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End of year global and local ad trends revealed  

The global ad market is on course to reach a value of $1trn in 2025, with more than half of this money paid to just three companies: Alphabet, Meta, and Amazon

E-commerce is expected to lead growth to 2023, reaching over $137 billion Cinema spend rebounded strongly this year, buoyed by a new James Bond film In the UAE, the retail subscription share of total spend increased by 1.5 times

According to WARC, the international marketing intelligence service, the global ad market is on course to reach a value of $1trn in 2025, with more than half of this money paid to just three companies: Alphabet, Meta, and Amazon.

Following on from a meteoric 23.8% rise to a total of $771 billion this year, advertising investment is forecast to rise by a further 12.5% and 8.3% in 2022 and 2023 respectively, with e-commerce platforms set to lead this growth.

WARC’s propriety survey, the Marketer’s Toolkit 2022, shows that 2 in 3 already committing budgets to Amazon are intending to increase that spend. A full 66% of advertising professionals are planning to up spend on TikTok next year, while for YouTube, the figure is 61%, for Instagram 60% and for Google 57%.

Trends by online media and format

E-commerce: The sector is expected to lead growth to 2023, reaching over $137 billion. Amazon is on course to amass over $57 bn in advertising revenue by 2023 (up 72% from this year). 

Social media: This was the fastest-growing online sector in 2021, with spend rising 41.9% or $55.7 bn to total $188.8 bn this year. Instagram grew to become the largest social media platform in 2021 and is forecast to grow to control over a third of the global social media market in 2023. TikTok saw ad revenue rise 151.5% this year and is expected to record growth of 75.4% in 2022.  

OTT video: Premium online video platforms (aka over-the-top (OTT), such as YouTube and Amazon Prime Video, were worth a combined $63.7 bn to advertisers in 2021, up 41.6% from a year earlier. Further growth, of 19.7% and 14.2%, is projected during 2022 and 2023 respectively, with YouTube leading the charge and set to be worth $41.4 bn by the end of the forecast period.  

Paid search: Google’s advertising revenue rose by 40.6% to $146.3 bn this year, taking 80% of all search spend and 19% of all advertising spend worldwide.

Online audio: Advertising spend on online audio rose by a third to $5.4 bn in 2021, with podcast spend up 51% and streaming up 28.4%. Both formats are expected to see gains to 2023, by when the online audio sector as a whole is expected to be worth $8.3 bn. Spotify is one of the main players, it is set to see ad income top $2 bn for the first time in 2023.   

TV: Advertiser spend on TV is projected to grow by 3.3% to $184.7 bn in 2022 following a 5.5% rise this year.  

Out of home: The market recorded a recovery of 21.8% this year, though that was not enough to offset the 28.2% decline recorded in 2020. A growth of 13.3% is expected in 2022.

Cinema: Spend rebounded strongly this year, buoyed by a new James Bond film, to record a rise of 149.9%. Further growth, of 26.1%, is currently projected for 2022.

Broadcast radio: Investment in broadcast radio ads rose by 8.4% or $2.5 bn this year and is set to grow by 3.5% in 2022 and a further 1.5% in 2023, by when the market will be worth $34.3 bn.  

Newsbrands: Advertising spend on print and online news dipped by 4% this year, with an 8.9% rise for online platforms negated by a 7.4% decline among print titles. These trends are set to continue to 2023. 

Magazine brands: As with the news sector, investment gains for online titles were not enough to stymie print losses. Consequently, the total market was down 6.6% in 2021, with a 6.1% dip forecast next year and a 5.2% fall expected in 2023. 

Middle East ad spend on Facebook and Instagram

Emplifi, a leading unified customer experience (CX) platform, recently released its “State of Social Media and CX” report for Q3 2021.

The report found that ad spend on Facebook and Instagram in the Middle East increased 33.32% year-over-year (yoy) during Q3, and by 7.38% between Q2 and Q3. Global ad spend on Facebook and Instagram grew 43.4% yoy during Q3 of 2021, fueled by a 10.5% growth between Q2 and Q3.

In the Middle East, brand spending on Facebook’s News Feed was 21.48% higher than spending on Instagram’s News Feed.  

Looking at the region by industry, the retail category (19.2%) topped the total interactions of brand pages on Facebook, while on Instagram, the e-commerce category (26.9%) led the way.

Facebook ad reach took a turn in the right direction, climbing 3.7% year-over.  Facebook Instream Live Videos by brands generated three times more engagement with fans and followers compared to other types of posts globally. 

Emplifi’s data shows that Facebook Instream Video and Facebook News Feed rank as the top ad placements in Clickthrough rate (CTR) for both Facebook and Instagram ads.

According to a Mastercard study in the UAE, 72% of respondents surveyed discovered new brands through Facebook and 56% on Instagram.   

Customers also expect brands to offer social customer support through social channels. According to Facebook for Business, 76% of people who message a business do so for customer service or support. More than 150 million people message businesses through Instagram Direct every month.  

The retail subscription model

The Mastercard Economics Institute recently released Economy 2022, a global outlook for the coming year based on critical trends as seen through the lens of the consumer.

It found that 20% of the digital shift in retail will stay put, reshaping how and what consumers buy. E-commerce subscriptions gained traction in 2021 as nearly 88% of countries across 32 markets saw a surge in subscription services compared to the previous year.

Notably, car companies, virtual workout partners, bike rentals, and pet services are among a slew of businesses benefitting from this model. In the UAE, the retail subscription share of total spend increased by a factor of 1.5x from 2020 to 2021.