Germany Digital Ad Spending by Industry 2020

Executive Summary

We estimate that digital ad buyers in Germany will spend €7.38 billion ($8.27 billion) in 2020—just 0.8% more than in 2019. Germany’s digital ad spending had grown at double-digit rates for each of the past three years, but the market will not escape a pandemic-induced downturn this year.

Which industry in Germany will spend the most on digital advertising?

Retail has long been the biggest digital ad spender. The €1.77 billion ($1.98 billion) that the industry will spend on digital ads in 2020 is more than double what the next-biggest spender, financial services, will lay out. Auto will drop to third place, as a 25.7% decline brings its digital ad spend to just €775.1 million ($867.9 million).

How has the pandemic changed our outlook?

In our 2019 forecast, we anticipated that ad buyers in Germany would increase digital spend by 9.0% this year, and that each vertical we cover would grow its digital ad spend by at least 7.5%. We now expect that growth will be stagnant overall, travel will reduce digital ad spend by 38.7%, and auto will spend €268.5 million ($300.6 million) less on digital ads than last year.

Which industries will post the most rapid growth in digital ad spending?

Financial services will be the only industry to accelerate its digital ad spend growth year over year, from 14.1% in 2019 to 16.7% in 2020. Healthcare and pharma will also have a strong year, growing its digital ad outlays by 16.1%. Demand for these industries’ goods and services has surged during the pandemic, and we estimate that digital ad spending will follow suit.

How much digital advertising in Germany will go to mobile devices?

This year, mobile will capture 66.1% of the digital ad market, or €4.88 billion ($5.46 billion). Retail will once again be the biggest spender on mobile ads, accounting for 28.3% of the mobile ad market, or €1.38 billion ($1.55 billion).

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report features our latest forecasts for digital ad spending in Germany across six sectors—auto, consumer packaged goods, financial services, healthcare and pharma, retail, and travel—and outlines key trends shaping these forecasts.

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