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Digital Media Spending Thrives in Western Europe

Web-based mobile spending in the region to top $1 billion

Despite the rapid growth of digital advertising, advertising across all media in Western Europe will grow more slowly than expected as a result of the region’s economic troubles, according to a new forecast by eMarketer.

eMarketer estimates total media ad spending in Western Europe will have grown 1.8% to $114.4 billion by the end of 2011. eMarketer previously forecast in June 2011 that ad spending in the region would grow 3% to $115.8 billion in 2011, before reaching $120.8 billion in 2012.

On the other hand, online advertising is growing slightly faster than expected, 12.8%, to reach $24.5 billion in 2011, eMarketer estimates. It will climb 13.9% in 2012, to $27.9 billion. The previous forecast estimated online ad spending in Western Europe would grow 12.5% to $23.1 billion in 2011, before reaching $26.3 billion in 2012.

“As economic concerns deepen in the eurozone, the shift of advertising from offline to online platforms is accelerating in all major regional markets,” said eMarketer senior analyst Karin von Abrams, author of a forthcoming report on Western European ad spending. “Advertisers value the cost-effectiveness, flexibility and accountability of digital ads more highly than ever.”

The UK will remain the region’s largest ad market, but Germany is an emerging powerhouse, with 2012 online ad spending estimated at $6.5 billion. In France, digital spending will be less than half that, at $3.1 billion. Italy and Spain are less advanced in digital terms, and are still some way from the $2 billion milestone in online ad spending.

Display advertising, which includes video, banners, rich media and sponsorship ads, is growing by double digits in Western Europe, though not nearly as quickly as in the US. eMarketer estimates display advertising in the region will have grown 17.3% in 2011, to $8 billion, while search ad spend will rise 14.9%, to $11.2 billion, during the same period.

Mobile ad spending, like video, is booming as Western European advertisers rush to take advantage of rapid consumer adoption of mobile devices and growing technical possibilities. eMarketer estimates that mobile ad spending in the region will pass the $1 billion mark in 2012 and post a CAGR of 52% through 2015.

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Check out today’s other article, “College-Age TV Watchers Have No Cords to Cut.”

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