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Asia-Pacific Poised to Dominate World Ad Market

Digital grabs greater share after global ad spending passes half-trillion mark

eMarketer, in collaboration with Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), released its annual Global Media Intelligence report on media trends in major markets worldwide. According to the report, China is set to become the world’s second-largest advertising market in 2013, and the second-largest digital advertising market the following year, behind the US. As a result, Asia-Pacific is expected to surpass North America in total ad spending in 2014, thanks to extraordinary growth rates in internet and mobile internet usage, as well as rapid growth in digital advertising spending.

Some other key findings include:

  • Globally, spending on advertising will rise from $538.75 billion in 2012 to $676.17 billion in 2016, as the advertising industry has proved quietly resilient despite ongoing economic hurdles worldwide.
  • Much of the growth is coming from Asia-Pacific, where, eMarketer estimates, more than 1 billion people will use the web at least once per month in 2012—nearly 47% of the global total. By 2016, this audience will number almost 1.4 billion.
  • Asia-Pacific will be home to some 2.15 billion mobile phone users this year. In China alone, the mobile consumer base will top 1 billion in 2014.
  • Asia-Pacific is currently the global leader in mobile advertising, with projected mobile ad spending of $2.56 billion this year. But North America is fast becoming the world’s leading hotspot, expanding twice as fast as Asia-Pacific. During the next four years, global spending on mobile ads will leap from $6.6 billion to $25.3 billion.
  • Economically, Latin America has shone brightly. But media spending in the region is small compared to more mature regions, though growing fast. Ad spending in Latin America topped $30 billion in 2011, eMarketer estimates, and will reach nearly $35 billion in 2012, a rise of 12%.
  • Eastern Europe has suffered from the financial turmoil afflicting many of its neighbors to the west. The resulting slowdown has come at a bad time for the advertising sector—and for digital advertising in particular, which arguably hasn’t yet achieved critical mass in several countries.

  • eMarketer estimates that media ad spending in the Middle East & Africa will reach $17.8 billion in 2012—less than one-tenth of the North American total—and approach $23 billion in 2016. Ad spending per person in the region will remain among the very lowest in the world.
  • But social networking is growing faster in the MEA than anywhere else—thanks partly to the central role played by social sites during the Arab Spring. Some 70.2% of the region’s internet users will use social media this year, according to eMarketer projections. But that group will represent just 11% of the MEA’s entire population.

As advertisers look to 2013, decisions about how and where to place marketing budgets are increasingly complex, especially for multinational players. The 2012 Global Media Intelligence Report aims to help advertisers assess the value of specific media platforms in major markets and plan confidently for measurable return on investment.


The full report, “The Global Media Intelligence Report,” is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.


Check out today’s other articles, “How Tablets Affect TV Viewing” and “Marketers Bullish on Future of Content Marketing.”

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