Report: Social, online video and paid pushing ad spend growth

Latest Zenith advertising expenditure report shows social media in-feed ads, online video and native advertising to be leading growth in global digital advertising

Social media in-feed ads, along with online video and paid content, are leading growth in global digital advertising, Zenith’s 30th annual latest advertising trends study claims.

According to the new Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, these next-generation formats are expected to drive 14 per cent annual growth in total display advertising between 2016 and 2019, and represent 64 per cent of all growth in global ad expenditure during the three-year period. This will see total expenditure across the category rising from US$84 billion to US$126bn by 2019.

Zenith reported most of the growth coming from social media, which is forecast to leap 20 per cent a year, along with online video (21 per cent growth per annum).

Overall, global ad spend is expected to grow 4 per cent this year to US$558bn, down from the 4.2 per cent predictions made by the group in June.

Closer to home, Zenith also downgraded spend forecasts by 0.5 per cent, stating revenue for 2017 is now expected to grow at 2.9 per cent over the year. This is below 2016 results but higher against overall economic growth predictions in Australia this year.

Not surprisingly, digital is the dominant advertising force, and is estimated to increase by 10.4 per cent this year, accounting for more than half of total billings in 2017 (52 per cent versus 48 per cent in 2016).

Another advertising category still doing well is out-of-home, which has benefitted from digitisation as well as increased inventory nationally. In contrast, print continues to be impacted, although radio and cinema remain steady, and TV is undergoing its own transformation in the face of online competition as well as programmatic advertising buying.

Online classified advertising is also on the wane, and is expected to rise by just 7 per cent per annual to US$21bn in 2019.

Paid search still showed growth thanks to mobile and location-based search functionality, chalking up US$78 billion in sales in 2016, but is lagging behind overall. However, the report suggested the rise of voice-activated devices such as Siri, Alexa and Google Home could also further shake-up this part of the market.

As a result, Zenith forecast annual growth of 10 per cent between 2016 and 2019, representing a total ad spend of $103bn.  

“Internet display is coming into its own as a brand building media, powered by social media and online video,” commented Zenith’s global head of forecasting and intelligence, Jonathan Barnard. “But the distinctions between online video and traditional television are being eroded, and the two work together much better than they do separately.”

According to the report, industries spending the most on ad spend are automotive, retail, alcoholic beverage and technology. Zenith reported government, media, real estate, travel and food declined.  

Zenith’s report comes a week after the latest annual Online Advertising Expenditure Report from IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which reported mobile as more than 50 per cent of display advertising in Australia for the first time in history.


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