The advertising landscape is continuously evolving, requiring marketers and business professionals to be on their toes and understand consumer expectations. Covering a wide range of media, these comprehensive advertising statistics are ideal precisely for understanding the changing dynamics of global advertising.
We have divided these stats into three broad sections, beginning with key growth figures and other striking information on important segments of advertising. Given the importance of online advertising and, particularly, social media advertising, the following section covers pertinent information on advertising on social media. Finally, we have some general facts and figures that will provide you with an overall better view of modern advertising. We are sure these statistics will assist you in honing your advertising strategy in the new year.
This represents a growth of roughly 4% over 2018. Overall advertising spend has been steadily growing in recent times across the world. Much of this growth, as expected, is being driven by digital advertising; while conventional media, especially print, continue to see negative growth.
Driven by the sponsorships for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and the political advertising for the US presidential elections, advertising stats indicate that global advertising spending is expected to experience a significant jump in 2020. This will also be the first year when digital advertising will account for more than half of the overall advertising spend.
A region-wise division of the global advertising spend in 2019 shows that North America is expected to remain the largest market, as it has for a long time. Based on advertising spend by industry location, it is closely followed by the advertising business in Asia Pacific, with Western Europe taking the third spot. Western Europe’s 2019 ad spend of $106.35 billion will be approximately half that in North America.
However, retail industry’s growth rate in spending will be the slowest across major industries. Financial services companies are expected to see the largest growth at 12% to $53.4 billion. Other prominent industries and their ad spend growth rates are 11% for household goods, 9% for transportation and tourism, 8.5% for telecom and utilities, and 8.4% for technology, based on advertising spending by industry statistics.
Digital advertising spending includes desktops, laptops, and all mobile devices and remains the fastest growing segment in advertising, accounting for nearly half of the overall expenditure on advertising. By the end of 2023, digital ad spend is expected to grow to $517 billion.
This is compared to 9 countries in 2018. Such advertising statistics prove again that digital ad spending is gradually becoming the most important component of the marketing mix across the world. While in some countries like China, UK, Norway, Ireland, Denmark, and Sweden, digital advertising will cross the 60% mark; in the USA, the Netherlands, and Russia, it will break the 50% barrier in 2019.
As expected, top internet companies are going to rule the roost in the coming years, thanks to the dominance of digital advertising. Among these, Google is the clear market leader; followed by Facebook, which will account for 13% of the market; and Amazon, which will have a share of 2.5%, based on some digital advertising statistics.
Google is by far the largest digital ad seller in the world, while Facebook’s ad revenue in 2019 amount to a healthy $67.37 billion. Amazon has made a bigger dent in this duopoly in the US than it has managed to globally, earning $14.03 billion in ad revenues. However, the third rank is occupied by Alibaba, with $29.20 billion in ad revenues. At rank 5 and 6 are Baidu ($12.6 billion) and Tencent ($11.41 billion).
Mobile advertising statistics show that about $86.84 billion of this spending will come from the US, making North America the biggest market for mobile internet advertising, as well. Mobile will account for nearly 36% of all advertising spend in the US by 2020, up from 23.5% in 2016. Mobile display ads are the most popular format for mobile advertising, followed by mobile search ads, messaging, and other formats.
In 2019, mobile advertising trends showed that the average US adult is expected to spend 3 hours 43 minutes per day on devices; with smartphone use dominating this time spent, compared to 3 hours 35 minutes on TV. A bulk of the 2 hours 55 minutes spent on smartphones goes into using apps, particularly listening to digital audio and connecting with people on social networks. This trend of increasing mobile use should be of obvious interest to advertisers.
The second decade of the 21st century hasn’t been great for newspaper advertising. Continuing the newspaper advertising trends of recent years, 2019 will be the twelfth continuous year of decline in value. This isn’t surprising considering that print media has seen a general decline in readership, while several other avenues to reach customers have opened up for brands.
The condition of newspaper advertising is even worse in developed markets than it is in some other countries where people still subscribe to print media in reasonable numbers. According to print advertising statistics, after a peak of $53.5 billion in 2006, this figure has fallen consistently to $14.2 billion in 2019. In the next two years, it is expected to decline further to $12.9 billion.
This corresponds to a value of approximately $190 billion. This is TV advertising’s lowest share in global ad spend in the last two decades. Television’s ad spend growth is forecast to decline 0.5% in 2019, but is expected to recover slightly by 2020 to show a growth rate of 1.6%. As per TV advertising trends, an important reason for the lack of growth in TV advertising is the proliferation of over-the-top streaming platforms.
While internet advertising sees the largest share of spending in most product categories in 2019, there are a few categories that still rely on TV to a great extent. The reasoning behind this appears to be that these categories have not been disrupted by ecommerce to the same extent as others, which reduces the need for high levels of digital ad spending to facilitate a path to purchase.
Television advertising statistics point toward a rise in spending on connected TV ads, which includes advertising on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Americans are already streaming over 8 billion hours on CTV devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV and, as the penetration of these devices in other developed and developing markets grows, brands are going to make a quick move in this direction.
While many would consider radio an aging or even dead medium, there are a number of radio advertising statistics that show that it remains a relevant advertising channel. These include radio’s deep penetration, advertisers’ ability to track ROI reliably, and the fact that radio reaches consumers on their way to a purchase. Radio ad spending is expected to even register a slight increase in the next two years to reach $35.63 billion by 2021.
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 its reach compares favorably to TV (216.5 million consumers), smartphone apps/web (203.8 million), and smartphone video (127.6 million). In fact, many advertisers seem to be rediscovering the importance of radio advertising in recent times, which accounts for a sustained increase in radio ad spend after a brief drop in the 2008-2009 period.
Between 2019 and 2023, podcast advertising worldwide is expected to grow at 23.1% to hit $1.4 billion in revenue, twice its value of $0.7 billion at the end of 2018. Podcast advertising statistics show that one of the key factors driving the increase in people listening to podcasts is the availability of smart speakers. 58% of people listen to podcasts at home, and as more people get used to these devices, podcast accessibility is bound to improve.
Programmatic advertising—which uses targeting tactics to segment audiences using data so that advertisers pay only for ads reaching the right people at the right time—is among the most important advertising trends currently. Its importance in podcast advertising is particularly apparent, with a number of podcast hosting platforms offering these types of ads now.
Out-of-home advertising has seen a revival of sorts, with worldwide spending on billboards and other included categories expected to continue to rise in the next few years. Billboard ad spending is considered to be a direct reflection of the economy. Therefore, barring any major hiccups in global economics, OOH ad spend is expected to rise to $42.23 billion by 2021, according to billboard advertising statistics.
DOOH advertising, which is another category seeing vast use of programmatic advertising, is the fastest growing segment within out-of-home advertising. The use of digital place-based networks and digital signage is expected to grow to $15.9 billion by 2027, a nearly 2.5X increase in eight years.
We have already seen that consumers lay a great deal of trust in reviews by people they know when making a purchase decision. In fact, 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. Word of mouth advertising statistics show that WOM impressions result in 5X more sales than a paid media impression. However, businesses do not always realize the importance of using their existing customers as their brand ambassadors.
This is when even a 10% increase in WOM can translate into a sales lift of between 0.2 and 1.5%. For increased word of mouth presence, brands need to devise strategies to connect emotionally with their consumers, as inspiring higher emotional intensity can result in 3X as much WOM as less emotionally-connected brands.
Thankfully, ecommerce advertising trends reveal a growing understanding of the wonders of word of mouth marketing, with 70% of marketers planning to increase their spend on online WOM marketing, and 29% planning 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.
This is considerably high when compared to the average email open rate of about 18%. Direct mail advertising may be considered a dated channel. However, partly due to some of its inherent advantages (such as a high trust factor) and partly because of the benefits of modern technology; direct mail advertising statistics indicate that 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, but marketing experts believe that it is still too early to sound the death knell for direct mail advertising.
The trick to succeeding with direct mail advertising in our current times is to complement it with a smart strategy. Print advertising trends show that apart from the number of ways in which email and direct mail advertising can be synchronized, the latter can also benefit from tech innovations like advanced printing technology and database mining.
While even that might not appear very impressive, if you consider the low investment (less than 20 cents per hanger) and low tech prowess required for door hanger advertising, the ROI can be quite high. Door hanger advertising statistics show that it can be a very effective tool to target specific customers for local businesses. Additionally, they are unobtrusive, clear, and convenient for the intended audience, as well.
Live events can be both offline and online and can be a great way to engage an audience bored of run-of-the-mill advertising. This is where guerrilla marketing comes in. Ads using this concept can often be inexpensive and can earn brands incredible ROIs, thanks to the trend of things going viral. There are countless examples of everything; from smartly done digital events to flash mobs and public installations that give better returns on the dollar than any other advertising medium.
The ability of social media to encourage consumers, especially Millennials and Gen-Zers, to make a purchase decision has been proven time and again. So it’s no surprise that this segment of advertising has shown tremendous growth over the last few years and is an important part of every marketer’s toolbox. Social media ad spending is expected to show a CAGR of 8.7% between 2019 and 2023 to reach $125.5 billion by 2023.
One of the uncontestable advertising facts in 2019 is the importance of social media in generating sales. According to the PwC survey, consumers accept that social networks play a more important role in convincing them to make a purchase than any other digital advertising channel, including retailer websites (34%), price comparison websites (32%), multi brand websites (21%), email marketing (14%), and blogs (11%).
The USA accounts for a big chunk of the global social media ad spend, showing a 10.8% growth between 2018 and 2019. Native advertising statistics show that it has shown a faster growth than display advertising in the last few years and accounts for $18.4 billion (approximately 80%) of the social media ad spend in 2019.
As shown by the previous points, if you are a business targeting young consumers, social media needs to be one of your key focus areas in 2020 and, at least, the next few years. In fact, stats on advertising show that 57% of Millennials and 45% of Gen-Zers feel that ads are becoming more relevant, showing their readiness to engage with advertising. This is in contrast to Baby Boomers, only 27% of whom feel this way.
The importance of UGC is one of the most notable trends in advertising for 2020. With 87% of consumers trusting reviews by friends and family members and 71% trusting bloggers and social media stars; brands need to incorporate content from their consumers more often in their advertising instead of relying on conventional, and often more expensive, methods.
In one of the continuing advertising trends in social media, Facebook continues to be the most dominant social network in most parts of the world. Serving close to 2.5 billion monthly active users, Facebook is simply too big to ignore. However, there have been signs of its user growth rate slowing down. This, along with certain issues with data privacy in recent time, might require advertisers to evaluate if balancing their exposure to Facebook with other networks makes more sense.
One of the most certain signs of success for an ad-based network is increasing ARPU. According to Facebook advertising statistics, its ARPU in Q3 2019 was 19% higher than that for Q3 2018 and significantly higher than most other major social networks. This shows that the platform has managed to hold its ground in the face of recent controversies and widespread calls to delete Facebook accounts.
Instagram has emerged as a strong force, especially among the younger internet users, and crossed a billion monthly active users in 2019. In the last year and a half, Instagram advertising statistics show that advertisers have moved ad dollars to Instagram from Facebook in large numbers; a phenomenon driven to a great extent by the popularity of Instagram Stories. This trend of sharing ephemeral content has caught on so widely that other platforms have been forced to introduce their own versions.
The nature of posts on Instagram makes them have a higher organic reach than posts on most other social networks. Digital advertising trends show that Instagram is still slightly behind Facebook in terms of the percentage of marketers engaging with it, but as it continues to attract young users in large numbers, even this could change in 2020.
This was a year-on-year increase of around 9%. With a monthly active user base of 330 million, an ARPU of $5.7, and a low engagement rate per post of 0.048%, advertising stats might not show Twitter as being as attractive to many marketers as Facebook and Instagram are; but it does provide a great opportunity for brands to listen to consumers and engage with them one-on-one. Brands like Netflix have shown that Twitter-based customer service—if done well—can be an inexpensive way to reach the audience.
LinkedIn, with MAU of over 260 million, has created its own niche in digital advertising, generating visitor-to-lead conversion at 2.74%, compared to Facebook’s 0.77% and Twitter’s 0.69%. As the next set of LinkedIn advertising statistics shows, the platform remains particularly effective for B2B marketing.
LinkedIn is the most popular professional network on the internet, providing an ideal channel for B2B advertising. 89% of B2B marketers include it in their digital marketing mix, while 73% of B2B companies say they use it to engage with their clients and prospects. The content available on the network is also more educational and informative than on other networks, making it the main attraction for 62% of LinkedIn members.
Snapchat advertising statistics show that its ARPU rose 33% to $2.12 in the same period. After a difficult 2018, these significant growth rates show that Snapchat is getting better at monetizing its user base—which grew 13% over the previous year—and advertisers are rewarding it for the changes it has brought about. The platform announced a number of innovations in April 2019 and has increased its focus on professionally developed content, all measures that seem to have boosted its advertising revenue.
Statistics on advertising effectiveness show that while during a majority of TV ads, viewers are busy with multitasking, switching channels, or plain ignoring the content; in the case of YouTube, the attention rate is 62%. Non-skippable ads on YouTube command an even higher attention rate of 83%. Of course, given that a high amount of YouTube content is seen on mobile phones, the manner of use of the devices does not lend itself to a lot of multitasking.
Many small and medium-sized businesses tend to avoid YouTube ads because they are perceived to be complicated or expensive. However, video advertising statistics show that with faster internet connections and a variety of content to suit all tastes, the number of people consuming video content has been increasingly consistently. In such a scenario, avoiding video ads, especially on major platforms like YouTube and Facebook, can be suicidal for marketers.
While Facebook has emerged as a major competitor to YouTube in terms of daily video views, content creators have faced certain critical issues on the platform. Cross-posting of the same content on both platforms is possible but doesn’t always work because the nature of user engagement on both is vastly different. Therefore, YouTube advertising statistics show that having to choose between the two options, publishers seem to favor YouTube.
Though widely identified with images, Instagram has seen tremendous increase in popularity of video content, especially Instagram Stories. Video advertising just has better brand recall than image-based advertising, which is why increasingly more Instagram business accounts are investing in Stories. In fact, top publishers on Instagram are ramping up Instagram video posts by 90-100% each year.
There are other statistics on advertising that prove the need to evaluate the efficacy of video advertising, including the increasing ad revenue that Twitter is getting from video content. According to the platform, tweets with video attract 10X greater engagement than tweets without video, while promoted tweets with videos save more than 50% on cost-per-engagement.
Different networks have different cost aspects like cost per like and cost per view, but on an industry-wide accepted metric like cost per click, online advertising statistics show that ads on Twitter and Facebook are the cheapest. The values for Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn are $1.50, $3.21, $3.56, and $5.26, respectively.
Another bidding option, where the advertiser focuses on ad views rather than clicks, is CPM. Advertising costs in terms of CPM for the major social networks are $6.46 for Twitter, $6.59 for LinkedIn, $7.19 for Facebook, $7.91 for Instagram, $9.68 for YouTube, and $30 for Pinterest.
A survey of nearly 700 CMOs from US, Australia, Japan, and Western Europe also revealed that an equal percentage find the expectation from their organizations that marketing will lead the business with new technology trends as the greatest challenge. Internal pressure seems to be a growing concern for CMOs, with greater expectations from them to have a well-rounded skill set, including strong familiarity with customer experience, data, and technology.
In a survey of over a thousand global executives, 58.3% disclosed that their digital advertising investment, has a negative or unknown ROI. This wasted investment, worth a total of $35 billion, is partly due to issues like online ad fraud and brand safety, but partly, it is also because of wrong strategy and planning.
One of the key findings from a study of 5,000 campaigns from more than 35 companies in 45 countries over 12 years is that cross-channel marketing strategies are more important than ever. Advertising industry statistics prove that an effective media mix needs to be calibrated to meet specific marketing objectives, with different channels working in synergy. To complement the above data point, the study also reveals that growth accelerates as each additional platform is added, with up to 35% higher ROI with five platforms.
This is up from 2017, indicating that advertisers are actively moving from siloed channels to coordinated cross-channel engagement for improved ROI. The Salesforce survey also reveals that advertisers find emerging channels like voice assistants and mobile messaging more challenging to integrate into the cross-channel system. However, based on targeted advertising facts, better data analysis is expected to help them personalize messages more cohesively across the advertising landscape in 2019.
In many families today, children have little restrictions on what they are allowed to watch, especially in advertising. There is increasing amount of research on the potentially negative lifelong impact on impressionable minds as a result of this. For example, there is the issue of personal body image, which Photoshop in advertising statistics show is a growing concern. Brands like Dove and CVS have committed to avoid using Photoshop-touched imagery in their ads, and growing public pushback shows that other brands will have to follow suit.
According to the Glassdoor Gender Pay Gap 2019 Report, advertising, which is included in the category of business services, has an “adjusted” pay gap of 4.2%—slightly better than the worst performing industries like media and retail (both at 6.4%), but far from ideal. Equality of sex in advertising statistics show that this is related deeply with the lack of leadership roles for women in advertising. However, sexism in the industry is not limited to exclusion of women but also includes harassment. With women involved in 80% of purchase decisions, even from a purely business perspective, advertising agencies need to focus on diversity in their ranks so that they are able to connect with their audience more meaningfully.
Pharmaceutical advertising statistics from 2019 study show that total spending on marketing for condition awareness, health services, lab testing, and drugs rose to almost $30 billion in 2016. A major portion of this—$26.9 billion—was spent on marketing of prescription drugs. While marketing to doctors accounted for much of this marketing expenditure, direct advertising to consumers has also increased by a notable margin. USA and New Zealand are the only countries where drug ads targeted to consumers aren’t outlawed, and there is indication that the FDA might be planning guidelines to tighten the lax control on drug advertising in the US. Incidentally, prescription drug advertising statistics show that this increase in ad spend coincided with total US spending on prescription drugs skyrocketing from $116.4 billion in 1997 to $329 billion in 2016.
Young adults 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 consumers believe in being in control of all aspects of their lives at all times, which includes 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.
Additionally, while the overall ad spend on TV by food companies declined between 2013 and 2017, junk food ads targeting black viewers rose by 50%, meaning that black teens saw twice as many ads for junk food than white kids did in 2017. Among other concern-worthy fast food advertising statistics, TV ads for healthier products such as water, juice, and nut totalled only $195 million in 2017, just 3% of the total ad spend on food products. These products represented only 1% of the total food ad spend on black television.
Moreover, 87% say there are more ads in general than 2-3 years ago, while 79% feel as if they are being tracked by retargeted ads. It is one of the more commonly known advertising facts that there are simply much more ads today, across many more media than ever before. Some of the kinds of ads that consumers particularly seem to dislike are pop-ups, autoplaying videos, misleading ads, and those that dumb things down.
For reasons listed above and several others, consumers are exercising the choice to block all ads completely, harming even those advertisers whose messages may be relevant and useful. According to advertising statistics, by 2020, $35 billion of the worldwide digital ad spend will be lost every year because of the growing use of ad blockers.
Thankfully, there are many consumers who have chosen not to use ad blockers despite knowing about them and having access to them. Many of these people are actually interested in seeing ads if they are not annoying and, especially, if they are targeted properly. One of the key facts about advertising that consumers also concede to a large degree is that these messages can be informative and entertaining. Consumers are willing to reward marketers who make the effort to listen to what they desire from marketing communication.
The most important takeaway from the above stats would be the growing dominance of digital advertising at the cost of some conventional channels. However, there is also the learning that it is still too early to write off many of these conventional advertising media. The ideal option for marketers is to achieve a balance between their ad spend on new and old media, integrating their cross-channel messaging in a way that each medium boosts the others. At the same time, these advertising statistics also show that consumers expect brands to be conscientious and responsible in their marketing communication.