ZenithOptimedia is forecasting that the internet will be the largest advertising medium in 12 key ad markets in 2017, overtaking television.
Last year, the internet was the dominant medium in seven markets: Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the U.K. By 2017, it will dominate another five: China, Finland, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand. Globally, though, the internet will remain in second place, behind television. The gap between the market shares of the two media will shrink from 11 % points this year to 4 % points in 2017.
The core driver of internet growth is mobile advertising, according to ZenithOptimedia’s new Advertising Expenditure Forecasts report. Between 2014 and 2017, mobile is expected to more than double its share of global adspend, from 5.1 % to 12.9 % .
Overall, ZenithOptimedia is forecasting that global adspend will increase 4.2 % this year to reach $531 billion. Growth is expected to accelerate to 5 % in 2016, thanks in part to the 2016 Summer Olympics and the U.S. presidential elections. Adspend will then slow in 2017, in absence of these events, to 4.3 % growth.
Latin America remains a key driver of ad growth, despite a slowdown. Forecasts for the region have been reduced by 3 % age points in 2015, from 11.4 % to 8.4 % . For the period between 2014 and 2017, ZenithOptimedia reduced its forecasts for LatAm’s growth from 12 % a year to 6.9 % a year. Double-digit gains are still expected in Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela, with Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama close behind (growing at 8 % to 9 % a year) between 2014 and 2017.
The fastest growth in adspending is coming from the region dubbed “Fast-track Asia,” which includes China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. This region is the main driver of global adspend growth, and ZenithOptimedia forecasts it to expand by 9.1 % a year between 2014 and 2017. The top performers are India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam—each of which is forecast to grow at double‐digit rates over this period.
Forecasts have been upgraded slightly in the Eurozone, to 2 % this year. However, not all markets in this region are in recovery mode yet. Declines are expected in Finland (0.3 % ) this year, followed by a 1.6 % growth in 2016. For France, a 0.4 % decline is expected this year and a 0.1 % decline next year. Greece experienced a strong 7.9 % recovery in 2014, but this has been halted now. The new forecast is for 0.5 % growth in 2015.
“The internet is quickly establishing itself as the dominant advertising medium, and on current trends will overtake television by the end of the decade,” said Steve King, ZenithOptimedia’s CEO for worldwide. “However, this refers only to traditional television viewed on TV sets. The amount of time viewers spend watching online video on their laptops, tablets and smartphones is increasing rapidly, and advertisers are shifting their budgets online to follow them. The spread of internet devices and new advertising technology will give advertisers new opportunities to communicate with and learn from consumers, and to do so more effectively than ever before.”