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Entertainment, Media Digital Ad Spend Expected To Reach $21B For 2021.

The U.S. media and entertainment businesses' digital advertising expenditure will continue its growth trend for at least two more years, with spending for the two combined passing the $26 billion mark by 2023, according to a new report from eMarketer.

“While the growth rates, format mix and device mix will vary as each industry faces different market dynamics, they both share a positive trajectory that reflects robust health in the overall digital ad market,” eMarketer's analysis says. “Although media and entertainment have common characteristics and areas of overlap, the latter sector will see a more pronounced rebound, largely because of its reliance on high-priced ad formats like video.”

For this year, the entertainment industry's ad spend – powered by theme parks, movie theaters, and concert venues, all of which have re-started advertising since the worst of the pandemic – is expected to grow 37% from 2020 to $11.16 billion. Media, which is benefiting from the resumption of TV production, giving networks new content to advertise, is estimated to have an ad spend increase of 21% over 2020, to $9.75 billion for 2021.

Although the rate of increased spending slowed down significantly at the height of COVID, in 2020 – with meager 13% and 8% increases from better days-2019 for entertainment and media, respectively – they were increases nonetheless. “The pandemic clearly took a toll on spending, [but] the rebound has been stronger than anticipated across many industries, including media and entertainment,” the report says. “Although the pandemic is far from over, and many businesses in those industries are still disrupted from it, digital ad buyers have moved on and are spending at greater levels than we expected before the world turned upside down.”

eMarketer's forecast puts mobile's share of digital advertising in the entertainment sector at 76.5% compared to 63.0% for media for 2021, with those proportions generally the same for 2022 and 2023. eMarketer attributes entertainment's high mobile penetration, the highest among all industries it tracks, to video streaming, gaming, and social video, all of which happen mostly on mobile devices. “The big drivers of entertainment ad spending are film and game studios with franchises that appeal mainly to millennial and Gen X audiences,” the report says. “Those groups will outpace other demos in smartphone adoption and penetration in the next several years.”

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