Tuesday 28 May 2019 11:30 am

Internet ads to make up half of global media spend by 2020 as mobile use surges

Internet advertising formats are set to account for more than half of all media spend worldwide for the first time next year as mobile continues to drive growth, new data has revealed.

Figures published by industry body Warc showed online advertising will account for 48 per cent of all media spend – roughly $298.1bn (£228.2bn) – this year, rising to more than 50 per cent in 2020.

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Internet adverts already account for the majority of media spend in eight major markets, including the UK, the US, China and Russia, as advertisers shift their focus away from more traditional media formats.

The surge has also been boosted by the rising popularity of video on demand, as well as strong growth in the digital out-of-home sector.

But the key driving force behind the surge in online advertising is mobile, which is set to take a 59 per cent share of all internet spend this year, according to Warc.

“While the first wave of internet growth was driven by banner ads and search keywords on desktop computers, the second phase has been propelled by social media advertising delivered on mobile devices,” said James McDonald, managing editor at Warc Data.

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“Underpinning recent growth is the proliferation of programmatic ad trades based on consumers' data, harvested during day-to-day browsing, shopping, streaming and socialising.”

The research showed internet ad spend will have grown five times faster than investment in non-internet media since 2010, meaning more than three-quarters of the internet ad market value has been formed in the last decade.