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Total Ad Spending in Sweden Dropped in 2013

Mobile platforms posted outstanding results, though, with ad spending up more than 100%

2013 was another mixed year for Sweden’s ad industry, according to data from the Institutet för Reklam-och Mediestatistik (IRM). Its annual report of expenditure on advertising and marketing in Sweden found that last year’s total, including production costs, amounted to SEK65.59 billion ($10.06 billion)—a decline of 2.4% compared with 2012. Ad spending alone—excluding marketing and production—fell 2.1%.

As in most recent years, print media fared badly. Ad spending on daily newspapers dropped 13.4%, and magazines saw a 14.5% decline. Television just held its own, posting a 0.1% gain, according to IRM.

Predictably, there was much better news for digital media. Expenditure on internet ads rose by 7.9%, IRM reported, and mobile outshone all other platforms, with spending up nearly 115% in a single year, to SEK901 million ($138.2 million). The internet—with an estimated spend of SEK8.35 billion ($1.28 billion) in 2013—has already established itself as the most valuable advertising channel. TV, by comparison, attracted SEK5.94 billion ($910.7 million).

eMarketer also calculated that total media ad spending in Sweden fell last year and amounted to no more than $3.77 billion, down from $3.80 billion in 2012. (eMarketer figures exclude marketing and production costs.) But we expect spending to head upward again this year to reach $3.82 billion. However, the annual gain in Sweden will be somewhat less than the regional average of 2.3%.

There is a strong correlation between advertising investments and the level of GDP in Sweden, according to IRM; a robust economy typically means more resources for companies to invest in advertising. But since 2000, IRM noted, expenditure on advertising has not kept pace with GDP. In fact, the gap between GDP and advertising investments has widened in the past two years. This suggests that many advertisers lack the confidence to increase spending until the economic revival is more firmly established. It also reflects a continuing tendency to shift budgets from traditional to digital platforms, taking advantage of the lower costs and better return on investment available there.

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