5 recent charts forecasting how ad spend is changing, from retail media to programmatic

Digital ad spend is growing and going increasingly toward programmatic formats. Search ad spend is on the rise as well, as retail media growth remains healthy. And social media is in better shape than previously projected. Here are five recent charts forecasting the future of ad spend.

1. Digital ad spend worldwide will grow over five times faster than traditional

Ad spend growth worldwide will spike this year increasing at one of its fastest rates ever for a total of $992.00 billion dollars, according to our October 2023 forecast. The biggest jump will come from digital ad spend; unsurprisingly, traditional media ad spend growth will remain low compared with digital, as noted in our Worldwide Digital Ad Spending Forecast 2024 report.

2. Programmatic digital display ad spend will grow three times faster than nonprogrammatic

US programmatic digital display ad spend will grow three times as fast as nonprogrammatic this year, per our December 2023 forecast. Programmatic will account for 91.3% of US digital display ad spend in 2024. Programmatic’s flexibility and fluidity make it a winner over nonprogrammatic, as described in our Programmatic Ad Spending Forecast H1 2024 report.

3. Social network ad spend is healthier than previously predicted

Good news for advertisers and social media networks: Our October 2023 US social network ad spend forecast is 10% higher than we previously expected. We project social ad spend will hit $82.89 billion this year, a YoY growth of 13.5%. That forecast was increased due to raised ad loads, renewed focus on lower-funnel ads, and a rallying economy, per our Social Network Ad Spending and Trends Q4 2023 report.

4. Retail media will make up one-fifth of worldwide digital ad spend

Retail media ad spend worldwide will hit $140.04 billion this year, representing 20.3% of digital ad spend, per our December 2023 forecast. Amazon dominates in the US, but Mercado Libre is a major player in Latin America, and in China, Alibaba, JD.com, and Meituan contribute to ad inventory, our Worldwide Retail Media Ad Spending Forecast 2024 report noted.

5. Retail media will make up more than half of US search ad spend growth

Retail media will drive US search ad spend growth in the US in 2024 and beyond. Retail media is the fastest-growing US ad channel we track, and will represent over a third of the US search ad market by 2027, according to our Search Ad Spending Forecast and Trends H2 2023 report. Generative AI search could shake up search ad spend, but how that will happen is still unknown.

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