Digital to pass 40% of global share as Dentsu Aegis Network forecasts ad-spend growth of 3.8% in 2019

Published on:
  • Digital advertising to grow +12%, reaching 41% of total global ad-spend
  • Digital to overtake TV advertising for the first time in the US, as the market grows +3.0% to reach US$223.6 billion
  • Rapid mobile growth to continue (+19.2%) with 29% of global ad-spend delivered through mobile platforms by the end of 2019
  • The UK and China have the world’s largest shares of digital ad spend (64% and 63% respectively in 2019)

Dentsu Aegis Network’s latest advertising spend forecast, based on data from 59 markets, predicts global growth will reach +3.8% in 2019, following +4.1% in 2018, taking total investment to US$625 billion. 

Growth continues to be dominated by digital channels, with global share breaking through 40% for the first time and digital spend overtaking TV advertising to become the leading channel in the US. However, digital’s global share remains well behind markets such as the UK (64%) and China (63%), suggesting there is room for significant further gains. 

Within digital, mobile continues to dominate growth with over a quarter of global spend (29%) now delivered through mobile devices. Again, markets such as China – where 76% of digital spend is through mobile – suggest the trend has a long way yet to run.

The global forecast reflects a slowing of growth across 10 of the top 13 advertising markets worldwide, with only Canada, India and Japan bucking the trend. 2019 will not benefit from global events such as the Winter Olympics & Paralympics, the FIFA World Cup in Russia and US mid-term elections, all of which drove ad-spend in 2018.

Tim Andree, CEO & Chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, said:

“As the world transitions to a digital economy, advertising is at the leading edge of change. Digital connectedness - driven not only by advances in technology, but the speed of consumer adoption - has fundamentally changed the shape of our business and will continue to do so. Even where digital penetration is highest - such as the UK and China – the trend shows little sign of slowing down. 

“We’re positioned to harness this opportunity for our clients – helping them adapt to a new, digital context, building the long-term health of their brands and driving business performance.”

Media trends 

· Digital ad spend to grow by +12.0% in 2019 to reach US$254 billion and 41% of global share. Digital will be the leading channel in 26 of 59 markets analysed, with the US, Czech Republic, Malaysia and Singapore joining this list for the first time.

· Strong growth on mobile continues (+19.2%) with video particularly strong (+20.0%), driven by viewing on mobile devices and the growing popularity of catch up. Social media growth forecast to remain strong in 2019 (+18.4%), despite brand safety and privacy concerns.

· Programmatic forecast to grow +19.2% in 2019 as the model starts to be adopted across other media e.g. TV, DOOH.

· TV ad-spend is forecast to grow +0.5% in the face of competition from video-on-demand services such as Netflix. However, TV continues to innovate – particularly in the US – through ad-formats, reduced ad loads and attribution solutions.

· Radio is forecast to grow +1.1% in 2019 to reach US$37 billion - 6.0% of total spend. Fast-growing technologies such as voice assistants and smart speakers are expected to push the usage of audio.

· Traditional print continues to decline (Newspapers -7.2% and Magazines -7.0% in 2019) as the focus moves to digital.

· Out of Home continues to grow (+4.0% in 2019) to reach 6.3% share, with growth driven by DOOH.

Market trends

Asia Pacific and North America forecast to contribute 42% and 30% of the global increase respectively. Western Europe will account for 15% with Latin America at 10% and Central and Eastern Europe 4%.

· China: growth forecast at +7.0% in 2019 to reach RMB 682.1billion.  Digital dominates (63% of share) and growth will continue at +12.5%, driven by rising consumer affluence. OOH is forecast to grow +10.0% whilst linear TV is forecast to decline by -4.0% as advertisers shift budgets to online TV. 

· United States: growth forecast at +3.0% in 2019 to reach US$223.6 billion, with digital forecast to overtake TV ad-spend for the first time. Linear TV under pressure with no major events, such as elections or Olympics, affecting spend and audience ratings putting pressure on price. Digital ad spend continues to grow (+12.3%) powered by mobile as time spent on devices continues to rise. 

· UK: resilient growth forecast at +6.1% in 2019 to reach £22.2 billion. Digital continues to drive the UK market with +10.9% growth forecast in 2019 and the world’s highest share of digital spend (64%). Concerns around the impact of Brexit and the general data protection regulation (GDPR) have yet to manifest in falling advertiser confidence. 

Figure 1: Growth in global advertising spend 2018-20

Year on year % growth at current prices

GLOBAL4.1 (3.9)3.8 (3.8)4.3
NORTH AMERICA3.4 (3.4)3.1 (3.2)3.6
USA3.4 (3.4)3.0 (3.1)3.6
CANADA3.7 (2.3)5.2 (5.1)5.1
W. EUROPE3.4 (2.9)3.2 (2.9)3.3
UK6.5 (4.2)6.1 (4.7)7.1
GERMANY1.0 (2.6)0.5 (2.9)0.5
FRANCE3.6 (2.5)3.1 (2.8)2.5
ITALY1.6 (1.4)0.8 (1.1)1.6
SPAIN1.8 (1.5)1.2 (1.2)0.8
C&EE8.6 (7.8)5.8 (6.6)6.2
RUSSIA12.0 (11.7)6.9 (8.5)6.7
ASIA PACIFIC4.6 (4.5)4.5 (4.4)4.9
AUSTRALIA3.7 (2.8)2.4 (2.4)2.6
CHINA7.8 (6.5)7.0 (6.0)6.4
INDIA9.6 (10.5)10.6 (11.1)11.6
JAPAN0.2 (1.5)0.6 (1.2)2.4
LATIN AMERICA9.9 (6.9)7.9 (7.3)8.6
BRAZIL7.1 (2.3)3.6 (2.6)6.2

Figures in brackets show our previous forecasts from Jun 2018

Figure 2: Growth in global advertising spend by media, 2018-20 (% y-o-y)

Global year on year % growth at current prices

Television0.8 (1.2)0.5 (1.1)1.6
Newspapers-9.1 (-7.5)-7.2 (-7.4)-6.8
Magazines-6.8 (-6.5)-7.0 (-6.4)-5.4
Radio2.7 (2.0)1.1 (1.2)1.2
Cinema3.2 (5.9)4.5 (5.2)4.5
OOH4.7 (2.2)4.0 (2.1)3.9
Digital13.8 (12.6)12.0 (11.3)10.8

Figures in brackets show our previous forecasts from Jun 2018

‑ ENDS ‑

For further information contact:

Ian Barber
Global Head of Corporate Communications
T: +44 20 3535 9814

Jaime Santisteban
Global PR Manager
T: +44 20 7570 7417

Notes to Editors:

About Dentsu Aegis Network

Part of Dentsu Inc., Dentsu Aegis Network is made up of ten global network brands - Carat, Dentsu, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, mcgarrybowen, Merkle, MKTG, Posterscope and Vizeum and supported by its specialist/multi-market brands. Dentsu Aegis Network is Innovating the Way Brands Are Built for its clients through its best-in-class expertise and capabilities in media, digital and creative communications services. Offering a distinctive and innovative range of products and services, Dentsu Aegis Network is headquartered in London and operates in 145 countries worldwide with more than 40,000 dedicated specialists.