Global Social Media Ad Spending Expected To Exceed $50 Billion In 2019

Social media advertising spending is expected to grow 72 percent globally between 2016 and 2019, climbing from $29 billion to $50 billion and nearly catching up with newspaper ad spending. In its latest Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, advertising and public relations firm Publicis Groupe’s Zenith media agency reports that social media advertising is growing 20 percent per year and will trail newspapers by one percent in 2019—$50.2 billion compared to $50.7 billion. Zenith also notes that social media will account for 20 percent of all internet advertising in 2019, up from 16 percent in 2016.

Online video advertising’s growth is expected to trail social media closely, growing 18 percent a year and totaling $35.4 billion globally by 2019. Online video will surpass radio ($35 billion) in 2019 but still represent only 18 percent of television ad spending that year.

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

Zenith forecasts global advertising spending growth of 4.4 percent in 2017 and 2018, the same as 2016’s, and 4.1-percent growth in 2019. Its report notes, “Global adspend growth has been remarkably stable since 2010, growing at between four percent and five percent a year, generally at or below the growth rate of global GDP. Before the financial crisis, advertising would typically exaggerate the wider economy, growing faster in times of expansion and shrinking faster during recessions, with frequent changes in year-on-year growth rates. More recently the global ad market appears to have entered a phase of more stable growth.”

While ad spending growth has been stable globally, it is not evenly distributed. In the Middle East and North Africa, it is shrinking 4.9 percent a year due to conflicts and low oil prices, while the recessions in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela are limiting it to 1.7-percent growth in Latin America. China’s growth has also slowed, but it is still expanding by seven percent a year, and Zenith expects it to account to for 25 percent of global growth between 2016 and 2019. In India, Indonesia and the Philippines, ad expenditures are forecast to grow at double-digit rates to 2019.

Ad spending shrank 12 percent in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in 2015, but has recovered. Zenith forecasts eight-percent growth for 2016 and nine percent in 2017.

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