Report: Global advertising to exceed One Trillion USD in 2026

GroupM report

GroupM released its Global Mid-Year Media Forecast Report that details how at the midpoint of 2021, that outlines advertising growth for the year on conventional and latest mediums and platforms.

Advertising growth for the year has been exceeding previous expectations, and led to a major revision of the forecast for this year and beyond. Faster than expected expansions of app ecosystems, rapid small business formation activities, and the growing role of cross-border media marketplaces have been a few key factors causing the rapid growth. The report by GroupM presents a forecast on the advertising industry by taking the current state of affairs into consideration.

The overall industry forecast suggests advertising to grow by 19% (excluding U.S. political advertising) in 2021. This is a significant upward revision from the December forecast and a 15% higher ad revenue than 2019. Global advertising including (US political) to exceed 1 trillion USD in 2026, up from $641 billion in 2020.

The top 25 media companies represented 67% of total advertising revenue. That same group of companies accounted for 42% in 2016. Several markets should see better than 20% growth, including UK, Brazil, China, and India. Many others are expected to rise by the high teens, including Canada, Australia and the US.

Here are four areas that were considered in detail as we reach the halfway point of 2021:

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Digital Advertising

GroupM now forecasts 26% growth for all forms of pure-play digital media versus 15% at the time of the December update. Expectations for other years are also raised, although to a lesser degree.

Television Advertising

Television is now expected to grow by 9.3% in 2021, an improvement from the prior 7.8% expectation. Beyond this year, low single-digit growth for the broadly defined medium is being expected, including Connected TV+. The estimate of globally Connected TV+ inventory accounted for 16 billion USD in media company ad revenue, up by 25% over 2020 levels. Connected TV+ ad revenue is anticipated to grow to 31 billion USD globally by 2026.

Audio Advertising

Expectations for audio were raised significantly in this update, with a forecast now at 18% growth rather than December’s 8.7% level. However, following 2020’s 27% decline, even with these revisions, we do not expect the medium to return to 2019 levels any time soon.

OOH Advertising

Outdoor advertising should fare well, growing by 19% in 2021. Although the 2021 forecast represents a slightly slower pace of growth than anticipated in December 2022, and expectations are now slightly higher than before. Longer-term, OOH is benefitting from growing interest in the medium and is aided by new digital formats that allow for incremental sources of demand to emerge.

View the full report here below.


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