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North America Holds Tight to World's Largest Ad Spending Share

Spending in the region will reach nearly $194 billion this year

September 30, 2014 | Media Buying

Economically speaking, the US and Canada were both characterized by “firming momentum” in early 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund’s “World Economic Outlook.” In 2014, North America will remain the largest single contributor to the global ad economy and represent 35.6% of the worldwide total, eMarketer estimates, as regional spending reaches $193.86 billion. Though faster-growing markets—notably Asia-Pacific and Latin America—are gradually gaining share, between now and 2018 those increases will come chiefly at the cost of Western Europe, while North America’s share will be essentially constant.

Total Media Ad Spending Share Worldwide, by Region, 2013-2018 (% of total)

Our fifth annual “Global Media Intelligence Report” outlines how media and device usage trends are playing out in North America, along with how those trends are shaping up in regions throughout the world.

Naturally, the US accounts for the vast bulk of ad spending in North America, estimated by eMarketer at 92.9% in 2014. Moreover, we predict that Canada’s share of regional expenditure will fall below 7.0% in 2016 and continue to shrink. One reason is that the US will likely register higher annual growth in ad spending throughout the forecast period—at least 5% in most years, compared with less than 4% in Canada.

North America also tops the global digital ad spending table, as advertisers there pursue a thoroughly wired consumer base. eMarketer estimates that 79.3% of the US population—or nearly 253 million people—will go online at least once a month in 2014. In Canada, the proportion will be nearly as high, at 77.9%. Within four years, 81.2% of residents in North America will access the internet regularly.

Internet Users in North America, by Country, 2013-2018 (millions)

With the online population still growing, as well as time spent with digital platforms climbing, digital ad budgets will leap again this year. Spending on internet and mobile ads in North America will rise more than 17% to $54.34 billion, eMarketer predicts—almost 39% of the worldwide total. Growth will continue in the double digits through 2018, ensuring that digital also expands its share of total media ad spending during that period.

Surprisingly, given that the US and Canada are already among the most advanced digital markets anywhere, the growth rates for North America ad spending on digital platforms will surpass the global average between 2014 and 2018. As a result, within the US specifically, more than 30 cents of every ad dollar will be spent on digital media in 2015; in Canada, the same milestone will be passed in 2018. This year, advertisers in North America will devote an estimated $194.95, on average, per internet user in the US and Canada. In 2018, that sum is predicted to pass $296.

It’s here! Global Media Intelligence Report 2014

The “Global Media Intelligence Report” is eMarketer’s largest and most comprehensive snapshot of the state of media usage and spending worldwide.

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