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March 18, 2020

Iran AdTech Report 2020

Iran’s total advertising market expenditure is about $826 million. In this comprehensive report, you can find anything related to the advertising market in Iran.

One of the challenges in understanding the Iranian digital advertising market is that there has been no comprehensive report on this industry and the expanding online Persian audience. “Iran AdTech report 2020” was initially published in Farsi in 2019-2020.  Our recent studies compiled in this report take a deep dive into the ad tech ecosystem of Iran. The Techrasa market research team was joined by more than 50 recognized Iranian digital advertising and marketing experts to validate the data collected for this report. This comprehensive document comes with illustrations and statistics that will provide a better landscape view to those interested in understanding the Iranian digital advertising industry.

Considering Iran’s total advertising market, it is worth noting that diverse forms of barter and credit sum for a significant amount of campaign finances. Cash and monetary transactions account for the rest. Companies and organizations use these financial strategies to fill in the liquidity gap in the market. Therefore, we based our statistics on transaction/cash exchange records to derive the report’s estimations and reviews.

The Middle East and North Africa Advertising Market 2020 (MENA 2020)

The market trends of the advertising in Iran display similarity to the other Middle Eastern neighbors. But international reports have focused less on Iran’s share of the MENA region. The negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on advertising demand is one of these similarities. Before the Covid-19 outbreak, experts speculated the advertising market in the Middle East to experience an economic boom; to the extent that it could recover the average negative growth rate of -5%, it has been carrying since 2018. An expectation that came about with significant developments in the region’s advertisement spending trends.

  • The role of EXPO 2020 in Dubai, which officials postponed to Oct 2021 due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus
  • Qatar 2022 World Cup investments
  • Stability of the Iraqi economy
  • Impact of 5% VAT increase in UAE and Bahrain

Another similarity between Iran and other MENA countries is the growth of Internet-connected TVs and their influential role. The digital advertising industry benefits from the rise of live streaming, Over Top (OTT) content delivery systems, and new video-on-demand (VOD) providers. All of which will result in the growing number of content production contracts.

The other common subject among MENA markets has been the estimated 20% drop in the print advertising industry, which seems to have been degraded even more due to the pandemic since 2020. This sharp decline is possibly the most tangible for Iranian print agents, newspapers, and magazines.

Iran Advertising Market

The Iranian advertising market is shrinking based on international monetary scales, an event that has direct roots in the devaluation of Iran’s national currency and the unilateral US sanctions. Statistically, Iran’s total advertising market expenditure is about *$826 million (seemingly 40% lower than the average value of each country in the MENA region, a number around $ 1,430 million).

Iran AdTech Report 2020

According to surveys, the share of digital advertising in Iran is 14% and growing. According to the experts, digital advertising spends in Iran in 2019-2020 could reach 29,000 billion Iranian Rials. Since the beginning of February 2020, the outbreak of Covid-19 increased Internet usage. Therefore, traditional advertisers have frequently drawn attention to the digital space. However, despite the significant reduction of promotions in the first period of the outbreak in categories like transportation and tourism, other sections such as consumer goods and retail stores have not reduced their advertising demand and maintained their annual contracts. This year seems to be an inflammatory year for the advertising industry in Iran.

Iran AdTech Report 2020

According to the report, even before the outbreak of Coronavirus, the larger commuter size was less affected by environmental advertising (billboards, buses, and subways) than that of friends and family, national television, and digital networks to make decisions and choose a product. The ISPA poll shows that people have less trust in environmental advertising and more confidence in digital space and social media.

Number of active social media and mobile users in Iran

Iran AdTech Report 2020

It is remarkable that in 2020, Iranian online users were more active on smartphones. The mobile penetration rate in Iran has reached 142%, growing 25% compared to the previous year. In-app and mobile ads have had more reach than ads on desktop devices. The growing number of mobile users and their interest in social media has created a boom in mobile advertising. One of the new promotional trends in platforms such as Telegram and Instagram is influencer advertising, in which influential people or channels with a large number of followers on social networks promote various products and services.

We can examine Iranian audiences who are favoring video content in two sections. First, the number of viewers, especially young audiences engaged with online video sharing is increasing. Second, the growth of live-streamed content on social networks. Among the growing services in terms of audience, YouTube has experienced the fastest growth rate in Iran.

Finally, we would like to thank all the experts who participated in the data collection process of this report, as well as, our sponsor Adro which supported our AdTech series reports since 2016. Adro was acquired by Digikala in 2019. We hope that the publication of “Iran’s Digital Advertising Report 2020” or “Iran AdTech Report 2020” would be a small step towards progress and greater transparency in the Iranian market.

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We thank Adro, our sponsor for this report.

Iran AdTech Report 2020


In 2016, the Techrasa team, in collaboration with Adro, presented the first report on the digital advertising industry in Iran, a trend that has continued in 2018 and this year. After the initials of our cooperation in preparing this report, Digikala acquired Adro Ad Exchange and has since ceased its operations. This report is a compilation of more than nine months of research, data analysis, interviews with industry insiders, and is analyzed, evaluated, and classified in Techrasa.


*$826 million with the government official exchange rate of $1=42000 rial. There is an exchange rate in the free market as well which is $1=250000

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Source: TechRasa