Social Media Ad Expenditure to Hit $50bn in 2019

Tyrone Stewart

SocialReach.jpgGlobal advertising expenditure in social media is set to grow 72 per cent between 2016 and 2019, rising from $29bn (£23bn) to $50bn. Social media advertising is growing at 20 per cent a year, and will account for 20 per cent of internet advertising in 2019 – up from 16 per cent in 2016. By 2019, social media will be just one per cent smaller than newspaper advertising ($50.2bn versus $50.7bn).

According to Zenith Optimedia’s latest forecasts, online video is growing nearly as quickly as social media – at 18 per cent a year – and by 2017 it will total $35.4bn worldwide, fractionally ahead of radio advertising ($35bn). This is largely down to the spread of mobile devices, high-speed mobile data connections and improvements to handset displays. Despite this, by 2019, online video advertising will only be 18 per cent the size of TV advertising.

Global advertising in 2017 is expected, despite the political uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the US presidential election, to grow at the same rate as the 2016 estimate (4.4 per cent).

Continued steady growth in global adspend is expected in 2018 (4.4 per cent) and 2019 (4.1 per cent). According to Zenith, global adspend has had stability since 2010, growing between four per cent and five per cent a year.

“Social media and online video are driving continued growth in global adspend, despite political threats to the economy,” said Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting at Zenith.

Global adspend has been spread unevenly across the world. In the Middle East and North Africa, amid conflict and low oil prices, adspend is shrinking at 4.9 per cent a year – while Latin America is growing at just 1.7 per cent due to Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela all suffering recession.

China has, although slowing over the last few years, seen seven per cent growth a year and is the second-largest global ad market behind the US. Zenith expect China to contribute 25 per cent of the growth in global adspend between 2016 and 2019. Elsewhere in Asia, India, Indonesia and the Philippines are all expected to grow at double-digit rates each year to 2019. These three markets should contribute 12 per cent to global adspend growth to 2019. Both India and Indonesia accounted for $7.5bn global adspend in 20116, while the Philippines accounted for $3.5bn.

Barnard added: “Just four markets in Asia will provide more than a third of global ad growth to 2019, counterbalancing recession in Latin America and the Middle East.”

In Eastern Europe – notably Russia, Ukraine and Belarus – adspend shrank 12 per cent in 2015, due to conflict and sanctions. This year, however, eight per cent growth is expected, followed by nine per cent growth in 2017. These markets will contribute two per cent to global adspend growth between 2016 and 2017.