North American advertising industry - Statistics & Facts

For the most part, advertising spending in North America is on the increase. After a significant dip in 2009, advertising expenditure is rising and is predicted to amount to over 226.7 billion U.S. dollars by 2020. Internet advertising spending has been steadily increasing over the last decade and as of 2017 had a value of 73.1 billion dollars. Cinema and OOH ad spend is also projected to grow in the following years, while radio is the only medium where ad expenditures are expected to remain steady. On the other hand, TV advertising, after experiencing a slight growth between 2016 and 2018, is said to take a cut in the near future. Also, print ads are suffering a loss. Spending in this area is declining year on year – a downward trend which began in 2006 and which shows no signs of improvement. By 2020, newspaper advertising spending is forecast to be just under 14 billion U.S. dollars, over three billion less than the figure recorded in 2017. Given the concerns about the decline of the print industry these numbers may not be surprising. The most recently available data clearly demonstrates a stark difference between digital and print advertising expenditure and signals a somewhat bleak future for the latter.

Media spending on newspapers and magazines is also decreasing in Canada, whilst digital advertising spending is gradually growing. The format with the highest spend is search advertising, however traditional display spending is also set to rise, standing at 1.67 million Canadian dollars when last recorded and expected to reach over 2.4 million by 2020. By comparison, newspaper ad expenditure in Mexico has shown a tendency to gradually increase, and digital ad expenses are growing with the same intensity as in the rest of North America.

Interestingly, there is a strong correlation between advertising spending on selected mediums and the amount of time consumers spend with that medium. For example, U.S. consumers spent 29 percent of their time with mobile devices in 2017, and 26 percent of advertising expenditures were dedicated to this medium, leaving a profit opportunity of just three percent. Again though print fell behind, with nine percent of advertising spending being allocated and consumers spending just four percent of their time with the medium.

The most recent data shows that the leading advertising categories in Mexico was education and media, with a total spend of over 20 billion Mexican pesos, compared to just 7.47 billion spent on retail. However, retail was the leading paid search advertising category in Canada with a spend of 4.56 billion Canadian dollars, with the financial services category coming a close second.
All in all, while all three countries are following a relatively similar path, where traditional media advertising is being replaced with digital ads, Mexico among the three is just slightly less predictable when it comes to expenses, as the year on year change in advertising spending overall fluctuates significantly more than in other areas of North America.

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