Advanced Television

Forecast: TV ad market to grow 19% this year

September 29, 2021

GroupM has releasing the findings from its This Year Next Year UK 2021 Forecast update, which provides forecasts of media companies’ advertising revenues for 2021.

It now expects the overall advertising market to grow by 30 per cent this year vs the previous estimate of 24 per cent published in the June findings. This is mainly due to stronger than expected growth in television and digital. Further, macroeconomic conditions continue to reflect a favourable context for advertising market growth.

The key results for each media:


  • GroupM expects +19 per cent growth in advertising revenue growth for 2021, faster than the +13 per cent previously estimated
  • This started with England’s success at the Euros and continued well into Q3. September market revenues grew 28 per cent year-on-year
  • The shortening of advance booking deadlines may have reduced the barriers to entry for some advertisers, particularly digital-native brands who have been tempted by the ability to conduct short-notice tests


  • Expansion is expected to be +34 per cent this year
  • This is largely being driven by the scaled digital platforms that once again posted strong revenue gains for the last quarter, with very little sign of slowing down


  • Audio has recovered more quickly than expected, with revenue growth expected at +18 per cent vs 2020 reflecting an increase over 2019 levels
  • Going into 2022, continued growth is expected as marketers continue to experiment with the opportunities created by smart speakers and invest more in podcast content


  • The short-term outlook for print will likely feature revenue decline reflecting consolidation as driven by larger players like Future PLC, before a return to low-single digit growth by 2026
  • That said, there is faster than expected growth in digital print revenues, and the expectation now is that the share of digital will be greater than non-digital in all print categories by 2023


  • Outdoor continues its recovery as footfall returns with the easing of lockdown restrictions
  • However, the rebound has been less dramatic than anticipated and while it’s expected a return to pre-Covid levels, that may not happen until 2022

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