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Digital to Account for One in Five Ad Dollars

Growth in digital to remain in double digits through 2015

January 9, 2013

Worldwide, digital ad spending passed the $100-billion mark for the first time last year, according to new eMarketer estimates, and will increase by a further 15.1% in 2013 to $118.4 billion.

That will put worldwide digital ad spending levels—including online and mobile advertising spending, other than messaging-based formats—at 21.7% of the total spent on ads in all media this year, and on track to account for more than one-quarter of all ad spending by 2016.

Digital Ad Spending Worldwide, 2010-2016 (billions, % change and % of total media ad spending)

North America accounts for the greatest share of all digital ad spending, at 39% as of the end of 2012. As emerging markets in Asia-Pacific and Latin America up spending, however, North America and second-place Western Europe will lose share slightly throughout the forecast period. By 2016, 36.7% of spending will come from North America, and 23.7% from Western Europe. By the same year, Asia-Pacific will contribute 29.8% of all digital ad spend in the world.

The fastest growth in spending will come from the emerging markets of Indonesia, India and Mexico—though that growth is coming from a relatively small base of spending.

Digital Ad Spending Growth Worldwide, by Region and Country, 2011-2016 (% change)

As a percent of total ad spending, Western Europe’s digital spending is slightly ahead of North America’s, at 24.9% this year vs. 24.6%. Asia-Pacific is not far behind, though in the world’s lagging region, the Middle East and Africa, just 7% of all ad dollars go to digital media. eMarketer expects this percentage to nearly double by 2016, but the region will still be far behind the near-30% of ad spending devoted to digital in Western Europe and North America.

North America and Western Europe also boast the highest regional levels of digital ad spending per internet user, at $168 and $112 this year, respectively.

eMarketer forms its estimates of digital ad spending around the world based 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 internet usage trends.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Social Marketers Dive into Mobile” and “In Canada, Companies Slow to Get on the 'Big Data' Bandwagon.”


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