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Media Buying

In response to the shifting advertising landscape, we’ve cut over $5 billion from our US ad spend forecast for 2023, placing it at $278.59 billion. Why the downgrade? Well, for one, last year’s macroeconomic factors are spilling over into this year. And while that may resolve itself in time, there’s another, more permanent issue advertising is facing: privacy changes.

We all know that 2023 will be the year of retail media, social commerce, and lingering economic uncertainty. But here are some more targeted possibilities for the year ahead.

A quarter of US adults pay the most attention to TV commercials, making them the top ad format, followed closely by online ads, per CivicScience. Magazine and newspaper ads rank near the bottom, with only 4% and 5% paying them the most attention, respectively.

More people in the US are listening to digital audio, and those who already do are spending more time listening.

In 2022, both YouTube and TikTok captured 46 minutes of their adult US users’ attention each day, per our estimates. Netflix reigned supreme at 60 minutes daily. Time spent with TikTok will tick up every year through 2024, when it will reach 48 minutes per day, but it won’t pass Netflix anytime soon.

The ad industry will never be the same after 2022: Between the ad downturn, regulation, and new channels, the ad industry entered a new era.

Google expands its cloud but pivots to a simplicity sprint to counter the down economy: Innovation could be dialed down further for 2023 as Big Tech’s most multifaceted behemoth rethinks its strategies.

Apple will begin its advertising ascendancy in the coming year: The tech giant could see spectacular ad growth the remainder of the decade.

November ad spend shows the pandemic boom is over: The typically lucrative period declined 8% year over year as the market finally stabilized after the pandemic.

2022 brings a dramatic change in fortunes for some social networks: Contracting ad spending growth prompts big downgrade in our forecast.

Meta defends its Within acquisition before an antitrust judge: It’s becoming increasingly clear the company needs VR to replace lost social media ad revenue.

Gen Zers aren’t watching appointment TV. They’re not even the biggest cohort of connected TV users. (That distinction goes to millennials.) Instead, Gen Z is watching short digital videos and looking for new ways to interact with friends. Here are five charts on what Gen Z’s media consumption looks like.

Netflix’s lead in viewership over other services isn’t as large as it once was. But Netflix is still streaming’s king.

In 2023, 58.5% of Meta’s $121.90 billion of ad revenues worldwide will come from Facebook, per our forecast. The remaining 41.5% will come from Instagram, whose ad revenues are growing faster than Facebook’s, which will decline in 2022. For the next two years, Instagram will continue to outpace Facebook by this measure.

Will TikTok’s China ties stymie its progress in US? Legislative and regulatory suspicions and scrutiny pile up even as the app gains favor with marketers and users.

The long goodbye for TV advertising: The longtime de facto ad channel kicked off a slow death that will take years to complete as digital channels claim the throne.

As the costs of doing business increase, direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands are struggling to find and keep customers. Some brands are selling their products through Amazon to capitalize on its search power. Others are turning to brick-and-mortar stores to help out.

Retail and streaming platforms poised to gain digital ad revenue in 2023: Spotify and other newer players in advertising will see faster growth than Meta and Google.

Netflix experiences growing pains as an ad platform: It misses some viewership guarantees by a mile—though it’s trying to make up for it.

We cut $5.51 billion from our US digital ad spending forecast for 2023, due to the fallout from Apple’s privacy changes, Google’s deprecation of third-party cookies, and a stricter regulatory environment. Along with inflation and a potential recession, these challenges will depress spending until 2025, when it should return to previously projected levels.