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Data: $930bn spent on social media ads since 2017

January 22, 2024

As the second-largest market in the digital advertising space, the social media ad industry has significantly grown over the years. With an estimated 4.9 billion social media users across the world and over 90 per cent of marketers using social media to promote brands and reach customers, it’s little wonder this type of advertising has become one of the biggest revenue streams in the digital advertising industry.

In 2023, brands and companies spent $207 billion (€190bn) on social media ads. However, the cumulative figures for the past six years are even more impressive. According to data presented by, brands spent $930 billion on social media advertising since 2017.

Annual Spending on Social Media Ads Has Quadrupled in Six Years

With 75 per cent of Gen Zers and almost half of Millennials making purchasing decisions influenced by social media ads, it`s no wonder brands and companies continue pouring money into this type of advertising.

According to a Statista survey, brands spent $51.3 billion on social media ads in 2017. Over the next two years, total ad spending increased by more than $20 billion per year, leading to $97.5 billion worth of social media ads in 2019. However, in 2020 and 2021 the figures exploded, driven by the surge in the use of social media platforms amid the Covid-19 lockdowns.

In 2020 alone, social media ad spending jumped by almost $35 billion or 36.2 per cent year-over-year and hit $132.8 billion. But 2021 saw even bigger growth, with total ad spending rising by 36.3 per cent or nearly $50 billion in a year to $180.9 billion. Although 2022 and 2023 saw much lower growth rates of 4.7 per cent and 9.3 per cent, total ad spending in the social media space still increased by $26 billion and hit $207.1 billion in 2023.

Statista expects brands to spend almost $220 billion on social media advertising in 2024 or nearly 330 per cent more than back in 2017. Statistics show 83 per cent of total ad spending this year will be generated through mobile, up from 70 per cent six years ago. On the other hand, desktop social media ads have seen their revenue share drop from 30 per cent to 17 per cent in this period. The entire market is expected to grow by a CAGR of 3.8 per cent in the next four years, resulting in a market volume of $255.8 billion by 2028.

US Brands Spent $340 billion on Social Media Ads Since 2017

In global comparison, the US is the largest social media advertising market, generating far more revenue than other top markets. The Statista data show US brands spent a whopping $340 billion on social media ads since 2017, or more than Chinese and UK brands combined. This figure is projected to increase by $76 billion in 2024, pushing the total seven-year spending to over $400 billion.

Chinese brands have spent $287 billion on social media ads in the past six years, or 15 per cent less than their US counterparts. However, Statista expects China to overtake the US market and become the world`s biggest social media ad spender in the next two years.

As the world`s third-largest social media advertising market, the UK hit $46.6 billion in total ad spending. Japan and Germany follow, with $44 billion and $19.8 billion, respectively.

Categories: Advertising, Articles, Markets, Research, Social Media

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