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Digital Growth Remains Robust in Western Europe

Anemic growth projected for total media ad spending

Worldwide, eMarketer estimates, advertisers will spend $516.95 billion across all media this year, and 21.4% of the total will come from Western Europe, while a further 4.4% comes from Central and Eastern Europe. On digital media, including desktop and mobile devices, worldwide spending will reach $116.82 billion—or 22.6% of all ad spending. Western Europe will account for 24.3% of all digital spending, with Central and Eastern Europe bringing in another 3.9% of the total. Taken together, this brings Europe just ahead of Asia-Pacific in share of digital ad spending worldwide, though still about 10 percentage points behind North America.

eMarketer’s new forecast projects an increase in worldwide total media ad spending of just 2.8% this year—that’s lower than the previous forecast of 5.2% growth predicted in April. The downward revision is primarily due to continuing economic troubles in Western Europe, where growth will reach just 1.4% for 2013. Digital will be a major driver behind what little growth in total ad spending there is.

The biggest digital spender in Europe, by far, is the UK, where advertisers are expected to shell out $9.63 billion this year on online and mobile ads, up 12% over last year’s $8.60 billion in spending, eMarketer estimates. Germany, the second-place spender in Western Europe, will come in far behind with $5.65 billion in digital ad spending this year—also representing a 12% growth rate over 2012.

Growth in spending continues to be highest in more developed markets, including Finland, Germany, Sweden and the UK, though Italy is also expected to move into double-digit growth rates later in the forecast period. The share of Western European digital ad spending coming from each country, however, is expected to remain relatively steady.

When it comes to total media spending, Germany is ahead of the UK, but not dramatically so. France, Italy and Spain round out the five highest-spending countries in the region for all paid advertising. Growth in total media spending will be anemic throughout the region, however, as many European economies remain on shaky ground. Spending in the UK is expected to grow more quickly, by between 3% to 5% each year throughout the forecast period, largely due to strong growth in digital.

eMarketer bases its estimates of digital and total media ad spending in Europe on the analysis of various elements related to the ad spending market, including macro-level economic conditions; historical trends of the advertising market; estimates from other research firms; and consumer media consumption trends.


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