90% of ad buying by 2029.

    This pushes the window three years ahead of previous expectations. This adjustment reflects the rapid adoption of AI technologies, including machine learning and new generative AI tools.

    Additionally, GroupM anticipates a rise in machine-generated content, projecting it will make up 1.6% of all ad-supported content in 2024 and increase to 10.7% by 2029. This shift is expected to impact the volume of professionally produced content and coincide with an increase in user-generated content, although at a slower rate.

    The implications of these advancements have sparked concerns among copywriters about the growing role of generative AI. Audiences are also concerned, according to Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey 2024, which showed there’s significant discomfort with AI-voiced commercials and station IDs, objected to by 39% and 30% of respondents, respectively.

    Despite these concerns, the overall outlook for global ad revenue is positive, with GroupM’s mid-year update forecasting a 7.8% increase to $989.8 billion in 2024, up from a previous estimate of 5.3% growth. This surge is largely driven by a strong performance expected in China, where ad revenue is set to grow by 14% to $199.4 billion.

    In the US, ad revenue is also expected to exceed previous forecasts, with a projected increase of 5.8% to $365.9 billion. As for the audio realm, the prediction calls for a 1.5% drop in revenue as over-the-air audio lags behind digital and streaming audio.



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