Market data from ANA AIMM shows investment in diverse-owned media made up 2.5% of total ad spend in 2023

By Parker Herren

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Although Black-owned media received the highest total investment, Asian-owned media saw investment grow the most in 2023.

Credit: Getty

Investment in diverse-owned media grew in 2023, though by far less than in the year prior as the industry navigates the long-term trajectory for growing the marketplace.

In total, ad dollars committed to diverse-owned media in 2023 increased to $1.9 billion, excluding programmatic advertising, from $1.7 billion committed in 2022, according to new research from the ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM).

While investment continues to increase, this falls below the 88.9% increase from $900 million to $1.7 billion between 2021 and 2022. The data shows what some industry leaders are calling a level set from a rush in recent years to invest equitably in media, particularly Black-owned media.

In total, ad dollars committed to diverse-owned media in 2023 increased about 9% to $1.9 billion, excluding programmatic advertising.

Credit: ANA AIMM, based on SMI data.

Although Black-owned media received the highest total investment, Asian-owned media saw investment grow the most in 2023, increasing 25% year-over-year to $433 million. Investment in Black-owned media increased 6% to $991 million, and Hispanic-owned media saw an increase of 4% to $223 million.

The market

The overall media market has been plagued by harsh conditions, with some buyers calling the current state of investment the softest in decades. But buyers have held strong in conversations over the past year that budgets allocated to diverse-owned media have not been the first cut as they might have been historically.

“From a multicultural perspective, [Omnicom Media Group] was able to buck the trend of overall investment being down,” said Michael Roca, executive director of Elevate, OMG’s arm focused on diverse media and marketing. “For diverse investment, we were up double digits in the marketplace.”

Another agency executive for diverse investment, who spoke to Ad Age on condition of anonymity, said their agency has quadrupled investments in diverse-owned media over the past two years. They said about 10% of their agency’s diverse-owned investment was done programmatically in 2023.

Agency executives argue that the smaller growth in 2023 compared to the two years prior is part of the process of evening out a long-term trajectory of growth for investment in diverse-owned media. “A lot of money began flowing their [diverse-owned media’s] way that before was non-existent or very small and some of them made projections that that was going to last forever,” the executive said. “Because many advertisers were not previously doing anything in this space, the first reaction of the industry was I need to do something, whatever that is. And now we are level setting what those numbers look like.”

The agency executive said that among some 250 diverse-owned media partners, about 10% are delivering on the terms of the client’s ad deals and benefiting through increased investment, while the rest are falling behind.

The goal for diverse-owned media partners is to invest in their growth beyond needing the support of budgets set aside for diverse-owned media, said Roca, who listed media companies such as Canella Media and Urban One among partners that can compete among any brand’s standard media plan.

“For many diverse-owned partners, they go out and tell a great story, but the delivery part and performance part is where we're trying to help them, and to get them on par with other partners.” said Roca. “Some partners aren’t getting the investment that they want because they’re not yet at the performance level that typical media plans require.”


Last year’s inaugural ANA AIMM GrowthFronts put advertisers, agencies and diverse-owned media companies together across approximately 500 meetings held at the event. Across the 40 media companies that participated in the GrowthFronts, investment grew 34% year over year

This year, between 1,000 and 1,500 meetings are planned between advertisers and media partners at the event, which is taking place from Feb. 28-29 in New York City. So the organization anticipates significant growth in dollars flowing to the participating companies, said Carlos Santiago, co-founder of ANA AIMM, which will be needed to meet the ANA’s industry benchmark for committing 6.5% of total ad investment to diverse-owned media by 2025.

According to ANA AIMM, agencies would need to grow budget allocations for diverse-owned media by 60% this year and next to achieve the mark. While the percentage sounds astronomical given current trends, “it’s really pennies in an industry where ad spend is almost $100 billion,” Santiago said.

“We are making progress,” said Santiago, adding that “diverse-media owners obviously would love to see even faster growth, not just because they’re in the trenches, but also because they have been waiting for years.”

The GrowthFronts represents one of many doors that have been opened in recent years to build relationships with diverse-owned media companies not just to trade dollars over ad inventory, but for marketers to invest in content production, building programmatic capabilities and creating unique activations to better interact with diverse audiences.

“Considering that there was no growth in the industry, it is remarkable that there was a 9% increase among diverse-owned media,” said Santiago.

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