In response to the mass closures and social distancing measures due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), eMarketer has revised its forecast for global media ad spend this year to $691.7 billion, according to its latest report.

The amount is an increase (7%) from 2019 forecast but down from its previous report which forecasted global media ad spend to be $712.02 billion – an increase of 7.4%.

The total decrease of global media ad spend was driven by the world’s second-largest ad market, China, where ad spend is expected to reach 8.4%, down from the previous forecast of 10.5%.

Digital ad spend in China is forecasted to reach $81.06 billion in 2020, down from the previous estimate of $86.30 billion.

The report released on Thursday (March 21) also included media ad projections for digital, directories as well as print, out-of-home, TV and radio advertising.

Ad spend to pick up again?

With the developments of COVID-19 changing daily and consumer behaviour and spending habits shifting, marketers in all sectors are certainly reevaluating their budgets in a number of areas. However, eMarketer’s latest research is based on expectations that things will pick up in the second half of 2020 with assumptions that COVID-19 will be contained in the coming months as we approach the end quarter.

eMarketer said it will again update its findings as more information around the virus comes in. Furthermore, events such as the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo could have a deciding factor on the forecast revisions as talks are being discussed to postpone the event, which could impact ad spend even more globally.