Leading into 2023, forecasts for digital ad-spend growth anticipated a downturn, owing in large part to economic uncertainty. But there’s at least one commercial bright spot within the digital realm — and not surprisingly, it’s TikTok.

According to a report from WARC Media, global ad revenue on the platform is expected to exceed $15 billion in 2023, with 75% of marketers planning to boost spending. TikTok’s ad revenue will “defy the trend” of the larger market slowdown and continue growing after its past two years of upward momentum, the report predicted.

The $15 billion ad revenue estimate represents an increase of 51% from the year prior.

“TikTok plays a growing role in culture around the globe,” WARC Media head of content Alex Brownsell said in a statement. “Its potential ad reach stands at a reported 1.05 billion, including 409.1 million users aged 18 to 24. In 2022 it was the most downloaded app in the world for a third year running.”

“To launch WARC’s new Platform Insights series, we’ve taken a closer look at TikTok to provide marketers with evidence-based insights on the challenges and opportunities the platform offers at a time when media costs are increasing and media models are shifting,” Brownsell added in the statement.

Companies in nearly every sector are expected to increase their spending on TikTok in 2023. Technology and electronics are set to see the highest boost — $2 billion — with retail, clothing and cosmetics close behind. Pharma and healthcare will experience a slightly more modest gain, from about $409 million in 2022 to more than $700 million this year.

Over the course of the last 12 to 18 months, more pharma companies have joined TikTok. The goal is to take advantage of the opportunities it presents to connect with younger audiences and diverse patient populations.

AbbVie recently joined the platform and started publishing educational videos about a variety of medical conditions, ranging from eczema to Crohn’s disease. AbbVie’s arrival followed the TikTok debut of Amgen, which has accumulated more than 3,200 followers.

TikTok’s growing power in the healthcare world extends beyond marketing, with increasing numbers of young people turning to the platform to seek information on a range of medical conditions and health-related issues.. According to a recent study from Hall & Partners, nearly 18% of the U.S. population are turning to social media influencers for healthcare information and medical guidance.

The WARC report noted, however, that TikTok’s skyrocketing growth in ad revenue and influence could be compromised by political wrangling over the company’s ownership. Just this week, President Biden threatened the U.S. would ban the app unless Chinese company ByteDance sold it.

In response, a group of TikTok influencers and creators are planning to head to Washington, DC, next week to lobby against the government’s forced sale of the company, Politico reported.

To read a January 2024 article about Peloton teaming up with TikTok, click here.