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Online ads to exceed half of global adspend in 2021: Zenith report

As the internet ad market matures, growth is projected to slow down from 17 per cent to 9 per cent a year.

Internet advertising will account for 52 per cent of global advertising expenditure in 2021, exceeding the 50 per cent mark for the first time, according to the recently published Zenith Advertising Expenditure Forecast. That's up from the 47 per cent of global ad spend that internet advertising will account for this year and 44 per cent in 2018.

Online ads to exceed half of global adspend in 2021: Zenith report

Zenith now predicts global ad expenditure will grow by 4.6 per cent in 2019, reaching US $639 billion by the end of the year. That's marginally down from the 4.7 per cent growth forecast in March, but is a strong result given the increased estimates of how much was spent in 2018. Zenith now estimates growth in 2018 at 6.4 per cent, up from its previous estimate of 5.9 per cent and creating a tougher comparative for 2019.

However, the growth rate is falling rapidly as the internet ad market matures. Internet ad spend grew 17 per cent in 2018, but activity in the first half of 2019 leads us to expect only 12 per cent growth for the year as a whole. By 2021 we expect internet ad spend growth to have fallen to 9 per cent year on year. The growth rate of the internet ad market is starting to converge with the growth rate of the market as a whole.

"The point at which internet advertising exceeds 50 per cent of global ad spend has been approaching for some time, but this is the first time it has appeared in our forecasts," said Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting at Zenith, in a press note. He continued, "However, 2021 will be the first year of single-digit internet ad spend growth since 2001, the year the dotcom bubble burst."

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