Global online ad spend ‘to overtake print by 2015’


Global advertising expenditure is forecast to grow 3.95% during 2013, and is set to overtake print ad spend by 2015, according to a new report.


The study, from ZenithOptimedia, found that in rising and mature markets online ad spend is expected to reach 9.4 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively in 2015.

In the report, ZenithOptimedia states: “Much of the growth in internet advertising is at the expense of print - we predict internet advertising will increase its share of the ad market from 18% in 2012 to 23.4% in 2015, while newspapers and magazines will continue to shrink at an average of 1% - 2% a year. We are forecasting that by 2015 online adspend will overtake print.”

Internet advertising is supplying most of the growth in expenditure by medium, driven by technical innovations, such as better measurement of exposure to advertising, greater localisation, and integration with mobile devices.

The report forecasts internet advertising to grow by 14.4% in 2013, while traditional media will grow by 1.6%.

Online ad spend growth by sector

Display is the fastest growing medium within internet advertising, with annual growth of 20%. This is being driven by the rapid rise of online video and social media advertising, each of which is growing at about 30% per year.

Continued innovation among the search engines - including richer product information and images within ads – is seeing a healthy rise in paid search.

The report goes on to predict paid search to grow by 13% a year to 2015.

Rising market’s ad spend share to grow

The report also suggests that rising markets will increase their share of global adspend from 34 per cent to 38 per cent.

ZenithOptimedia predicts that there will be some change among the top 10 advertising markets between 2012 and 2015, although USA, Japan, China and Germany are expected to stay in the top four positions.

Strengthening economy 'will boost global ad spend'

Our 3.9% forecast for ad expenditure growth this year is down slightly from the 4.1% the firm forecasts that in December, mainly because 2012 turned out better than we expected, leaving tougher comparatives for 2013. In dollar terms, the forecast for 2013 is marginally ahead of last forecast, by US$430 million.

The consensus among economic forecasters is that the global economy will gradually build up speed over the next three years. The eurozone should start to pull out of recession towards the end of this year, which will help stimulate world trade. Zenith expects the global ad market to strengthen in step with the economy, although ad expenditure growth will remain behind GDP growth for the rest of our forecast period. Its forecasts for 2014 and 2015 are unchanged at 5.0% and 5.6% respectively.

“As the global economy strengthens, more opportunities will open up for companies to expand their businesses,” says Steve King, Global Chief Executive Officer for ZenithOptimedia Group. “Advertising is an essential tool for launching new products and entering new markets, and advertisers will increase their budgets wherever they can increase the return on their investment.”


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