NEWS22 October 2021

Adspend on social media and TV double that of viewership

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GLOBAL – Advertisers are spending almost twice as much on television and social media as daily consumption, according to research from Warc.

Conceptual image of online advertising

Warc’s report, called Global advertising trends, found that social media advertising spend overtook spending on linear television for the first time in the first quarter of 2021.

However, both social media and liner television advertising spend exceeded daily usage, according to Warc. Social media was forecast to account for 39.1% of advertising spending in 2022, but had a 21.4% share of daily media consumption.

Warc estimated this meant there was a $94.3bn gap between advertising spend on social media and its actual daily usage.

The report’s findings are based on advertising spend forecasts for 100 countries and a survey by GWI of more than 715,000 consumers.

Advertising spend on linear television was expected to account for 31.5% of total spending but 16.1% of daily consumption, which Warc estimated would create a $86.9bn worldwide investment gap.

Online video, including streaming services and video platforms such as YouTube, accounted for 13.6% of spending, compared to 12.9% of daily media consumption.

Warc said that online press was heavily undervalued, with an additional $58bn of advertising spending needed to gain parity with daily consumption levels, and podcasts were deemed to be undervalued by $40bn in adspend.

The report also said that 76% of publishers said they were prioritising subscriptions to counter falling advertising revenue.

James McDonald, managing editor at Warc Data and author of the report, said: “For industry stalwarts like linear TV, the seemingly inflated investment gap actually speaks more to the enduring power of the medium – its vast reach combined with attentive audiences and the heightened impact of audiovisual creative.

“These traits allow it to command a premium in the media mix, one which is likely to sustain even as social media further grows its share of budgets.”