PQ Media: Fueled by High-Octane Branded Digital Media, US & Global Content Marketing Set for Strong Recovery in 2021 After COVID-19 Snaps Decade-Long Growth Surge in 2020

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United States content marketing revenues grew 13.2% to $17.94 billion in 2019, capping off a 10-year streak of double-digit growth that COVID-19 will scuttle this year, although second-half pacing indicates a strong rebound in 2021, according to new research released by PQ Media.

PQ Media's Global Content Marketing Forecast 2020

PQ Media has tracked an incredible five-fold increase in the number of content marketers operating worldwide in just three years, reaching 7,000 operators in 2020. As a result, US and global content marketing growth are both expected to bounce back at double-digit rates in 2021.

United States content marketing revenues grew 13.2% to $17.94 billion in 2019, capping off a decade-long streak of double-digit growth fueled by several high-octane B2C digital content marketing channels, including branded mobile, social and online video, apps and games, according to PQ Media, the world’s leading provider of media econometrics. While the coronavirus pandemic will snap a decade-long growth streak in US and global content marketing growth this year, second-half pacing indicates a strong rebound in revenue growth in 2021, according to PQ Media’s just-released Global Content Marketing Forecast 2020.

The overall US print content marketing sector remained larger than the total digital content marketing sector, commanding 52% of US revenues in 2019, but the digital segment grew at a much faster rate (19.5%) and gobbled up 18 percentage points of revenue share since 2014. Among the 13 print and digital content marketing channels, the print-based branded magazines & advertorials channel was the largest at $3.79 billion, but all four of the fastest growing channels were digital, including branded mobile content & apps (up 30.3%), branded games & content tools (up 27.7%), social media & visual content (24.1%), and branded digital videos (up 24%), according to PQ Media.

A similar trend has shaped up in the US end-user sectors. While the B2B content marketing sector remains larger than the B2C segment, B2C revenues are growing faster and capturing market share. The B2C sector accounted for just under 50% of total US revenues in 2019, but because its growing at twice the rate of B2B it will become the larger of the two end-user sectors by 2024.

Meanwhile, global content marketing increased 14.4% in 2019 to $42.15 billion, with platform and channel trending similar to the US, which is the world’s largest market accounting for 43% of all content marketing revenues. Global branded magazines was the largest overall channel at $9.66 billion, branded mobile apps was the fastest growing, up 34.6%.

Of course, this year has been a different story. The far-reaching impact of the pandemic upended advertising and marketing media worldwide – with the US being among the hardest hit – although the damage to content marketing was relatively moderate compared to most other media segments. US content marketing revenues are expected to decline 6.8% in 2020, as the world’s largest market also drags down global growth, albeit, at a slower rate (-1.9%), according to PQ Media’s Global Content Marketing Forecast 2020.

The two major factors in this year’s declines are the COVID-19’s devastating effect on several vertical industries worldwide that command large shares of content marketing revenues, particularly airlines, hotels, and tourism. Amplifying the negative impact on these industries is that they all rely predominantly on print content marketing channels, such as in-flight magazines and in-room city guides. Consequently, markets with larger branded print content sectors, like the US, were hurt worse than those in which digital media has become the dominant platform, mainly in Asia-Pacific countries.

On the flip side, the cancellation of consumer experiential events, such as fashion shows, led brands to develop content marketing materials for leading influencer blogs, while the heavily hit business conference sector drove sponsors of tradeshow materials to partner with event marketers on virtual events, webinars and social media initiatives. Marketers also accelerated development of branded mobile apps to reach more consumers shopping via smartphones.

While the pandemic scuttled 10-year growth surges in all three major branded media sectors this year – content marketing, product placement, and experiential marketing – PQ Media’s research indicates that long-term media trends driving shifts in consumer behaviors and marketer spending favor all three branded media going forward, particularly content marketing.

“Content marketing emerged from the Great Recession as a vital component of omnichannel media campaigns aimed at engaging and activating younger, elusive, fickle, and distracted target consumers, especially Millennials and iGens. Brands utilizing digital content marketing are capitalizing on the increased time these demographics are spending on mobile, social, online, and streaming media by using influencers, videos, podcasts and interactive game experiences,” said PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn. “With marketing messages frequently getting lost because key audiences are media multitasking and consuming more content on wireless devices with ad-blocking software, brands are increasingly shifting investments to media platforms like content marketing that can demonstrate breakthrough engagement and activation.”

PQ Media’s data shows that the content marketing recovery has already begun in the third quarter of 2020, and that momentum is likely to gain steam throughout 2021. One of the key growth drivers is that PQ Media has tracked an incredible five-fold increase in the number of content marketers operating worldwide in just three years, reaching 7,000 operators in 2020. As a result, US and global content marketing growth are both expected to bounce back at double-digit rates in 2021.

About the Forecast:

PQ Media’s Global Content Marketing Forecast 2020 is the third edition of the industry’s recognized performance benchmark, delivering actionable market intelligence, econometric data and expert analysis of spending, growth, key trends and growth projections covering the top 20 global markets, 16 digital and print media platforms and channels, and B2B and B2C end-user sectors for the 2014-2024 period. This year’s edition also provides a New Comprehensive Directory of 7,000 Content Marketers operating worldwide by country.

All site licenses to the new report package include two deliverables:

  • In-Depth Report delivering 387 PowerPoint slides with 400+ data-driven charts, graphs, market analysis, and detailed profiles of the top 20 global markets;
  • Comprehensive Excel Databook with 100,000+ datapoints drilling deep into the top 20 countries, 16 marketing channels, and 10 years of revenue, growth, and market share data.

To download a free executive summary, table of contents, and sample datasets, click: https://www.pqmedia.com/product/global-content-marketing-forecast-2020/

About PQ Media:

PQ Media delivers actionable strategic intelligence, econometric data and expert analysis to the world’s leading media and technology companies via annual market intelligence reports, custom drill-down media research, and on-demand phone consults, live presentations, and webinars. PQ Media proprietary methodology defines, segments, sizes, analyzes and projects growth across hundreds of digital and traditional media worldwide by country, channel, and demographic.

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Patrick Quinn
PQ Media
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Leo Kivijarv
PQ Media
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