Global digital adspend hits $521.02bn in 2021, estimated at N30bn in Nigeria

Global digital advertising market has been calculated to have amounted to $521.02 billion in 2021. The Statista Research Department, which released the report on 2 June, 2022, projected that by 2026, the spending would reach $876 billion.

Digital media consumption has been on the increase and advertising dollars are following fast. According to the separate newly released “IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report: Full Year 2021”, conducted by PwC, all major channels increased significantly compared with a year ago, particularly across digital video (including CTV/OTT), digital audio, social media, and search. This refers to advertising on internet-connected devices such as computers, mobile devices, and smart devices.

The growth is consistent with a recent study by Deighton Associates, commissioned by IAB, which showed the internet economy has grown seven times faster than the U.S. economy over the past four years and now accounts for 12% of the U.S. GDP.

Global digital experts attributed the digital ad growth to a complete democratization of access afforded by ad-supported digital channels, noting that consumer usage coupled with extraordinary growth of small and mid-sized businesses during the pandemic fueled growth across all digital, particularly digital audio and video. The digital migration is expected to drive the continued growth of a healthy and competitive digital marketplace driven by innovation and entrepreneurship.

However, in Nigeria, the total digital advertising billing is shrouded in uncertainty due to measurement challenges. Although small businesses remain the key contributors to fuelling ongoing digital media and marketing ecosystem growth, there is no professional agency that uses data and information in the country to measure their total digital ad billing.

Responding to questions in separate telephone inquiries, digital marketing professionals in Nigeria told MARKETING EDGE that it is difficult to estimate digital adspend in the country. While some argued that digital advertising is about 30% of the total adspend in the country, others said it is between 20% and 25%.

Damilola Abodurin, the Business Lead at iProspect, a global digital-first end-to-end media and advertising agency, estimated Nigeria’s total digital adspend in the region of N20 to 30 billion naira. This estimate, he said, is about the fact that the top 5 agencies should be doing close to N12 billion.

“Then those who are not running with the registered agencies should be estimated at N10 billion, and individuals who do their own digital advertising without agencies should be N5 billion. On the whole, the total digital advertising billing should be around N30 billion,” Abodurin noted.

Bukola Akingbade, MD/ CEO, Neukleos Marketing Services Ltd, corroborated the above argument stating that digital advertising billing is not clear in Nigeria when juxtaposed with what real spenders do.

“Honestly no figure yet. While some will argue that digital advertising is about 30% of total advertising spend, I don’t think this is correct when you view it with what the spenders do. Perhaps you can say 25% – no real figure,” she said.

Oti Ukubeyinje, President of the Association of Digital Marketing Professionals (ADMARP) and Vice President, Product Marketing and Growth, Terragon Group, said there is no firm, professional body or individual that tracks or measures digital adspend in Nigeria unlike other countries like the UK, Europe and the US.

 “Some try to work it out by taking 20% to 25% of the total adspend in Nigeria. But even that method is still an approximation. From an individual and corporate point of view, nobody is measuring digital advertising billing in Nigeria. Some people try to work it out by taking 10% out of the total 2% the African market is given from the global market. But none of that is accurate enough to state as Nigeria’s total digital advertising billing,” he said.


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