Traditional search will draw the largest amount of US ad dollars in 2024

Key stat: Traditional search—which excludes retail media search—will claim the biggest share of US ad dollars this year, amounting to $90.73 billion, according to our March 2024 forecast.

Beyond the chart:

  • This year, spending growth on traditional search (8.6%) will trail behind retail media (26.0%), connected TV (CTV) (18.8%), and social (16.0%).
  • By 2026, advertisers will spend more money on social networks than traditional search.
  • More than half (50.5%) of all search ad spending will go to Google this year, per our March 2024 forecast.

Use this chart:

  • Underscore the value of a media approach that leverages both digital and linear channels.
  • Identify underutilized channels that may have less competition.

More like this:

Note: TV includes broadcast TV (network, syndication, and spot) and cable TV; excludes digital. CTV includes digital advertising that appears on connected TV (CTV) devices; includes display ads that appear on home screens and in-stream video ads that appear on CTVs from platforms like Hulu, Roku, and YouTube; excludes network-sold inventory from traditional linear TV and addressable TV advertising. Print includes magazines and newspapers. Radio includes local and national broadcast of traditional on-air radio stations and satellite radio services that are delivered over the air; excludes off-air radio and digital. OOH includes both traditional and digital out-of-home advertising; includes alternative, billboards, cinema, street furniture, and transit. Digital audio service includes digital advertising revenues for local and national broadcast radio stations, satellite radio services, purely online radio stations, and streaming music services such as Pandora and Spotify; includes podcast advertising and sponsorship; includes both audio and nonaudio ad formats. Social network includes paid advertising only; includes advertising that appears on desktop and laptop computers as well as mobile phones, tablets, and other internet-connected devices, and includes all the various formats of advertising on those platforms; excludes payments to influencers or other creators to produce sponsored content; includes branded content amplified as paid media. Retail media includes digital advertising that appears on websites or apps that are primarily engaged in retail ecommerce or is bought through a retailer's media network or demand-side platform (DSP); examples of websites or apps primarily engaged in retail ecommerce include Amazon, Walmart, and eBay; examples of retail media networks include Amazon's DSP and Etsy's Offsite Ads; includes ads purchased through retail media networks that may not appear on ecommerce sites or apps. Traditional search includes advertising that appears on desktop and laptop computers as well as mobile phones, tablets, and other internet-connected devices for all formats mentioned; includes contextual text links, paid inclusion, paid listings, and SEO. Gaming excludes advertising on esports or gaming video content; includes advertisements placed within games on mobile platforms.

Methodology: Estimates are based on the analysis of various elements related to the ad spending market, including macro-level economic conditions, historical trends of the advertising market, historical trends of each medium in relation to other media, reported revenues from major ad publishers, estimates from other research firms, data from benchmark sources, consumer media consumption trends, consumer device usage trends, and EMARKETER interviews with executives at ad agencies, brands, media publishers, and other industry leaders.