Global Advertising to surpass $1 trillion in 2024 amid AI surge – WARC

By Oluwaseyi Lawal
In the wake of a challenging 2023, WARC Media has released its anticipated report, The Future of Media 2024, outlining trends shaping media planning, advertising investments, and the media landscape.
The report forecasts a noteworthy rebound in global advertising spend, set to exceed $1 trillion in 2024, doubling its growth from the previous year. Key contributors to this surge include tech giants Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Bytedance, and Meta, projected to command 51.9% of global advertising spend, with a 10.7% increase in ad revenues.
AI Dominance Raises Questions on Media Quality
The driving force behind this growth is the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI). However, concerns loom over AI’s impact on media quality and the future of open internet advertising. The report delves into the implications of AI-based advertising solutions, emphasizing the trade-offs advertisers may face. Walled garden platforms, leveraging AI capabilities like Meta’s Advantage+ and Google’s Performance Max, prompt concerns about transparency, media quality, and brand safety on the open web.
Linear TV Faces Gradual Decline Amid Age Disparities
While linear TV consumption has experienced a steady decline, particularly among younger audiences, it remains the most trusted medium. WARC data indicates a 5.4% decrease in global Linear TV ad spend in 2023. The report notes a divergence in marketer strategies, with only 18% planning increased investments in linear TV, while 39% consider withdrawing spend. However, WARC predicts a continued, albeit modest, decline in global linear TV consumption in 2024.
Attention Measurement at a Crossroads
The report highlights the rising adoption of attention measurement to evaluate creative and media quality. Yet, common standards and substantial evidence remain challenges for its widespread adoption and legitimacy. Attention measurement’s bias towards visual media raises concerns, leading brands and agencies to scrutinize vendor tools and methods while exploring new models of media quality.
In-Game Advertising Emerges as Untapped Opportunity
With a global gaming audience exceeding 3 billion, gaming remains an underutilized space for advertisers, constituting only 5% of budgets. The report identifies key shifts in the gaming industry, including major acquisitions, leveraging gaming IP in TV and movie releases, and the growth of cloud-based game streaming services. PWC estimates gaming ad revenues to reach $91 billion in 2024, making gaming the 5th largest advertising channel.
The Future of Media 2024 draws on exclusive data from WARC Media, featuring insights from WARC’s Marketer’s Toolkit global survey and expert analysis. It aims to equip marketers with insights for strategic decision-making amidst uncertainties in the evolving media landscape.


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