A look at holding company 2024 ad spending forecasts

This editorial series examines industry trends across the media, media buying and marketing sectors as 2023 closes and the new year begins. More from the series →

2024 will be a major year for advertising as the U.S. presidential election boosts political spending. Media agencies also anticipate other key drivers to fuel the ad economy, including retail media, digital, sports and connected TV.

This week, Dentsu, GroupM, IPG’s Magna all released their 2024 advertising predictions and forecasts — with global ad spend estimates ranging from 4% to 7% in growth for 2024. And despite lingering economic uncertainty, the agency holding companies and their clients are staying positive during the holidays and feeling confident with cooling inflation.

Here are some highlights and comparisons from each of the agency reports.

Dentsu

The holding company predicts a 4.6% year-over-year increase in global ad spend for 2024 — growing by $33 billion to total $752.8 billion — fueled by digital, CTV and retail media.

“Despite the current worldwide geo-political instabilities and economic outlook, in 2024 we can see how significant major political and sporting events are for creating positive growth in ad spend,” noted Will Swayne, global practice president of media at Dentsu.

Digital is estimated to continue to grow 6.5% in 2024 to total $442.6 billion, accounting for 58.8% of the overall spend. Retail media in particular will lead this “acceleration of investment,” the report noted. CTV ad spend is projected to double year-over-year to 30.8% next year, with major video platforms launching or enhancing their ad offerings.

Dentsu also expects media opportunities from cyclical sporting and political events, including UEFA EURO2024 and the U.S. presidential election, to increase investments for the year.

GroupM

GroupM’s 2023/2024 global end-of-year ad forecast indicates a 5.3% increase in global ad spending, compared to an increase of 5.8% for 2023 totaling $889 billion (excluding U.S. political advertising).

The company predicts a slight deceleration for next year due to uncertainty in some markets and interest rates for businesses. It expects pure play digital, which excludes digital out-of-home and CTV, to become larger than the entire ad industry was in 2022. This segment includes YouTube and TikTok.

Retail media, while so far the smallest within digital, is growing fast. The report found that retail added more than $10 billion in revenue this year and is expected to increase 8.3% in total spend in 2024. The U.S. and China will represent some 77.6% of the global retail media ad revenue next year. By 2028, retail media is expected to exceed linear TV and CTV combined.

Magna

IPG’s Magna unit released its winter update of the global ad forecast that noted digital advertising reaccelerating in 2023, with major events expected to boost traditional media in 2024. Globally, net ad revenue is expected to reach $853 billion this year, up 5.5% from 2022 — and forecast to grow 7.2% in 2024. It’s the most optimistic of the three holding company prognostications.

With cyclical events returning, including sports and the U.S. presidential election, Vincent Letang, evp of global market intelligence, noted “reach media and contextual advertising [are looking] attractive again.”

Magna also cited economic stabilization and lower inflation in 2024 will drive ad spend to rise 7.2% to total $913 billion (increasing 8.4% in the U.S.). In the U.S. market, non-cyclical ad revenue will increase 5.9% in 2024 or 8.4% when including cyclical ad spending (almost nearing $10 billion in political spending), according to Magna.

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