Digital to Reach Almost Half of Asia Pacific Share as Dentsu Aegis Network Forecasts Ad-spend Growth of 4.5% in 2019

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1. Digital advertising in Asia Pacific to grow +12.7%, reaching 49% share of total Asia Pacific ad-spend.

2. Rapid mobile growth to continue (+19.8%) with 27% of Asia Pacific ad-spend delivered through mobile platforms by the end of 2019.

3. China will have the world’s largest shares of digital ad-spend (63% 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 USD625 billion. In Asia Pacific, there is a predicted +4.5% growth in 2019, following +4.6% in 2018, taking total investment to USD220 billion. 

Geographically, Asia Pacific will be a major growth region, contributing 42% of the global increase. Comparatively, North America accounts for 30%, Western Europe accounts for 15% with Latin America at 10% and Central and Eastern Europe at 4%. 

Growth continues to be dominated by digital channels, with digital dominating close to half of Asia Pacific’s share of total ad-spend. Digital will be the leading channel in 26 of 59 markets analysed, with Malaysia and Singapore joining this list for the first time. 

Asia Pacific’s digital share (49%) remains ahead of the digital share of total global ad-spend (41%). Among the 14 Asia Pacific markets surveyed, China has the highest digital share (63%), followed by Australia (52%), New Zealand (49%) and Hong Kong (48%). This suggests room for further gains for the region. 

Within digital, mobile continues to dominate growth with over half of Asia Pacific spend (58%) 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.

Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific, said:

“Asia Pacific continues to see growth through digital connectivity – driven not only by advances in technology, but the increasing speed of consumer adoption. This region has been leading the way in the uptake of new technology for quite some years, and the world leading growth in digital seen in this forecast continues to show Asia Pacific at the forefront of new developments in this area. In China where digital penetration is highest, the trend shows little sign of slowing down.”

Key market trends

1. China: growth forecast at +7% in 2019 to reach RMB682.1 billion. 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. 

2. Australia: growth forecast at +2.4% to reach AUD16.3 billion in 2019. Growth will be driven by the upcoming state election (NSW) and Federal election during Jan – Apr, and part of Q2 of 2019. Digital continues to drive advertising revenue growth and digital media is expected to increase by 5.7% in 2019. Online video is expected to reach the AUD2 billion market value by 2019. Mobile is expected to increase by 28% to a total advertising market value of AUD5.3 billion in 2019, representing 62% of the total digital spend.

3. India: growth forecast at +10.6% to reach USD10.1 billion in 2019. Television share continues to dominate ad-spend at 38.7% in 2019 with India being the second largest subscription television market in the Asia Pacific region in terms of number of subscribers. There will be a slight but gradual improvement in digital forecast at +0.1%, representing 20.9% of total advertising spend with mobile accounting for 52% of total digital spend. 

Global media trends 

1. Digital ad-spend to grow by +12.0% in 2019 to reach USD254 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.

2. Strong growth on mobile continues (+19.2%) with video particularly strong (+20%), 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.

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

4. 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.

5. Radio is forecast to grow +1.1% in 2019 to reach USD37 billion - 6.0% of total spend. Fast-growing technologies such as voice assistants and smart speakers are expected to push the usage of audio.

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

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

Figure 1: Growth in global advertising spend 2018-20f

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

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For further information contact:

Pei Xuan Lim

Regional Communications Associate Director, APAC

T: +65 6911 9321


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.