The advertising landscape is continuously evolving, requiring marketers and business professionals to be on their toes and understand consumer expectations. That’s why we took the time to prepare this selection of essential advertising statistics, which cover a wide range of media and are therefore ideal for understanding the changing dynamics of this versatile industry.
The coronavirus outbreak completely changed the world and impacted every sector, for better or worse. For the advertising industry, it was the latter. Before 2020, there hadn’t been a drop in global advertising spending since 2009. Advertising media owners' revenue total was $578.08 billion in 2020, undershooting expectations for $656 billion.
The transformation of consumer habits due to the coronavirus pandemic seems to be permanent. With ecommerce becoming the new norm, companies are rapidly shifting their budgets to digital advertising and contactless sales. The latest statistics on advertising predict the cinema and entertainment sectors to see the largest comebacks in ad spending in 2021.
It makes sense the travel and tourism industry suffered the most in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic halted the industry for months, with countries all over the world closing borders. Nevertheless, advertising statistics project the sector to snowball at a 19.5% increase in 2021.
The global advertising forecast for 2021 shows every industry is set to increase its ad investments. Even with such plans, only 3 sectors can reach and top their pre-pandemic total amounts, namely:
Interestingly, the business and industrial sectors saw the softest decline of all the categories, namely just 2.7% in 2020. The investment for 2021 is projected to be 2.5% higher than in 2019.
Advertisements are all around us across various traditional and digital media formats. The categories are television, print media (newspaper and magazine), radio, OOH, internet (search, display, classified, video), mobile, cinema.
Advertising industry statistics show the US still is the leading market in terms of spending. For years, the US market is 2-3 times bigger than the next country on the list, China. Japan was third in line. In Europe, Germany and the UK are the leading markets, completing the list of the top 5 advertising spenders worldwide.
In 2019, the figure was estimated at $304 billion. The increase is projected at a CAGR of a whopping 21.6%, meaning by 2025, the value will increase to $982.82 billion, fuelled by increased ad spending and technological advancements.
YouTube advertising statistics reveal the total for the year was $15.15 billion. Out of Alphabet's total revenue of $46 billion, YouTube advertisements accounted for over 32%. CEO Sundar Pichai also revealed that in a single month in 2019, advertising revenue exceeded $1 billion.
Thanks to the popularity of CTV, digital video ads showed resilience in the covid-struck world of ads. Video advertising statistics show that over 50% of marketers are shifting their investments from broadcast and cable TV to CTV. In 2020, 85% of companies revealed they used innovative video formats as a marketing tool. Website traffic growth, increase in session time, and increase in sales emphasize video’s significance as a format.
(PR Newswire, NT Technology)
Digital advertising statistics show $332.8 billion was spent in that area, accounting for 64.31% of the total amount. The latest digital marketing data points to an increase in all media formats, with search and social media being the most popular ones. Video continues to grow as a popular advertising format, as it increases engagement levels and brand loyalty.
Digital advertising refers to all the ads we encounter on our desktop, laptop, and mobile devices through engines, apps, websites, etc. It accounts for nearly half of the overall expenditure on advertising. Estimates are that search will remain the largest ad spending category, with close to $200 billion out of $460.5 billion predicted.
The advertising giant reports that in 2020, a whopping $164 billion, or 49% of the global digital advertising budget, was spent on search engine ads, marking a 7% y-o-y increase. Another $87 billion was spent on social media advertising, meaning it grew by 17% in 2020. Advertising statistics point to an increase of 15% in digital video ad spending, so its 2020 total was $45 billion.
(Campaign Brief Asia)
Traditional advertising methods are not meeting consumers' expectations anymore. Stats point to 2021 having a 10.1% year-on-year increase in digital OOH advertising budgets. Thus the total digital OOH spending is expected to reach $18.7 billion.
In 2020, there were 5.15 billion unique mobile users, with 3.5 billion using smartphones. With an average of 66% of the world population using a mobile phone, it's no wonder marketers focus on mobile advertising more than ever. In the third quarter of 2020, mobile traffic accounted for 50.81% of global website traffic. Mobile marketing statistics reveal that the CTR rate is higher for mobile than desktop ads.
(Statista, Smart Insights)
Google Ads started the business model in 2008 and had been enjoying steady growth until the coronavirus pandemic put a halt on many industries. The result was an unprecedented drop of 5.3% in the company’s advertising revenue. Advertising statistics showed in 2019 the total was $41.80 billion, compared to $38.59 billion in 2020. The number reflects an overall drop in business advertising, with an emphasis on travel advertising spending.
We should see the rebound of total Google ad volume in 2021 through a 20.9% increase in 2021. The total revenue for the year is projected to reach $47.85 billion. After the pandemic, business revival is set to bring in even more revenue in 2022, with an additional 11.8% increase. At the end of 2022, total Google ad revenue should bounce back entirely at $53.47 billion.
The report on the global market estimates an amount of $102.66 billion in 2020. That was growth at an 18.8% CAGR compared to 2019 when the total revenue was $86.41 billion. Social distancing and other coronavirus factors influenced an increase in digital content consumption.
In 2020, the total number for social media ad spending was $40.34 billion. The year was marked by the polarized groups in the US election race and the racial justice movement posts. Projections for a social media presence in ads for 2021 see an increase to $48.94 billion. The election campaign may be over, but variable industries previously on pause due to the pandemic will level up the playing field.
Social network advertising is an increasingly popular method, and Facebook’s revenue in 2018 was $55.01 billion, with social media marketing companies cashing in on better customer engagement levels. Facebook advertising statistics show the forecasted increase in only 3 years is a staggering 42%, the total being $94.69 billion. In 2020, Facebook ads accounted for 12.9% of all ad spending on a global level.
The data as of Q3 2020 shows out of Twitter’s total revenue for 2020, 86% or $808.4 million came from advertising. The company states most of its advertising revenue can be categorized into selling promoted products to targeted accounts. Twitter advertising statistics show an increase of 15.1% from the same period in 2019.
Arguably the most popular app among teens heavily depends on advertising. Out of previous years' revenue, 98% or even 99% (in 2018) came from advertisements. A small portion of revenue can be attributed to the profit of Spectacles, Snap's product. Snapchat advertising statistics reveal 67% of revenue originated in the US.
The last quarter data is not yet available, but we can still conclude it will exceed the revenue levels of 2019. Q3 alone generated $679 million, which marks a 52% increase compared to the same period in 2019. The fact is 98% or more came from advertisements.
For a while now, Instagram has been the IT app, especially for younger generations. If you're not advertising your business on Instagram, you should consider replacing your marketing manager. The audience size of the 50 largest brands worldwide is 35% larger on Instagram than on Facebook. Not only the number is more significant, but engagement levels are 22% higher on Instagram. Another relevant consideration is that the number of Instagram users exceeded 1 billion a while ago.
(Business of Apps)
The company has been owned by Facebook since 2012 and plays a vital role in 21st-century popular culture. Advertising statistics show that the annual revenue of Instagram ads has been steadily increasing over the years. So in 2019, the total amount was $9.45 billion, with the forecast for 2021 suggesting that it will almost double. In 2020, the amount was $13.86 billion.
LinkedIn is a specific platform in its nature and is used for both B2B and B2C communication. LinkedIn advertising statistics show the first advertisement on LinkedIn was introduced in 2005, 2 years after the platform was established. Since the latest updates of targeting features in 2019, lead generation has exploded. The result is dominating 2.74% of a visitor to lead conversion rate, compared to below 1% for both Facebook and Twitter.
Total spending on print advertising has been gradually declining since 2017. In the print advertising market, newspaper advertising is still the largest segment with close to 70% share. Projections for 2021 point to the total print advertising budget declining further by 3.9% to $44.17 billion. The US will account for the most ad spending with over 30% or $13 billion.
Continuing the newspaper advertising trends of recent years, 2021 will be the 14th continuous year of decline in value. This isn't surprising given that print media has seen a general decline in readership, with several other avenues to reach customers having opened up for brands. Newspaper advertising statistics show that in 2007, the total spending on print newspaper ads totaled $109 billion, declining to $42.8 billion in 2019. It is expected to drop to $31.4 billion in 2022.
The second decade of the 21st century hasn't been great for newspaper advertising. The total advertising budget for both print and online newspapers was $49.245 billion in 2019. In 2020, the number was smaller by $8 billion. The projection for 2024 is $35.937 billion, meaning the CAGR is -6.11%.
(Press Gazette, PWC)
Another direct consequence of the pandemic is OOH advertising spending, which dropped to its lowest since 2011. Advertising stats show the total for 2019 was $39.42 billion, falling to $29.69 billion the following year. OOH refers to visual advertisement media, including billboards, transit ads, street furniture ads, stadium ads, etc. (think Times Square), so lockdowns caused a sharp drop. With OOH going digital, predictions are it's slowly picking up the pace and will reach $37.1 billion in 2022.
The market was valued at $102.02 billion in 2019, and the pandemic brought operational challenges resulting in a 5% drop to $96.92 billion in 2020. Television advertising statistics reveal North America was the largest spender in 2019 with $70 billion, as it has been for over 20 years. Many platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, etc., have such over-the-top offers with non-skippable ads.
Connected TV devices are streaming platforms such as YouTube, Hulu, Roku, etc. TV advertising statistics show the projected value for 2021 is $11.36 billion and then $18.29 billion by 2024. CTV is most popular with Gen Z and millennials, but Gen X and baby boomers are slowly embracing it.
In 2019, or BC (before corona) as the year has become known, global spending on radio advertising totaled nearly $34.1 billion. Radio advertising statistics reveal the US market then accounted for slightly more than half of that, with $17.8 billion. 2020 saw a decline, but a recovery to $30 billion is expected in 2021. The predicted CAGR in the period 2019-2024 is 0.6%, so the total number is to remain flat at about $30 billion in the years to follow.
The most important positive factor working in radio's favor is its reach. Even in a developed market like the US, advertising exposure statistics show that it is the leading platform with 92% reach. TV viewership comes in second with 87% of consumers, then smartphones with 81%. Interestingly, PC and tablet use has a smaller reach with 54% and 46% of consumers.
The popularity of podcasts is continuously on the rise over the past few years. Podcast advertising statistics show that between 2015 and 2018, podcast ad revenue in the US more than quadrupled. Total ad revenue for 2015 was $105.7 million and $479 million in 2018. A significant increase of a whopping 48% meant $708.1 million in 2019. Even with the pandemic (or perhaps because of it), podcasts’ ad revenue increased 15% and in 2020 was $814 million. It is further set to reach $1.1 billion in 2021.
We have already seen that consumers place a great deal of trust in reviews by people they know when making a purchase decision. 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key factor in their purchasing decision. Word-of-mouth advertising statistics show that such impressions result in 5 times more sales than a paid media impression.
Another 70% of marketers plan to increase their spend on online WOM marketing, and 29% plan an increase in offline WOM marketing spend. 82% expect to see increased brand awareness through this investment, while 43% expect a direct positive impact on their sales.
The fact that an excellent review can bring a business up to 200 more sales is just stunning. It's an extreme case, but it can happen in sensitive niche industries. It’s all about the right target audience, e.g., praising a brand of baby food during a mom group meeting — it can skyrocket their sales.
On the flip side, negative reviews have a higher impact and spread faster. Statistics on advertising effectiveness show that a happy customer will, on average, share their experience with 3 people. An unhappy one will share it with 9 to 15, with over 10% sharing with 20.
In 2019, the estimated value of the direct mail advertising market was $66.84 billion. Since the coronavirus outbreak, some of the biggest brands have adopted or increased the method as a lockdown response. In 2020, the market was estimated at $67.34 billion. The pandemic's influence of growth is projected to continue at a 1.62% CAGR until 2023, reaching $70.66 billion.
(Direct Mail Advertising Global Report 2020)
According to the USPS, direct mail is an increasingly successful marketing channel. Most people would call this method outdated, but targeted advertising statistics show 58% of all US mail is marketing mail. Americans are still looking forward to receiving direct mail, as another research points to 59% claiming they enjoy getting mail from brands.
Another advantage of direct mail advertising is the fact it gets open immediately. At least for 79% of recipients, there is still a considerably higher rate than for email, which is 45%. The response rate direct mail generates 4.4% is significantly higher than 0.12% on average for email.
This is considerably high when compared to the average email open rate of about 18%. Because of some of its inherent advantages (such as a high trust factor) and partly because of modern technology benefits, direct mail advertising statistics indicate it is still an inexpensive, high-ROI (29%) way to reach customers. Figures on the global market size of direct mail advertising are difficult to come by, and even figures for the US vary depending on the source. Either way, marketing experts believe it is still too early to sound the death knell for direct mail advertising.
Promotional flyers are still a thing and, compared to direct mail, a cheaper option. They are commonly used for the promotion of local businesses and have a call to action. These include sales, limited-time offers, etc. Even though relatively inexpensive promotional material, the success rate varies between 1% and 3%. The latest print advertising trends suggest that inserting QR codes on flyers could increase your website's reach.
One of the most critical aspects of the door hanger marketing strategy is that people read those. They don't end up in a cluster of other mail as their positioning makes them practically impossible to ignore. Door hanger advertising statistics show slightly higher success rates than for regular flyers, at about 5%. They are relatively inexpensive and lead to increased levels of brand awareness, among several other benefits.
A vehicle wrap is a recommended advertising strategy for local and regional areas, as it guarantees views and impressions. Almost impossible to ignore, 97% of people can recall an ad they've seen on a vehicle. Various vehicle wrap advertising statistics show different results, varying from 30,000 to 70,000 daily impressions.
Advertising costs of different advertising markets show that transit advertising costs only $0.15 per thousand impressions. In comparison, prime-time TV spots are the most expensive at $20.54. Newspaper and local TV ads are estimated as the second and third most expensive types, with $11.66 and $11.51. Bus advertising statistics show an estimate of 30 million people seeing an ad on a bus every week. This method remains as effective as it was before the digital revolution.
Clothing and accessories with customized messages are proven ways of subtly but effectively raising your brand awareness for marketers if we are to believe T-shirt advertising statistics. An increase in advertising spending on t-shirts was reported in several industries in 2020, namely hospitality, logistics, construction, and medical. Experts meanwhile forecast a CAGR from 2021 to 2028 at 9.7%. That implies a steep increase from $3.64, which was reported in 2020.
(Grand View Research)
The Federal Trade Commission controls the advertising industry and protects its consumers as of 2014. The Act is also called the “Anti-Photoshop Act” and reacted to false advertising impacting US consumers' mental health. The bill's enactment implemented the strategy for reduced use of altered physical characteristics in the advertising sector and other commercial products media promotion.
The latest advertising spending by industry statistics point to retail, entertainment, and telecommunications being the top three spenders. The latest available data suggests the retail industry still prevails in the annual spending on ads, Amazon being the top 1 spender in the US. The total advertising budget of the company was a stunning $6.9 billion. Next on the list from the entertainment category, is Comcast Corp., with $6.1 billion spent on ads. AT&T followed, spending $5.5 billion.
(Visual Capitalist, Ad Brands)
The US had been an advertising market leader for over 2 decades when the pandemic caused a nosedive in mid-March 2020. Traditional media companies saw the largest decline in advertising spend, but many small businesses' shutdown impacted online media too. Total revenue dropped from $224 billion in 2019 to $213 billion in 2020.
Super Bowl commercials have undoubtedly become a phenomenon, where almost 80% of viewers consider them entertainment. For advertisers, broadcast means millions of viewers from all over the world and highly raised brand awareness. The latest Super Bowl advertising statistics reveal the price for a 30-second advertisement was a whopping $5.6 million. It first exceeded $5 million in 2016 and has only been increasing since.
It's no wonder the screen time during the NFL's Super Bowl comes at such a great price. The total ad revenue for 2019 reached $336 million. The largest advertisers for the year were Anheuser-Busch ($52 million), followed by Amazon and Toyota. All were later available on YouTube, and consumers spent 641,000 hours watching them.
A few years ago, digital billboards became the most common type of digital out-of-home advertising, reaching close to 10,000 individual ones in 2020. Since 2016, the number has been steadily increasing. The difference between 2016 and 2020 alone is 43.3%. Due to the pandemic, the total ad spending on DOOH didn't change much from 2019, both being around $2.7 billion. US consumer exposure to DOOH is just under one hour per week.
(Business Insider Intelligence, Statista)
Every global region recorded a decline compared to ad spending total in 2019. A decrease of 20% was recorded in two areas, the Middle East and North Africa. Latin America followed with a significant decline of 13.8%, and Western Europe was close with a 12.3% decline.
The consequences of Brexit are still impacting the British economy, adding to the COVID-19 effect. Advertising statistics for the UK show that cinema suffered the largest decline of 80%. The rebound and 160% growth are expected in 2021. The decline in other categories' advertising budgets was high in OOH and print media, with 45% and 23%. Audio ads fell by 16%, television by 10%, while the ecommerce advertisement industry grew 4.9%.
The advertising industry in Canada fell by 14.1% as a direct consequence of the pandemic. Total revenue levels were estimated at $10.15 billion in 2020, compared to $11.82 in 2019. Advertising statistics for Canada, however, show an increase of 8.5% in online ad spending, compared to 5.4% in the US. Other media types meanwhile suffered more than their US counterparts, the largest gap being in magazine ad spending — a 45% decline in Canada vs. 19.8% in the US.
(Media in Canada)
Australia's largest drops were in linear media formats, being down by 17%. The online advertising industry was more resilient and fell by only 2%. Thus, advertising statistics in Australia point to an overall 8.3% fall in the industry for the year. The travel and auto industries had the most significant drops of 20% and 18%. On the other hand, the pharma, telecom, food and beverages, and personal care industries suffered the least, with 1% to 3% declines in advertising budgets.
The Asia Pacific remains the largest global ad market and is estimated to rebound in 2021, driven by paid search, social media, and video ads. Advertising statistics reveal Malaysia performed as the weakest market with a 22% decline. It is important to mention the region includes some relatively stable markets in 2020, China, Taiwan, and Japan.
For many countries, digital advertising prevails in total spending, but in India, TV ads are still the largest advertising industry market. Advertising statistics for India reveal the total market value was over $9 billion in 2020, with TV ads accounting for 38%. Considering the rapid urbanization and digitization trends, the Indian ad market is forecast to grow at 11% CAGR until 2026, fuelled by digital advertising.
(Expert Market Research)
With the rise of digital advertising, people are encountering significantly more advertisements daily. As early as 2007, people complained the volume of advertisements they encounter daily “is getting out of control.” In that year, the estimated number was 5,000. Considering the frequent usage of Photoshop in advertising, statistics point to at least half of those advertisements harming our mental health.
The promotion of alcohol in the media has a major impact on consumption, encouraging its use and creating a positive attitude towards it. Apart from direct methods such as advertisements in broadcast and print media, various other promotional and lobbying activities are employed to create a distorted perception of alcohol. US-based companies spent $13.2 million lobbying state legislatures and donated another $27 million to Congress members a year later.
(Alcohol marketing: Overview of the landscape)
The correlation between alcohol abuse and people spending time online can be seen in the period of lockdowns. As more content was consumed, the e-commerce of alcohol started exploding. Prior to the pandemic, 45% of Americans believed the delivery of alcohol was illegal. Advertising statistics show many brands have increased their email marketing and push notifications as a response to the pandemic. As a result, 61.3% of US adults admitted their alcohol consumption increased during that period.
Gen Z consumers are expected to make up 40% of the spending power by 2021, making it crucial for brands to listen to their preferences. Trends show that young adults believe in being in control of all aspects of their lives, including indulging in little or no drinking. While this makes things difficult for alcohol brands, alcohol advertising statistics show that companies are using new tactics like social media marketing, experiential marketing, and personalization to overcome this challenge.
(Think with Google)
The promotion of unrealistic body and skin images in advertisements is causing serious mental health problems, especially among the youth. The effect is toxic and often happens on a subconscious level. Advertising and body image statistics reveal there is a connection between harmful aspirations and eating disorders. The fact there are over 10,000 recorded eating disorder deaths yearly suggests that the laws must be regulated more strictly.
Fueled by the coronavirus pandemic, the events of 2020 resulted in a 14.2% increase in the US healthcare and pharma industry advertising budget. Total revenue for the US was over $9.5 billion and is expected to exceed $11 billion in 2021. This will make the industry one of the fastest-growing, right after computing products and consumer electronics, which are predicted to grow 18% in 2021. The health and pharmaceutical industry accounts for over 7% of total digital ad spending.
Prescription drug advertising statistics reveal stunning information for several pharma companies in the US. COVID-19-related digital messages took over the internet in the first half of the year. Pfizer's digital advertising was 532% up, Amgen's 216%, Biotech's 171%, GSK's 151%, etc. Debatably as a consequence, prescription drug spending levels rose 123%.
The FDA has numerous regulations for protecting the customers and showing the truth in advertising. Some companies were registered as presenting “misleading drug ads”, and the drugs on the list are Zoloft, Paxil, Cymbalta, Latisse, Kaletra, Mirena, etc. False advertising statistics reveal that non-prescribed drugs are much harder to regulate.
Overall, the annual US advertising budget for the food industry is a whopping $14 billion. This wouldn't be a problem if over 80% didn't account for promoting unhealthy food - junk food, sugary drinks, candy, etc. Fast food advertising statistics further show children, teens, and communities of color are the target groups for the least healthy products. This kind of fast food mass media advertising encourages the intake of products with low nutritional value and creates a false image about them, a distorted perception of their healthiness. The fact such campaigns are often targeting children means they want them to develop unhealthy habits, which is even more problematic.
The exact number varies with our unique media consummation, but other life habits as well. The average person who uses social networks is estimated to be exposed to a stunning 6,000-10,000 advertisements daily.
When examining the latest online advertising vs. traditional advertising statistics, over 50% of total ad exposure has been in digital form for several years. In 2020, the ratio was even higher for digital ads, which accounted for 64.3% of total ad spending.
The rule of 7 explains the need of consumers to get acquainted with a brand before making a purchase. Marketing experts claim a minimum of 7 interactions is necessary for a potential customer to get familiar with a brand and take action.
The list of companies that are the biggest ad spenders starts with consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble. Advertising statistics further point to Samsung, L'Oreal, Unilever, and Amazon as the rest of the top 5 leading global advertisers. In the US market, Amazon spends most on advertising.
Some of the largest spenders on Google ads include Amazon, eBay, State Farm, Booking.com, Lowe's, The Home Depot, AT&T, Verizon, etc.
The latest data excludes 2020 Google Ads revenue but points to several industries heavily relying on Google digital ads. Google advertisement statistics show said industries are finance, retail, travel, publishing, and education.
Some of the biggest categories investing in TV ads are retail, finance, tech, and pharma. A significant increase is reported in the retail industry ads, precisely in the e-commerce area.
The latest data points to over $35 billion worldwide, with the US market spending almost 50% on auto ads. The global auto industry market suffered a sharp decline of 21% in 2020, and the predictions are that it's going to reach the same level in a couple of years again.
Results from the largest market, the US, point to $14 billion spent on food product advertisements in 2019. The forecast for the years to follow is a steep increase in the food delivery sector ads. The worrying fact is that close to 80% is targeted to unhealthy food, often including misleading statistics in advertising.
The US is the largest advertising market worldwide. The latest data shows approximately $240 billion was spent on ads in 2019. There was a decline in 2020, but the market is expected to recover completely in a couple of years, with the increased digital formats.
Digital advertising is on the rise, and by the end of 2021, the market volume will most likely reach $400 billion. According to relevant digital advertising statistics, the search will remain the largest online segment for ad placements.
For years now, over $500 billion is annually spent on advertising when revenues of traditional and digital formats are combined. In 2020, the total was estimated at $569 billion, and the number is expected to grow as industries stabilize after the pandemic.
The global industry of PR and marketing companies, media services, and advertising agencies combined make the ad industry. Advertising statistics show the market size is estimated to outgrow the $500 billion on average. It is forecast to reach $770 billion in 2024, largely due to a steady increase in digital media ads.