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The US advertising market will grow 4.3% to $305.3bn in 2023, slightly behind China, according to WARC’s latest regional advertising spend forecast. After a difficult 2022, China’s ad market is expected to achieve 5% growth, led by investment in social media. 

With a 12% year-on-year growth, search – forecasted to collect $99.5bn in 2023 – will continue its position as the channel with the highest ad spend in the US. Search took over linear TV by 2020, snatching $7.1bn additional ad dollars. This year, Google is expected to draw two-thirds of forecasted global ad spend on paid search ($256.5bn), per WARC monitoring. 

US ad investment in linear TV is expected to see a 7% decrease. With a total of $54.6bn of ad dollars going to linear TV, the channel will still be ahead of online video/OTT, though the gap is closing. Online video/OTT is forecasted to grow 11.8% this year, reaching $38.5bn, as subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) companies launch ad tiers to expand their revenues. 

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Against the backdrop of a looming Big Tech winter, social media is forecasted to continue its growth momentum, after surpassing linear TV ad investment in 2021 for the first time with $57.7bn, and is expected to grow 4.5% this year.

Fully coming out of the pandemic, cinema is forecasted to see a 70% growth in ad spend in 2023 – the highest of all channels – and achieve $604m in investment, but this remains short of pre-pandemic times when it recorded $759m in 2019. Automotive ($118m), food ($92m), and media and publishing ($84m) are the top-three spending categories in cinema.

Share of spend for the technology and electronics sector - which recorded the highest ad share growth across the past five years - is also forecasted to shrink to 7.72%. Last year, the sector was forecasted to grow against the economic headwinds in 2023, especially in the US where a 14.3% year-on-year growth was expected, but this outlook has been revised down to a mere +2.5%, per WARC’s latest ad spend forecast.