Privacy and brand safety in a programmatic world, a slowdown in social media growth and the advertising potential provided by gaming and podcasts are the three main themes from 2019, finds WARC, the international marketing intelligence service. The findings were drawn from a unique analysis of readership across all of this year's Global Advertising Trends reports.
James McDonald, managing editor, WARC Data, and author of the research, says: "As 2019 draws to a close and we look ahead to 2020, for our last Global Ad Trends report of the year we have reviewed all of the data published throughout 2019 to draw out the key insights and main themes for practitioners.
"A bellwether for the industry at large, the report is a good starting point to help brands and agencies alike prepare for the new year ahead."
Privacy and brand safety in a programmatic world
Changing consumer sentiment towards data use was a major topic of interest for practitioners this year. Research shows many consumers have taken steps to limit their online footprint in light of concerns around data misuse, with 44% limiting the amount of data they share online and over a quarter (27%) deploying an ad blocker.
The issue of data privacy has been noted by practitioners, with the majority stating in WARC's Marketer's Toolkit that provisions around data protection are now in place, though there is still more to do - 14% have no data protection strategy in place, rising to 23% in Asia.
A continuing problem is how these data inform ad buying, particularly programmatically, where 50% of practitioners agree that the ad tech has yet to live up to its potential. Concerns around brand safety, context and negative adjacency have not gone away. Privacy will continue to be on the agenda for 2020, not least due to the introduction of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and web browsers are starting to take a lead on the issue. Contextual advertising (based on non-personal information) is one response to this.
The social slowdown
In June's edition of WARC's Global Ad Trends, it was found that ad growth in the social and messaging sector had halved over the year. WARC's Marketer's Toolkit finds that one in five marketers intends to reduce spend on Facebook in 2020, with Twitter and Snap also facing the prospect of muted revenue growth. This could be a signal of a changing of the guard; Americans aged 13 to 16 years-old are already using TikTok more than they are Facebook and Twitter.
This cooling in growth comes at a time when trust in information on social media reached new lows and calls for greater regulation for tech and social media companies grow louder. The highest levels of mistrust are recorded in Great Britain (83%), Sweden (81%) and France (79%). The US is placed seventh on 70%. Internet adspend excluding Google and Facebook is expected to have declined for the second year running in 2019.
There is also a rising distrust in influencer content worldwide, borne out of concerns around authenticity and credibility. Indeed, in the UK, influencers are seen as less credible than politicians.
Ad potential for gaming and podcasts
Almost one in four adults has watched a gaming livestream in the past month, and this rate rises to almost one in three among 16-24 year-olds. Alphabet-owned YouTube and Amazon-owned Twitch are vying for eyeballs, but the fact that over 90% of content on the latter is live-streamed presents opportunities for advertisers looking to reach young audiences spending less time with linear TV.
Podcast advertising has potential; adspend is expected to double to $1.6bn by 2022 and the New York Times is already reporting strong revenue growth from the format. Listeners are highly engaged and research shows that ads increase brand consideration; 17% of listeners are 'much more likely' to consider a brand after hearing their ad during a podcast, while 37% are 'somewhat more likely to'. But context is key, and a standardised measurement framework is still to be formally established.
Other new key media intelligence on WARC Data across regions include:
- Consumers: half of consumers have boycotted a brand with different values
- Brands & Advertisers: retail brands account for half of in-app gaming adspend
- Media & Tech: marketers are using Instagram Stories to boost e-commerce
- Consumers: over 80% of Americans are concerned about data privacy
- Brands & Advertisers: just 39% of brands integrate consumer data in their loyalty schemes
- Media & Tech: smartphone penetration tops 80% in Brazil
- Consumers: Digital video consumption doubles in Hong Kong
- Brands & Advertisers: 76% of Southeast Asian marketers report poor customer growth
- Media & Tech: brand safety and fraud limiting programmatic in-app spend are top concerns
Europe, Middle East and Africa
- Consumers: 15% of consumers avoid linear TV and only stream
- Brands & Advertisers: silos are the biggest obstacle to data-driven marketing
A sample of the report is available to download here. The full Global Ad Trends - Three themes from 2019 study is available to WARC Data subscribers. For more information click here.
Global Ad Trends, a monthly report which draws on WARC's dataset of advertising and media intelligence to take a holistic view on current industry developments, is part of WARC Data, a dedicated independent and objective one-stop online service which rigorously harmonises, aggregates, verifies and evaluates data from over 100 reputable sources, including Nielsen, featuring current advertising benchmarks, forecasts, data points and trends in media investment and usage.view more - Hires, Wins & Business