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Growth Returns to Germany's Advertising Market

Spending on internet and mobile ads grew most in 2013, while newspapers saw another dismal year

After a year in the doldrums, ad spending in Europe’s strongest economy is finally heading up. Germany’s Zentralverband der deutschen Werbewirtschaft (ZAW) forecast ad spending in the country would rise 2% in 2014. Last year, the market was sluggish but stable; overall ad spending registered a marginal decline of 0.1% to an estimated €25.05 billion ($33.40 billion), ZAW reported, while spending across the 12 media categories measured by the source dropped 1.7% to €15.25 billion ($20.34 billion).

TV enjoyed the highest income from ads, at nearly €4.13 billion ($5.50 billion) in 2013, 27.0% of the total, and up 2.2% in the year. Daily newspapers retained their second-place ranking, but their ad income dropped 9.4% year over year, to less than €2.93 billion ($3.91 billion), according to ZAW. Spending on weekly and Sunday newspapers plunged by nearly 12%—the largest percentage decline.

Spending on online and mobile platforms ranked fifth overall, at more than €1.15 billion ($1.54 billion)—an annual gain of 9.3%. Expenditure was also higher for outdoor advertising (up 2.7%), trade journals (up 3.6%) and radio (up 3.7%), though none of these categories saw spending pass the €900 million ($1.20 billion) mark.

Further evidence of growth came from Nielsen. According to its analysis, companies in Germany spent about €6.3 billion ($8.4 billion) on advertising on all measured media in Q1 2014—2.9% more than in Q1 2013. The greatest annual increase was in February 2014, when ad spending was 3.5% higher than in February 2013. Online accounted for 11% of all quarterly spending, or €712 million ($949.3 million), Nielsen calculated.

Like ZAW, eMarketer also estimates that digital ad spending in Germany rose by over 9% in 2013 and will grow by a further 9.0% this year. Mobile in particular looks set for a boom, as the number of mobile phone users continues to rise. According to eMarketer projections, Germany already has by far the largest population of mobile users in Western Europe, and some 68.0 million residents will own at least one mobile phone this year.

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