Dentsu ad spend study: digital booms while linear TV enjoys 2009 bounce back

The latest Dentsu Ad Spend Forecast has painted a picture of rising expenditure across the board, with star performers digital and television powering the global market as a whole to $745bn this year – a full $117.2bn above its 2019 pre-pandemic position.

Both powerhouse sectors have benefited from ‘opposite dynamics,’ according to the twice-yearly report, with digital investment jumping 29.1% in 2021 and a further 14.8% in 2022 on the back of booming video, connected TV, programmatic and e-commerce sectors. As a result digital’s share of total ad spend will sit pretty at 55.5% – more than double the market share of television (26.9%).

Linear TV ad spend meanwhile rose by a more modest 7.9% in 2021, although this was still its best performance since 2010. Looking forward to the year ahead, Dentsu estimates that the sector will grow a further 3.8% with a valuation of $198bn, a rate of growth that will be insufficient to prevent its share of ad spend decline relative to connected TV and video on demand.

Peter Huijboom, global chief executive of media and global clients at Dentsu International, said: “The bounce back from the early pandemic impact continues to be strong, especially in digital. As we spend more time consuming digital media, brands have the opportunity to tap into the increased flexibility in which consumers engage through multiple touchpoints.”

The first quarter of 2022 will be lent a timely fillip by the Winter Olympics and Paralympics Beijing, followed by the mid-term US elections and the Fifa World Cup in Qatar in the latter part of the year, with like-for-like growth of between 8.9% and 10.7% per quarter.

Sifting through the tea leaves to peer deeper into the future, Dentsu reckons global ad spend will grow by 4.6% in 2023 and 5.8% in 2024, with digital continuing to conquer all before it to claim a 60% market share by the end of the forecast period.