WARC forecasts global adspends to grow 4.3S% to $616bn

22 Feb,2019

By A Correspondent


New forecasts based on data from 96 countries by WARC predict a 4.3 per cent rise in global advertising spend this year, pushing total investment to over US$616bn. This follows on from a 5.4 per cent rise in 2018 – the strongest growth since 2011 – according to WARC’s latest Global Ad Trends report.


Despite a healthy topline growth, the research suggests that total internet adspend – inclusive of desktop, mobile and tablet – will decline by 7.2 per cent this year beyond the Google and Facebook duopoly. Conversely, ad income for the two online giants is expected to rise 22.0per cent to US$176.4bn, equating to a combined share of 61.4per cent of the online ad market (up from 56.4per cent in 2018).


Said James McDonald, Data Editor, WARC, and author of the research: “While advertising investment is stable at the top line level – maintaining a 0.7per cent share of global GDP since 2011 – the market’s undercurrents have changed dramatically in recent years. The amount of ad money available to online publishers beyond Google and Facebook is now in decline, and the repercussions are potentially far-reaching, with several high-profile announcements of job cuts seen among online publishers already this year. Print publishers have already been severely hit by the migration of ad dollars online, and while traditional media excluding print have fared admirably to date, their collective take of ad investment is also trending downwards.”


The report states that Internet is the driving force in global advertising growth, with spend expected to rise 12.1 per cent to US$287.4bn worldwide this year. This would give internet a 46.Z per cent share of media spend globally, but in the US – the world’s largest ad market – internet is expected to account for over half (54.0per cent) of all media spend for the first time this year.


Within internet, mobile adspend is expected to rise 21.9 per cent to reach US$165.7bn in 2019, placing it as the second-largest ad channel worldwide across 96 markets; however, across WARC’s 12 key markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK, US – mobile is predicted to overtake TV to become the largest ad channel this year.


Globally, TV will remain the largest single advertising medium in 2019, attracting US$195.5bn, though this represents a 1.3per cent dip from 2018. Despite this, TV spend will have grown 0.4per cent each year on average since 2011.


Print continues to lose share, with a further dip of 9.5per cent predicted in 2019. Legacy news publishers in particular are feeling the impact, with many looking to diversify their businesses to make up for lost ad revenue.


Out of home (OOH) is benefitting from the increasing penetration of digital sites in advanced markets, with digital out of home (DOOH) expected to account for all of the 2.3per cent growth in OOH this year (as it already does in the UK).


Elsewhere, radio adspend is forecast to grow 1.0per cent to US$32.5bn this year, following on from a 1.2per cent rise in 2018. Cinema is expected to be the only ad channel other than mobile not to lose share of global advertising spend this year; cinema spend is expected to rise 7.7per cent to US$4.7bn.



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