Media Ad Revenue To Surge 22% In 2021, GroupM Predicts, As Digital Revival Exceeds Prior Forecasts

Top media firm GroupM says it expects 22% growth in media ad revenue in 2021 compared with 2019 levels, excluding political spending.

Spending on ads will rise 15% over 2019, a marked improvement from the company’s prior forecast. Political spending, the company noted in its mid-year report, is not a significant factor in either 2019 or 2021.

Powering the growth is digital advertising. Excluding political, the digital category overall is expected to spike 33% in 2021, building on last year’s 10% upturn. At the current pace, digital will account for 57% of total U.S. advertising, and 69% by 2026.

National TV is in the midst of a major comeback. In 2021, GroupM expects the category, which includes connected TV advertising as well as linear to grow by 8.7%, a full recovery from 2020’s 6.9% decline.

The upward trajectory equates to a 7.4% compounded annual growth rate, or CAGR, through 2026. In 2020, underlying U.S. advertising growth fell 5.6%, the worst downturn since the financial crisis year of 2009, as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on a wide range of marketing. GroupM noted it had revised its forecast upward for the next five-year period. All-in, the company sees total media company ad revenue reaching $279 billion in 2021 and rising to $388 billion by 2026.

At the time of its last forecast in March, GroupM wrote, “It was evident that the ad market was relatively strong during the first quarter and that it would further benefit from high inflation across the economy. lifting our expectations for growth. But we didn’t fully appreciate just how much the economy and advertising market were heating up. It was only after we saw results for the quarter from the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon (and Snap, Pinterest and others) that we could appreciate just how strong the market was, especially for digital media.”


Does everyone know now what the ‘plus’ connotation is?

Connected TV as we tend to use it often means

There’s some circularity –

Marketers … these numbers are the steady state assumption

TV lines – the business won’t really grow much. There will be a proportional share of viewing and a proportional share of advertising. But it’s splitting up the pie into different slices but the size of the pie isn’t changing.


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