GroupM Upgrades Ad Growth Estimate For 2024 And 2025



WPP's GroupM has upgraded its global advertising forecast for both 2024 and 2025 with 2024 growth now expected to be 7.8% with ad revenue reaching $989.8 billion. Last December the company had forecast global growth of 5.3% for this year.  



For the first time the industry will surpass one trillion in revenue in 2025, increasing 6.8% to $1.1 trillion, one year earlier than GroupM forecast in December, per the revised forecast. 

The upgrades for both years are due largely to a re-evaluation of growth in China’s ad economy. GroupM has added about $50 billion to the country’s growth estimate for 2024 for a total of nearly $200 billion, a gain of 14%. Next year China is expected to add another nearly 11% growth. The gains are primarily from digital and out-of-home advertising. 

GroupM has also revised estimates for the U.S., which it now expects will reach $365.9 billion in ad revenue this year, up 5.8% over 2023’s $345.9 billion, excluding the impact of political advertising in both years. Next year’s growth estimate is 4.8%. 

Referring to the U.S. economy, the report’s author, Kate Scott-Dawkins, president, business intelligence, GroupM, wrote, “the overall resiliency of consumer spending, especially among more affluent consumers, has driven continued economic growth (1.6% in Q1 of 2024).

She added that, “Robust digital growth, as evidenced by the first-quarter earnings results from many of the top 25 global media owners, as well as expected continued cross-border advertising from China, appear to support an advertising growth rate higher than nominal GDP growth this year.” 

In a press briefing prior to the release of the forecast Scott-Dawkins said that the U.S. and China, the top two global markets, “really impact everything” effecting the global ad economy. All but three of the top 25 ad sellers are located in those two countries, which combined account for 40% of global GDP.  

The U.S. and China together make up 57.1% of global ad revenue.  

The third-largest ad market, Japan, is a distant third, just one-fourth the size of China.  

Among the trends that GroupM is watching is the impact of artificial intelligence on the ad market. Scott-Dawkins estimates that nearly 70% of ad revenue is “informed in some way” by AI. She estimates that will climb to 94% by 2029. 

AI has led Scott-Dawkins to consider a third form of content (in addition to professional and user-generated content) in which ads appear -- ”machine-generated content.” Currently, she estimates that about 1.6% of content falls into that category. By 2029 that figure is expected to climb to 10.7%.  

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