Advertisers will spend more on social media than on print for the first time ever this year, according to Zenith’s “Advertising Expenditure Forecasts.” Social media adspend will grow 20 percent this year to reach $84 billion while ad expenditure on magazines and newspapers combined will decrease six percent to $69 billion.

The report also found that social media will be the third largest channel for advertising this year, capturing a 13 percent share of global adspend, followed by television (29 percent) and paid search (17 percent). Television advertising, however, will slip from $182 billion in 2019 to $180 billion in 2021 due to shrinking ratings in key markets.

The current US ad market makes up about half of global adspend growth at 48 percent with expectations for it having held steady at 5.7 percent growth since Zenith’s June edition of the report. That figure is in part due to targeting abilities of online platforms used by small businesses and digital brands who are investing heavily in paid search. Growing at eight percent a year, paid search advertising will also reach new heights this year as Zenith predicts it will surpass $100 billion for the first time.

Given the current political and economic uncertainty, Zenith downgraded its expectations for 2019 for global adspend. Unlike its prediction of a 4.6 percent increase in global adspend in June, this year’s prediction for global ad spend is a 4.4 percent increase. 

Similarly, forecasts for Europe have also been downgraded due to poor economic performance in key markets. The UK and Germany saw a decline in Q2 while Russia’s year-on-year growth has fallen below one percent. As a result, Zenith forecasts a 1.9 percent growth in adspend in Western Europe, down from 2.4 percent in June. Predicted adspend growth in Central and Eastern Europe have also fallen from 6.1 percent to 4.7 percent. The report attributes the decline to the absence of sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup and Winter Olympics as well as an overall weakened economy.