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TikTok ad spend growth slows amid ban talks

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TikTok ad spend growth slows amid ban talks

TikTok’s advertising momentum is slowing as uncertainty over a potential U.S. ban looms.

By the numbers:

  • Ad spend on TikTok grew 19% year-over-year in March, cooling to 11% in April and 6% in May.
  • Total ad spend from January to May 2024 reached $1.5 billion, up 11% from the same period in 2023.
  • Nine out of 20 advertising categories saw month-over-month increases in April.

Between the lines. Advertisers are shifting their focus on TikTok from brand awareness to more performance-driven ROI goals.

  • CPMs for upper-funnel metrics were up 15% year-to-date at one agency.
  • Click-through rates increased 27% in April compared to March.

Why we care. Despite the uncertainty that the potential ban brings and some slow growth, the platform still shows strong engagement metrics, which advertisers should keep considering in their media mix.

Stagnating numbers. TikTok’s user growth is stagnating, particularly among younger demographics.

  • The percentage of weekly users aged 18-24 dropped from 35% in 2022 to 25% this year.
  • Users aged 35-44 increased from 16% to 19% in the same period.

The big picture. Despite concerns, advertisers still find value in TikTok’s massive user base and engagement rates.

What to watch. How advertisers and users respond to ongoing discussions about TikTok’s future in the U.S. market.

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About the author

Anu AdegbolaAnu Adegbola

Anu Adegbola has been Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land since 2024. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media, video and more.

In 2008, Anu’s career started with

 delivering digital marketing campaigns (mostly but not exclusively Paid Search) by building strategies, maximising ROI, automating repetitive processes and bringing efficiency from every part of marketing departments through inspiring leadership both on agency, client and marketing tech side.


Outside editing Search Engine Land article she is the founder of PPC networking event – PPC Live, host of weekly podcast PPCChat Roundup, and brand evangelist at ClickTech. 


She is also an international speaker with some of the stages she has presented on being SMX (US), SMX (Munich), Friends of Search (Amsterdam), brightonSEO, The Marketing Meetup, HeroConf (PPC Hero), SearchLove, BiddableWorld, SESLondon, PPC Chat Live, AdWorld Experience (Bologna) and more.

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