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Economically, Latin America presents a mixed picture in 2014. Output is climbing steadily in most countries, but actual growth rates have declined since 2013; regional GDP growth last year was just 3.2%, according to the International Monetary Fund. As in previous years, Brazil will account for more than half of all regional ad outlays throughout the forecast period as ad spending there passes $20 billion, eMarketer predicts.
Our fifth annual “Global Media Intelligence Report” outlines how media and device usage trends are playing out in Latin America, along with how those trends are shaping up in regions throughout the world.
TV remains by far the most influential ad medium in Latin America; ZenithOptimedia calculated that 62.0% of total ad spending went to TV last year. That share is declining, but even in 2016, TV will claim an estimated 60.2%, while newspapers will grab 16.2%. By contrast, the internet will continue to account for less than one in 10 ad dollars in the region, at 8.9%.
Broadband penetration remains relatively low in most of Latin America. eMarketer estimates that just 11.7% of the population in the region will subscribe to a broadband service in 2014. In fact, fewer than one-third of households will have a fixed connection to the internet this year, compared with over 67% in Western Europe and 74.6% in North America.
Levels of internet use, too, are rather modest, though penetration is higher in cities and among young and affluent residents. Last year was significant, as the share of Latin America’s population using the web at least once per month passed 50.0%. In 2014, regional internet user penetration will reach 54.4%, eMarketer predicts, with more than 330 million people online regularly. Nearly one-third of those web users will live in Brazil.
According to JWT SONAR’s “Digilats” report, internet users in Mexico logged the greatest time online per week in June 2013, at an average of 18 hours. In Colombia, users spent an average 17 hours per week, and in Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, the average was 16 hours.
As the digital revolution gathers pace, advertisers are more inclined to invest significant sums on those platforms. In 2014, Latin America’s digital ad market will be worth $5.47 billion, eMarketer estimates. Investments remain small by global standards; the worldwide total is projected to surpass $140 billion. But growth rates will remain high, with spending on digital ads jumping 28.7% in 2014, eMarketer projects, compared with a worldwide average of 16.9%.
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