In late December 2019, Ad Age published its Marketing Fact Pack 2020, a compilation of statistics about the marketing and advertising industry, and related consumer behavior, and the outlooks for 2020. According to the report, worldwide media spending is anticipated to reach $509 million in total, or $1,531 per person, this year, based on data provided by media company Zenith USA. In addition, advertising spend on the internet is projected to make up for the first time ever, more than half of all U.S. and international ad expenditures—a number that’s anticipated to reach 58.9 percent in 2022.

Internet ad spend is forecasted to reach $135.1 billion in 2022, up 12.4 percent from 2019. Interestingly, all other advertising mediums will see decreases, with the exception of outdoor and cinema, which is projected to see a two-percent growth. TV is forecasted to make up 22.6 percent of ad spending by 2022, followed by radio (4.1 percent), newspaper ads (four percent), magazine ads (four percent) and out-of-home advertising (four percent). Also according to the report, the marketing services anticipated to accrue the most spend in 2020 are sales promotions, up 1.8 percent to $86.7 billion; telemarketing, up one percent to $61.4 billion; direct mail, up 2.5 percent to $47.4 billion, and event sponsorship, up six percent to $45.3 billion.

Information collected on consumer behavior is centered on how Americans spend their leisure time, with results providing insights on the potential reach of marketing efforts. On average and across all ages, Americans had 5.3 hours per day of leisure time in 2018: 4.7 hours on weekdays and 6.6 hours on weekends and holidays. On weekdays, the average American spent the most time watching TV (2.6 hours), followed by only 30 minutes of socializing and communicating. Of these consumers, many prefer to multitask, with 26.9 percent simultaneously watching TV and surfing the web on their smartphones, texting (26.7 percent), visiting websites on a computer (21 percent), talking on a mobile phone (20.5 percent), emailing on a computer (16.6 percent), instant messaging on a computer (9.3 percent), playing video games (8.6 percent), listening to the radio (8.3 percent), watching videos on a computer (7.1 percent) and reading magazines or comics (5.5 percent). Further, 28.8 percent of consumers, ages 18-34, said they binge-watch TV shows multiple times per week, while 34.4 percent do so on a weekly basis. This stat is followed only second to parents/guardians who are at home with children: 21.7 percent binge-watch TV shows multiple times a week, 20.7 percent do so weekly and 23.4 percent do so more than once a month.

This data provides insight as to the popularity and reach of the internet as a major media channel, in addition to how consumer behavior is changing to reflect the near-ubiquitous presence of the internet. When the average consumer watches TV, oftentimes they are also interacting with other advertising mediums accessible via their smartphones, computer and the radio. By analyzing consumer behaviors against the uptick in internet ad spending and usage, it’s clear that marketers know consumers are looking more to the web for their goods and services now more than ever before, and have directed their efforts accordingly. This report indicates the internet will, undoubtedly, remain the go-to source of advertising and consumer activity in 2020, and will continue to thrive in the coming years.


Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.