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GroupM forecasts UK ad spend of £23.6bn in 2020

David Murphy

GroupM has released its UK ad forecast for 2020. The forecast provides a larger growth projection for 2020 than was originally predicted in its forecast from June, with the total UK ad media marketplace worth £23.6bn, up from £22.2bn this year, a 6.7 per cent increase.

One of the major reasons for this is because, as more digital endemic marketers increasingly replace traditional companies that came before them, spending shares will shift more toward digital marketing. GroupM notes that digital behemoths like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Alphabet, eBay, IAC, Uber and Booking.com are massive contributors to the double-digit growth for advertising.

Digital pure-play media owners will account for 66 per cent of all UK ad spend next year, rising to 73 per cent by 2024, as economic conditions improve looking past 2021. Traditional TV advertising will be flat in 2020, accounting for 19 per cent of media spend, after ending up down by 2.3 per cent this year, with Brexit being seen as a potential explanation for continuing caution.

The two next largest sectors are total newsbrands (including national and regional print titles) on 5.4 per cent and outdoor on 4.6 per cent. Outdoor should be the fastest growing “traditional” medium, with predicted growth of 4-5 per cent over each of the next five years after growing by almost 5 per cent in 2019, while national print titles are predicted to fall by another 6 per cent next year. Radio will grow closer to 2 per cent in 2020.

The report also notes that the previously-mentioned digital behemoths will spend more than £25bn on advertising in 2019, accounting for about 5 per cent of the world’s total spend and an entire percentage point of growth between the eight of them.

Looking beyond the respective shares of different media sectors, the report concludes:
“We encourage marketers to continue to view media as a means to an end. It should be considered along with investments in internal marketing infrastructure, marketing technology software and other external services that support marketing excellence. Increasingly, the way all of these things work together is what will help some marketers succeed more than others. Ensuring that processes are in place to optimise the balance among these elements will be more impactful than the choice to invest – or stay away from – any one type of media as it grows or declines in the years ahead.”

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