Global Social Media Ad Market to Overtake Television in 2022 – Digital to Exceed 60% Overall Says Zenith

According to new data released from Zenith, global advertising expenditures this year will top the pre-pandemic level of $634 billion reached in 2019 while growing 9.1 percent next year after a 15.6 percent jump in 2021 to $705 billion.

Global adspend will expand by 5.7% in 2023 and 7.4% in 2024, with brands looking to leverage more social media, online video, advanced TV, and eCommerce channels, says Zenith, adding that advertising across all digital channels will exceed 60% of global adspend for the first time in 2022, reaching 61.5% of total expenditure; and that share will rise to 65.1% by 2024.

The report additionally warned that the emergence of the omicron variant is not factored into this forecast, and that “it will increase the risk of more setbacks to the travel, hospitality, and bricks-and-mortar retail sectors, and may cause further shifts into eCommerce and digital advertising.”


Social media advertising to take over television in 2022

Zenith predicts social media will be the fastest-growing channel between 2021 and 2024, with an average annual growth rate of 14.8%, closely followed by online video at 14.0%. Paid search will grow by 9.8% a year, primarily driven by retailer media, and out-of-home will enjoy solid 7.4% annual growth as foot and vehicle traffic return to normal. Radio and television will grow marginally, by 2.2% and 1.4% respectively, while print declines by 4.7%.

Social media adspend could reach US$177bn in 2022, overtaking television at US$174bn. By 2024, social media ad spend will account for 26.5% of all advertising, followed by paid search at 22.5% and television at 21.0%.

Zenith said it expects social media adspend to reach US$177bn in 2022, overtaking television at US$174bn. Social media adspend will rise to US$225bn by 2024, when it will account for 26.5% of all advertising, followed by paid search at 22.5% and television at 21.0%.


Social is also becoming more competitive within its own ranks. According to eMarketer, adult social media users in the US are spending 60.4% of their time with Facebook and Instagram this year, down from 74.8% in 2017. That’s the result of the rise of TikTok, which grew to 15.1% of social media usage over this period.

“The platforms are also embracing commerce and developing new advanced interactions between brands and consumers,” Zenith said. “Brands can use self-serve tools to create Augmented Reality experiences and then distribute them through targeted advertising, which can effectively lift awareness and intent to purchase.

Booming eCommerce fuels surge in digital adspend

Zenith notes that with the pandemic disrupting shopping habits, there has been a rapidly accelerating adoption of eCommerce. Businesses have responded by investing more in new technology, infrastructure, organizational change – and advertising.

Zenith estimates that global digital advertising will expand 25% year on year in 2021 and they forecast 14% growth in digital adspend in 2022, and 9% in 2023 and 10% in 2024.

“Over the next three years, we expect the ad market to achieve its highest rate of sustained growth since 2000.”

These forecasts are ahead of those Zenith published in July, when it forecast 19% growth in digital adspend in 2021 and 10% in 2022. The pace of digital transformation has been higher than expected, as progress towards containing COVID-19 has been slower and consumers have been wary to resume in-store shopping. Varying opinions about vaccine effectiveness and willingness to obtain the vaccine have delayed the return to stores, causing brands to maintain a greater reliance on e-commerce and digital channels than previously forecast.

Central & Eastern Europe and MENA will grow fastest

Adspend in all regions is now well above pre-pandemic levels, and all are expected to grow healthily over the next few years, according to Zenith which forecasts the fastest growth between 2021 and 2024 to come from Central & Eastern Europe (C&E Europe) and the Middle East & North Africa (MENA), with average annual growth rates of 12.2% and 10.0% respectively.

“C&E European advertising is being fuelled by the rise in productivity and disposable incomes as its economies develop towards maturity, encouraging more brands and product categories to enter the market,” Zenith said, adding that “MENA, meanwhile, is benefiting from high oil prices as demand for energy has outpaced production.”

Radio and television will grow marginally, by 2.2% and 1.4% respectively, while print declines by 4.7%.

The slowest growth is expected from the mature markets of Western Europe, where growth is forecast at a healthy 5.3% a year.

However, Zenith expects the biggest contribution to the growth in ad dollars to come from the US, where adspend is forecast to expand by US$80bn between 2021 and 2024.

Advertisers Should Choose Shades of Green for the ‘Most Clickable Color Scheme’ Says Shutterstock Data

That number represents 48% of the entire growth in global adspend over this period.

The next-largest growth will come from China (US$15.8bn, or 9% of the total), the UK (US$6.0bn, or 4%) and Japan (US$5.4bn, or 3%). These are the world’s four largest ad markets, and make up in scale what they may lack in speed.

A rapid shift from linear to online video

Brands’ reliance on television, coupled with falling supply, is stimulating rapid media inflation, which will continue even after the comparison with 2020 has passed, says Zenith, forecasting the cost of television advertising to rise by 11% in 2022, compared to 4% for out-of-home, 3% for digital display, 2% for radio and zero for print.

“The widening disparity in prices means brands will have to rethink their budget allocation, and ensure they’re reaching audiences in the right place and at the right price,” said Zenith.

The rise of advanced TV and the delivery of streaming video to television sets and mean online video advertising has more impact than ever. Combined with the continued rise of digital audiences, this will drive online video adspend to increase from US$62bn in 2021 to US$91bn in 2024, when it exceeds 50% of this size of television for the first time. Linear television adspend will rise from US$171bn to US$178bn over the same period.

“As consumers rely ever more on digital technology to connect and entertain them, and to inspire and fulfil their purchases, advertising is playing a greater role in driving sales and brand growth,” said Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting, Zenith. “Over the next three years we expect the ad market to achieve its highest rate of sustained growth since 2000.”

Featured image: Robin Worrall via Unsplash

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on email