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Constrained by the ongoing macroeconomic climate, spending on all measured media in Central and Eastern Europe will lift by just $1.68 billion in 2013, eMarketer estimates, to $22.67 billion. Gains will be slightly higher during the remainder of the forecast period, and total ad outlays will pass $29.3 billion in 2017.
In its “Advertising Expenditure Forecasts” from June 2013, ZenithOptimedia noted that in many markets sandwiched between Western Europe and more Eastern European nations such as Russia and Ukraine, advertising budgets “are essentially on hold as advertisers await more clarity on the future of the eurozone.” According to ZenithOptimedia, ad expenditure in Central and Eastern Europe rose by just 3.4% in 2012, in current prices, but will expand by 4.0% in 2013 and consolidate that recovery with 6.3% growth in 2014.
Russia, the dominant force in the region in many ways, will increasingly claim the lion’s share of the ad market. As ZenithOptimedia pointed out, the eurozone crisis affected Russia less than countries further west. eMarketer expects that with a healthy balance of payments and an expanding middle class buoying the country’s economy, ad spending in Russia will rise by 13.0% this year—nearly three times the increase in the rest of Central and Eastern Europe. A similar pattern will persist through 2017. As a result, Russia will account for nearly half of all regional ad outlays that year.
Digital ad spending is up steeply, thanks chiefly to steady progress in internet usage. More than 54% of the population in Central and Eastern Europe will go online at least once per month in 2013, eMarketer estimates—well above the global average (36.1%) but much lower than in North America (where an estimated 77.0% of residents will be regular internet users) and Western Europe (68.1%). Within four years, however, those gaps will shrink substantially. In 2017, nearly 290 million people in Central and Eastern Europe will be monthly web users, compared with 233.7 million this year.
Though dwarfed by the regional budgets for television ads, the internet ranked second in terms of ad expenditure in 2012, with 13.0% of the total, according to ZenithOptimedia, and will claim 18.9% of regional spending on all measured media in 2015. This year alone, Central and Eastern Europe can look forward to 23.0% growth in digital ad spending—nearly twice the global average—eMarketer projects. (ZenithOptimedia has suggested a 20.3% rise in internet ad outlays for the year.) Only the Middle East and Africa will register a more rapid increase. But the region’s share of the worldwide market will remain minute, at 3.9%, and ad spending on digital platforms will reach just $4.55 billion in 2013.
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