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How Has Digital Ad Spending Grown Globally in 2021?

Posted Dec 14, 2021

As interactive advertising is becoming popular among the digital advertising ecosystem, the advertising industry is able to influence consumers with appropriate content more than ever. This kind of advertising enhances communication and commitment between the advertiser and their target audience. Mostly, interactive advertisements could present audiences with the unique experience of something personal or engaging based on their own strategy. 

While 2021 is winding down, worldwide digital ad spending has seen massive acceleration this year, more than any other point in its decade. Historical increase in digital ad spending will be far stronger than anticipated. According to Emarketer’s latest report, total ad spending will increase by 20% instead of 15.%, equating to nearly $33 billion more in new worldwide spending than originally forecast. Most of that additional new money will come from digital, which will increase by 29% rather than the 20% we previously predicted. Worldwide digital ad spending will reach $491.70 billion this year and zoom past half a trillion next year.

For two years, the advertising industry has faced extraordinarily unusual circumstances. In 2022, steadier patterns will reassert themselves, although the prognosis is still extremely positive. Advertisers worldwide will spend over half a trillion dollars on digital ads next year, but the tremendous growth seen in 2021 will cool off considerably in the coming years.

Total worldwide ad spending will increase 20% this year, reaching $780.59 billion. Previously, it was forecasted as 15% growth. That equates to $32.92 billion more in spending than initially anticipated. Besides that, worldwide digital ad spending will surge by 29% this year. Digital ad buyers will end up shelling out $492 billion this year, far more than the $455.30 billion we projected back in Q1.

Display and search ad spending are both rebounding with gusto. The display has been outperforming search for many years, but they will end up with nearly equal growth from 2021’s digital boom (31% and 29%, respectively).

Search ad spending recovered so well in 2021 that it slowed down display’s long-running seizure of market share. It is estimated that 55% of all digital ad dollars will flow to display this year, and 41% will go to search.

What are the standout trends across countries and regions?

Every country will see more spending on advertising in 2021 compared with 2020. Within digital, most will see substantial increases, although some of the patterns among countries have shifted since initial predictions.

The UK was initially expected to increase its overall spend by just 16%, but now it is expected to lead the world with a 29% expansion in total ad dollars. 

The final national figures and regional trends will generally conform to expectations, but a few shifts stand out, mostly to the upside. Digital ad spending boomed everywhere in 2021, and as estimated, almost every region will show an increase of at least 20% by the end of the year.

North America will grow 38% this year. The EU (still including the UK) will expand by 31%. Europe overall will grow digital ad spending by 27%. Asia-Pacific will collectively come in at 21%, with Southeast Asia at 18%. Latin America will land at over 18%.

The U.S. will lead all countries in digital growth with a 38% upshift. Previously the U.S. was in second place, with a 26% increase. That’s a difference of $20.11 billion just in the U.S. digital ad market. In digital alone, however, no national market will grow spending by less than 9%. Although these growth figures for the emerging markets are still very strong, what stands out is how fast the advanced economies boomed off of their already-high bases.

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