Global Digital Ad Spending to Jump 14% YoY and Hit $395B in 2021

Although the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the growth of digital advertising, online ads are still expected to increase their market share this year. After a sharp fall in ad spending in March, the last few months have witnessed strong growth across all regions, as millions of consumers shifted to websites and webshops from brick-and-mortar stores.

According to data presented by, the increasing trend is expected to continue in 2021, with global ad spending growing by 14% YoY to $395bn.

Search Ad Spending to Jump 16% YoY, Social Media Ads Follow With a 15% Increase

In 2017, brands and media buyers spent $251.7bn on digital advertising worldwide, revealed Statista Digital Market Outlook. Over the next two years, this figure jumped by 33% to $335.7bn.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a sharp fall in ad spending between January and March 2020, as one-quarter of media buyers and brands paused their budgets in times of economic uncertainty. Nevertheless, many of them adapted to a new environment where businesses and consumers are getting used to living with COVID-19 and adjusted their budgets in response. As a result, the global digital ad spending is expected to grow 3% year-over-year to $345.9bn in 2020.

Statistics show that ad spending in the classifieds segment is expected to drop by 2.1% YoY to $18.5bn in 2020. By the end of next year, this figure will jump over $19.7bn.

Video ad spending is projected to rise by 4.1% YoY to $27.8bn in 2020. Over the next twelve months, this figure is expected to jump to $30.9bn.

Banner ad spending is forecast to hit $58.6bn value next year, a $6.5bn increase year-over-year.

Statista data indicate the search advertising segment is expected to witness the most significant boost in spending, and grow from $148.5bn in 2020 to $172.2bn in 2021, a 16% jump YoY. The social media ad spending follows with a 15% YoY increase to $113.6bn in 2021.

Statistics show the global digital ad spending will continue growing in the following years and hit $447.4bn value by 2023.

Mobile Advertising to Hit Almost 60% Market Share

Recent years have witnessed a surge in the use of mobile phones, which had a significant impact on the digital advertising industry. To keep up with consumer demands, generate higher revenues, and boost their brand name, companies had to create user-friendly mobile ads.

In 2017, 45% of the total digital advertising spending was generated through mobile devices. Mobile advertising continued growing in the last three years and hit a 55% market share in 2020. Statistics show this figure is set to jump to 57% next year, and by the end of 2022, mobile ads will account for almost 60% of total digital ad spending.

Analyzed by geography, the United States represents the world's leading digital advertising industry, expected to hit $129.4bn in spending in 2020, a 0.3% drop in a year. However, this figure is forecast to jump by 17% and reach $151.5bn in 2021.

Digital ad spending in China, as the second-largest market globally, is expected to grow by 9% YoY to $77.7bn in 2020. United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany follow with $21.8bn, $15.8bn, and $9.8bn, respectively.

Statistics show the combined ad spending in the top five digital advertising markets is expected to jump by 14.5% YoY and hit $291.5bn value in 2021.

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