WARC Data.- Spend in Internet formats to reach over 50% total investment in media by 2020

WARC has found that Internet ad formats are set to reach the 47.7% share ($298.1Bn) of all media spend worldwide this year, and will account for over half for the first time next year if the current trajectory maintains.
Whats more, Internet already the largest ad medium in eight markets, including the US, UK and China.
The scope of Warc data takes into account the evolution in 96 markets.

James McDonald, Managing Editor, WARC Data, and author of the research. © WARC.

Internet advertising spend has grown five times faster than traditional media since 2010; Mobile is now the primary online channel and will account for 95% of internet ad growth this year; and display formats contribute the most towards internet adspend growth, with social media and online video driving ad investment up.

James McDonald, Managing Editor, WARC Data, and author of the research, comments: “When the Dotcom bubble burst at the turn of the century, Internet advertising accounted for three cents in every ad dollar; two decades later, it will take the lion’s share. While the first wave of Internet growth was driven by banner ads and search keywords on desktop computers, the second phase has been propelled by social media advertising delivered on mobile devices.
“Underpinning recent growth is the proliferation of programmatic ad trades based on consumers’ data, harvested during day-to-day browsing, shopping, streaming and socialising. Such data will be core to future ad growth, too, as people spend more time with a broadening range of internet-connected devices.”

Mobile comes 1st, accounting for 95% of Internet ad growth in 2019

Today, the term ‘internet’ can now be regarded as shorthand for ‘mobile’; mobile ads are expected to take a 58.8% share of all Internet spend this year ($175.3Bn), after a quick growth from 2010, when it drew just 2.0% of Internet adspend.

Globally, mobile adspend surpassed that for other Internet channels (including desktop, tablet and connected TVs) combined for the first time in 2018. Among WARC’s key markets, mobile is expected to surpass TV in absolute terms across this year.

Mobile has contributed on average a 62.1% towards Internet adspend growth each year since 2010, and growing. From a 2.3% total adspend growth contribution in 2010 the forecastis at 94.6% in 2019.

Social media and online video push investment in Display formats

Online display formats, including banner ads, rich media, advertorial and sponsorship, online video and social media (among others) are expected to draw 45.1% ($118.5Bn) of Internet advertising spend across WARC’s 12 key markets this year, up from a share of 38.0% in 2010. These formats, combined, have accounted for over half of Internet growth since 2016.

Within online display, half of ad investment growth has come from social media each year since 2015. The $38.8Bn spent on social media ads across the US, China and the UK last year equated to 47.7% of total online display adspend in these markets, up from a share of 29.2% in 2014.

The share of Social in online display accross these markets is expected to reach 52.4% this year. Facebook keeps on taking the lions share in the USA as it is expected to reach a 84.8% in 2019 (compared to the 83.4% in 2018).
Online video’s contribution to online display ad growth has consistently been over a third since 2015. As such, video content is forecast to draw one in three dollars of total spend on online display advertising across WARC’s key markets this year, up from a share of 17.0% in 2014.

Internet advertising ad spend topped the media ranking in the US last year

Internet ad formats already account for the majority of media spend in eight markets: Sweden (61.5%, or $2.5bn in 2018), the UK (61.1%, $17.9Bn), China (59.4%, $51.2Bn), Denmark (57.0%, $1.3Bn), Norway (54.0%, $1.1Bn), Russia (52.8%, $5.5Bn), Australia (51.3%, $6.3Bn) and the US (51.4%, $107.5Bn).


The $107.5Bn spent on Internet advertising in the world’s largest internet market, the US , made of the Internet the dominant ad medium for the first time last. During 2016 in both China and the UK, the second and third largest online markets respectively, saw the balance tipping on Internet interest.

Across WARC’s 12 key markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US – internet is expected to account for over half of media spend for the first time this year, drawing 52.7% of combined media spend within these markets.

Internet advertising spend has grown five times faster than traditional media since 2010

WARC’s latest global forecasts show that, when indexed, Internet adspend will have grown five times faster than investment in non-Internet media since 2010, rising to a forecast $298.1Bn this year. This means that over three-quarters (76.6%, or $228.3Bn) of Internet ad market value will have been generated during this timeframe.

As well as outpacing the wider advertising market, spend on internet formats has grown faster than internet users over the period. This will result in advertisers investing $73.91 per Internet user this year, more than double the $35.43 spent per user in 2010.

This rate varies substantially among WARC’s key markets: Australia ($304.32 in advertiser spend per internet user this year), Brazil ($33.16), Canada ($163.84), China ($67.79), France ($131.42), Germany ($136.10), India ($2.63), Italy ($91.89), Japan ($111.43), Russia ($51.87), the UK ($294.29) and the US ($491.50).

Image over the headline.-  © WARC.

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