Two Thirds Of Global Advertising Spend Will Come From Paid Search and Paid Social by 2020.

In a recent report from a leading industry analyst, it has been predicted that two-thirds of all global advertising spend between now and 2020, will come from Paid Social and Paid Search advertising.

In raw numbers, this growth equates to an additional $22bn (£16.8bn) in Paid Search, and $28bn (£21bn) in Paid Social advertising. Overall, global annual spend on advertising is expected to reach $581bn by the end of this year (2018) and with the current rate of growth, this figure is anticipated to rise by 4.2% in 2019 and a further 4.2% in 2020.


Historically, television, radio, cinema and physical outdoor advertising have been the most dominant advertising channels. But, as we know well, consumers have increasingly turned to the Internet to watch television and films, shop, listen to podcasts and accomplish a whole array of day-to-day activities from a tap of a screen. As a consequence, social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter now operate as digital billboards where advertisers can target consumers through all kinds of online behaviours. What’s more, advertisers are able to bid for space on digital platforms at a much lower premium than traditional media channels. With higher numbers than ever of businesses, from SME’s to global conglomerates, recognising the immense economic and branding advantages of having a social presence online, the growth of spend on Paid Social advertising has no likelihood of slowing down in the perceivable future.

Paid Search, where businesses will bid against competitors to have their advertisement appear at the top of the results page in search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, has grown as more brands shift their focus onto e-commerce and online business generation. In recent years, machine learning has been implemented within a number of tools used to build, target and optimise digital search campaigns and in August, Google launched an entire suite of artificial intelligence driven tools to help advertisers achieve their goals more efficiently (read our blog post about it here). As a result, agencies and businesses of varying sizes and with a range of budgets are discovering more ways to reach their customers online.

Moreover, the rise of smart home assistants and voice search has exposed a largely untapped channel for Paid Search advertising to occupy. The current structure of the voice search and response model doesn’t yet support Paid Search results because users are simply fed back the first organic answer to their query. But by 2020 – aeons in technology years – it’s anyone’s guess how voice search will have progressed to facilitate Paid Search advertising.


The findings of this report come as no surprise; at Media Maze, we see positive results and ROI from our Paid Search and Paid Social campaigns on a daily basis and as a growing agency, we are continually being approached by clients wanting to use our know how to generate new business online.

Want to see for yourself? If you would like an appraisal of your current marketing activities and a proposal for a Search or Social strategy then please contact or to get started.


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