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Survey Shows Marketers’ Optimism For 2024 As Many Plan To Spend More In Radio and Digital Audio.

While most clients are still focused on the fourth quarter, the planning is already underway for 2024 at some of the biggest advertisers and an early reading on where they are heading in the year to come brings reason for optimism. A majority of North American advertisers plan to increase their media budgets next year, including 13% that plan to grow them by ten percent or more.

The annual survey was conducted by the World Federation of Advertisers and Ebiquity among some of the world’s biggest brands. The 92 advertisers, including 42 that operate in North America, spend a combined $50 billion on advertising each year. WFA says the result is a report that offers an indication of what leading advertisers plan to do.

WFA Chief Executive Stephan Loerke says there is “some cautious optimism returning to media spending” and he expects digital media to be biggest beneficiary. But among the 68 mega-advertisers that use radio, 15% said they plan to spend more in the medium next year while 57% predict their radio budgets will remain steady.

But the story is very different when it comes to digital audio advertising. Among those surveyed, 63% said they plan to increase their digital audio ad spending next year, with six in ten saying it will probably increase by ten percent or less.

The biggest hurdle to spending more remains the economy, with three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed saying the economy continues to be a dampener on media budgets. That is on par with the results of the question last year. Yet the data shows marketers are more optimistic.

The report shows 53% of advertisers in North America plan to spend more, while about a third (36%) expect to hold the line on ad spending. One in ten predict they will spend less, which includes four percent that said they plan to reduce their ad spending by ten percent or more.

On a global basis, WFA says 60% of advertisers surveyed planned to increase their ad spending in 2024, which is twice as much as a year ago. The only region where there was greater optimism than North America is in the Asia Pacific region.

“With 60% of respondents planning to increase advertising budgets we see a level of confidence that seems contradictory to the prevailing economic outlook. This is supported by 35% saying they will increase share of branding investments versus performance, a significant shift from this time last year, and a rise in those confirming an increase in the share of upfront commitments,” says Ebiquity CEO Nick Waters. “With advertising typically seen as a two-quarter leading indicator of the wider economy does this signify a recovery coming in mid-2024?”

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