28 OCT 2020


The figure is expected to reach USD 614.03 billion. The -4.9% growth contrasts previous forecasts of 7.0%, but is projected to rebound in 2021 at 16.4%. The US will rank eighth this year in terms of spending.

28 OCT 2020

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According to a recent Emarketer report, total media ad spending worldwide will decline by 4.5% this year to reach USD 614.03 billion. Though it reflects a -4.9% growth, it’s a sharp contrast to the pre-pandemic estimate of 7.0%.

All 37 ad markets were considered in the study except for China, which is estimated to receive negative growth in total media ad spending this year. China will receive positive growth of 0.3%. More than 25 markets will experience the decreases due to poor performance during Q2 and the surge in COVID-19 cases in recent months has prompted some countries, like France, Spain, and the UK, to consider reinstituting lockdown orders. 

Top 10 Countries, Ranked by Total Media Ad Spending Growth, 2020 (% change)


Emarketer expect total media ad spend in the US to decline by 4.1% this year, up from its June 2020 forecast of -6.8%. The analyst projects total media ad spending around the world to rebound to pre-pandemic levels next year, expected to reach approximately USD 691.50 billion.  Ad spending figures will again in 2021 at 16.4%, more than double the 7.9% growth that traditional media spending will see next year. 

Bottom 10 Countries, Ranked by Total Media Ad Spending Growth, 2020 (% change)


The positive revision of the forecast resulted from better performance scores than expected in Q2 when e-commerce advertising made up for the losses seen in travel-related search advertising. In terms of media ad spending growth, the US will rank eighth this year among the markets, up from 24th place in previous forecast. As for digital ad spending, the US will come in second with 7.5% growth, up from 19th place with 1.7% growth.

The top 10 digital ad markets by size have not changed much from previous estimates, however, with the US leading the pack at USD 232.30 billion, followed by China at USD 105.12 billion. Spain will be the worst-performing ad market with -14.0% growth, down from the researcher's June 2020 forecast of -8.2%. This drop moves Spain from 30th to last place among the markets.