Staff Reporters
Dec 2, 2021

2021 adspend growth to hit four-decade high: Warc forecast

Global advertising market to see record growth of 23.8% to $771 billion this year and hit $1 trillion in 2025.

2021 adspend growth to hit four-decade high: Warc forecast

Advertising spending for 2021 is on track to hit $771 billion, according to Warc, which also reports that this is the largest increase (23.8%) it has recorded in four decades of monitoring.

Spending is forecast to rise by a further 12.5% and 8.3% in 2022 and 2023, respectively,

Looking further ahead, adspend is on course to reach $1 trillion in 2025. However, three companies—Meta, Alphabet and Amazon—will absorb more than half of that.


A few other highlights from Warc's Global Advertising Trends report, available to Warc members (a sample is available here):

  • In 2023 the ecommerce sector will double more than double 2020’s level of spending to reach a total of $137.2 billion. 
  • Social media was the fastest-growing online sector in 2021, with spend rising 41.9% to $188.8 billion.
  • Alphabet is the world’s largest media owner and Google the largest individual platform: its advertising revenue will rise by 40.6% to $146.3 billion this year, taking 79.7% of all search spend and 19.0% of all advertising spend worldwide.
  • Google’s growth is set to ease to 14.8% in 2022, though 57% of practitioners surveyed by Warc are planning to increase spend on the platform next year.
  • Advertising spend on online audio rose by a third to $5.4 billion in 2021, with podcast spend up 50.9% and streaming up 28.4%. 

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