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Digital Ad Spending Set to Surge in Southeast Asia

Strong mobile investment predicted across the region

September 28, 2017 | Media Buying

Digital ad spending in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam is poised to swell thanks to heavy mobile investment across the region.

According to eMarketer’s latest digital ad spending forecast for Asia-Pacific, all six countries will see digital ad expenditures increase by double digits in 2017 and 2018.

Mobile ad spending in these markets will more than double during the forecast period, surpassing $2.20 billion and accounting for nearly 69.0% of digital ad expenditures by 2021.

Mobile Ad Spending in Southeast Asia, 2016-2021 (billions, % change and % of digital ad spending)

Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam will see the strongest growth in mobile ad spending among the countries in Southeast Asia tracked by eMarketer. Thanks to heavy smartphone adoption, both the Philippines and Vietnam will double their mobile ad expenditures this year, while Indonesia will increase outlays by 80.0%.

For Thailand, eMarketer has upgraded its projections thanks in part to investment in the market from companies like Alibaba and JD.com. eMarketer expects to see rapid expansion of ecommerce in Thailand in the coming years, which will translate to increased digital ad spending. In 2017, digital will account for 18.5% of all media ad spend in the country. By 2021, this share will climb to 28.7%.

In Singapore, overall media growth had slowed slightly in recent years due to weak consumer spending. As the economy recovers, eMarketer expects to see increased outlays on digital, which will account for almost a quarter (23.8%) of total ad spend in the country this year. By 2021, digital ad expenditures in Singapore will total roughly $520 million, with mobile accounting for 81.7% of all digital spend.

“The developing economies of Southeast Asia are well placed to become Asia’s next top-ranking digital advertising growth markets as these economies reap the gains from a ‘development catch-up’ with favorable demographics, increasing smartphone adoption, expanding internet access and declining data prices,” said eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Shelleen Shum. “Undoubtedly, ecommerce will be a key driver in the years to come as investments from global giants pour in to shape Southeast Asia’s ecommerce scene and merchants determine how best to win the attention of a new generation of digital shoppers.”

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