Global digital ad spend to hit $285bn by 2020

Liz Morrell is a freelance business journalist and content creator with more than 20 years writing experience, including 15 in retail and associated sectors. She is a regular contributor to MarketingTech but also covers a number of other industries in her freelance capacity. Contact her via LinkedIn or at

Global digital advertising spend continues to soar, with the latest predictions from Juniper Research estimating a $285bn spend by 2020. 

The figure is a near doubling of the $160bn estimated spend for this year.

Whilst ad blocking adoption may be affecting the market on one hand on the other the report, Worldwide Digital Advertising 2016-2020, found that better audience targeting will still help to drive higher click through rates and increase publisher revenues. 

“Publishers, such as Facebook, are utilising their unprecedented audience knowledge to offer advertisers highly accurate targeting, thereby increasing the click through rates that advertisers are witnessing now,” said Sam Barker, author of the research.

Ad revenues are also set to be pushed up by the adoption of faster real time bidding processes from exchanges such as the Rubicon Project and Fiksu, according to the research, since streamlining the bidding process reduces page load times and increases the user experience. 

Mobile will also drive growth with an average annual increase of 22% in mobile and wearable advertising spend expected over the same period to 2020. In 2015 ad revenues from mobile platforms surpassed their online rivals. 

However, this means the sector is also gearing up for a higher adoption of mobile ad blockers, expected to increase over the next five years according to the report, as users start using them on their mobile devices as well as their desktop. 

Publishers are also set to have to contend with the introduction of network level ad blocking – like that from UK mobile operator Three, the report points out, bringing yet more challenges to the digital advertiser.  

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