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Global advertising market set for tough 2020 as COVID-19 impact hits global economy

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Market revenue to decline by 7.4 percent in 2020 in a best-case scenario

LONDON (May 14, 2020) — Global advertising revenue will drop by at least 7.4 percent in 2020 as the ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic force advertisers to cut budgets, resulting in reduced income for media owners, according to Omdia.

The 7.4 percent drop represents Omdia’s best-case scenario, assuming the market will improve in the second half of the year. Omdia previously forecasted the market would rise by 2 percent in 2020, before the impact of the coronavirus became apparent.

“The coronavirus crisis is having knock-on impacts throughout the worldwide economy, spurring negative GDP growth, increased unemployment rates, low retail spending and reducing consumer expenditures,” said Kia Ling Teoh, senior analyst, media and advertising. “The advertising segment isn’t immune to this phenomenon, with the market facing a sharp decline in revenue for the year.”

Global TV advertising revenue will fall by 12 percent in 2020.

“Taking the 2008 financial crisis as a precedent, Omdia believes the pandemic will have an even greater impact on TV advertising in 2020,” said Aled Evans, senior analyst, media for Omdia. “This is occurring for two reasons: the postponement of major sporting events, and the rise of internet advertising as the preferred platform for advertisers, as shoppers buy their goods online due to lockdowns in all major countries.

Internet advertising will flatline in 2020, with a slight decline of 0.1 percent. Despite the buoyant online traffic growth generated by people spending more time online, Omdia expects advertisers to reduce overall discretionary advertising spend due to the global economic woes.

The outdoor and cinema advertising sectors will be hit heavily by COVID-19 due to reduced public foot traffic and advertisers moving budget to online platforms. Globally, outdoor advertising is forecast to fall by 21.2 percent in 2020, while cinema will decline by 19.1 percent.

In the radio advertising category, Omdia is forecasting a revenue decline of 11 percent in 2020 as radio broadcasters compete for a reduced total ad spend.

Omdia is forecasting a decline of 16.8 percent for global print media ad revenues in 2020. While other categories will return to growth in 2021 or 2022, Omdia expects print media to only return to a lower negative growth rate in 2021.

Updated Omdia forecasts indicate that the market share of internet advertising revenues will grow from 48 percent in 2019 to 51 percent in 2020, eating into shares of other media including outdoor, cinema, radio and print. Television’s market share will drop slightly from 31 percent to 30 percent.

Omdia’s worst-case scenario forecasts a prolonged lockdown that results in a major economic slump, global advertising revenue will decline by 17 percent in 2020 and will only return to modest growth in 2023 or later. However, this is less likely at the time of reporting.

During the period from 2021 through 2024, advertising revenue growth rates will remain rather conservative.

About Omdia 
Omdia is a global technology research powerhouse, established following the merger of the research division of Informa Tech (Ovum, Heavy Reading and Tractica) and the acquired IHS Markit technology research portfolio*. 

We combine the expertise of over 400 analysts across the entire technology spectrum, analyzing 150 markets publishing 3,000 research solutions, reaching over 14,000 subscribers, and covering thousands of technology, media & telecommunications companies. 

Our exhaustive intelligence and deep technology expertise allow us to uncover actionable insights that help our customers connect the dots in today’s constantly evolving technology environment and empower them to improve their businesses – today and tomorrow.  


Omdia is a registered trademark of Informa PLC and/or its affiliates. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Informa PLC registered in England & Wales with number 8860726, registered office and head office 5 Howick Place, London, SW1P 1WG, UK. Copyright © 2020 Omdia. All rights reserved. 

*The majority of IHS Markit technology research products and solutions were acquired by Informa in August 2019 and are now part of Omdia. 

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