Group M predicts global ad revenue will surpass $1 trillion in 2025

Group M drops the gloom in its latest forecast, as it estimates that global advertising revenue will grow by 7.8% to £782bn ($989.9bn) in 2024, a significant improvement on its December 2023 prediction of 5.3% growth.

In its ‘This Year Next Year’ mid-year forecast report, it further anticipates that the industry will surpass £790bn ($1 trillion) in 2025, amounting to a 6.8% growth.

In the UK, Group M has described a “sluggish recovery”, but has said it expects a steadier recovery than it previously predicted, revising its last forecast from 4.6% to 4.9% growth this year.

It does not expect political advertising in the wake of the earlier than anticipated election to impact its UK predictions, despite the increased spending cap (up to £34.1 billion from £19.5 billion), because it accounts for less than 0.1% of total ad spend.

CTV is expected to grow the most in the UK at 19.2% in 2024 and 29.5% in 2025. This is followed by retail media, which is expected to grow 12.7% in 2024 and 14.6% in 2025.

Meanwhile, fitting in with a trend which has included job cuts and schedule slimming down due to advertiser uncertainty, linear TV is expected to experience the biggest decline. It will decline -1.1% in 2024 before experiencing an even heftier slump of -5.9%, helped this year by a summer of sports including the Euros and the Olympics.

Group M’s forecasts predict print, which has been steeply declining in the UK since the arrival of the internet, will drop by -3.9% in 2024 and -1.2% in 2025.

Globally, as well as good recovery in the world’s largest markets, the US and China, it cites digital growth and the accelerated adoption of retail media, CTV advertising and AI as key trends and reasons for the overall uplift.

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Advertisers will favour retail media and digital

Digital pure play advertising (or a type of platform that focuses primarily on yield), excluding digital extensions of TV, audio and print, will make up 70.6% of total revenue in 2024, equalling £552bn ($699bn) in 2024.

Meanwhile by 2029, it will make up 70.6% of total revenue, equalling £552bn ($699bn).

If this were to exclude the digital extensions of traditional channels, the broader total would top 80% in 2025 and climb to 84.7% in 2029.

Retail media is also expected to represent 15.1% of total ad revenue in 2024 according to Group M, amounting to a significant change from just 1.5% a decade ago.

It comes as players in the field are tapping into omnichannel, gaming spaces and more. It remains the fastest growing segment of digital forecast to add 17.5% in 2024 and 13.5% in 2025.

CTV ad revenue is expected to total £30.3bn ($38.3 billion) according to Group M, versus the £23.2 bn ($33.2 bn) it predicted in December.

This is the AI house (and you’d better take note)

Group M predicts machine generated content could be 10% or more of total content driven advertising in 2029, up from an estimated 2% in 2024.

Meanwhile Group M’s updated calculations have found that 69.5% of revenue will be informed by AI in 2024 with the percentage reaching 94.1% by 2029, which is three years earlier than previously forecast.

Notably, it predicts the amount of professionally generated content will decline from its base of 72.4% five years ago in 2019, to 52.9% in 2024 and, the following five years will see it decline further to 39.1% in 2029.

This will be spurred by an increase in both user generated content and AI content.

NewsResearch and Data

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