Germany Digital Ad Spending by Industry 2021

A Mixed Bag, but Still Double-Digit Growth Across the Board

About This Report
After a complicated 2020, most industries in Germany will accelerate their digital ad spending growth in 2021. The rebound for travel and auto will underwhelm, but retail spend will soar.
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Executive Summary

We estimate that digital ad buyers in Germany will spend €9.49 billion ($10.82 billion) in 2021, a 20.0% year-over-year (YoY) increase. In 2020, growth was only 8.0%, but Germany’s digital ad spending had expanded by double digits for several years prior to the pandemic, and we expect that trend to return.

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

The retail industry has long led Germany in digital ad spending, and it will do so again this year at €2.26 billion ($2.58 billion), representing a 23.8% share of the national total. Auto will be in a distant second place, at €1.21 billion ($1.21 billion). No other industry will spend more than €1 billion, although financial services will join that elite club next year.

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

The travel industry had such a disastrous 2020 that its minimal 2021 rebound from a low base will end up as the fastest growth rate. Travel’s 26.4% increase in spending will lead the pack, with retail (25.6% growth) and consumer packaged goods (CPG) (21.2% growth) following. Travel’s spending declined by 42.7% last year, however, so its growth this year still leaves the industry well behind its 2019 position.

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

This year, mobile will capture 69.2% of the digital ad market, or €6.57 billion ($7.49 billion). Retail will once again be the biggest spender on mobile ads, accounting for 27.7% of the mobile ad market, or €1.82 billion ($2.07 billion). Retail will skew the heaviest away from desktop/laptop advertising, with 80.6% of its spending going toward mobile devices. Healthcare and pharma will be the only industry that spends a minority of its budget on mobile (49.0%, for €320 million [$363.3 million]).

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

KEY STAT: Travel, retail, CPG, and financial services will all increase their digital ad spending by more than 20% this year. Auto and healthcare and pharma will grow their spending more modestly.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Overview of Our Digital Ad Spending Numbers by Industry
  3. Digital Ad Spending by Device
  1. Digital Ad Spending by Industry
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. Read Next
  1. Media Gallery

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Ethan Cramer-Flood


Ross Benes
Senior Analyst
Zach Goldner
Junior Forecasting Analyst
Karin von Abrams
Principal Analyst