Report: Australian ad spend to tip $17bn in 2019

Latest GroupM media ad spend forecasts show Australia's spending grew 5.6 per cent in 2018, off the back of hefty digital advertising investment

Australia’s ad spend is expected to grow by 4.4 per cent to $17.2 billion in 2019 off the back of strong display advertising investments and as TV records its first growth in six years.

According to the latest GroupM biannual ad spend forecast report, Australia’s ad spend in 2018 is on track to reach $16.5 billion, an increase of 5.6 per cent year-on-year. 

Paid search proved the largest single channel at $3.8 billion, increasing 7.3 per cent annually. This was followed by display advertising ($3.3 billion), reflecting YOY growth of 16 per cent. In total, digital media spend in 2018 will reach $8.7 billion in 2018, representing 53. 1 per cent of total media spend for the year.

By contrast, total TV media spend was $3.68 billion in 2018, with the top area of investment metro TV ($2.5 billion, up 2.1 per cent). At the other end of the scale, subscription TV is experiencing a 23.1 per cent drop in ad spend to $684 million in 2018.

The media agency is now forecasting Australia’s media spend will rise by 4.4 per cent in 2019 to $17.2 billion. Notably, total TV spend is expected to chalk up its first year-on-year growth since 2013, rising by 1.2 per cent to $3.7 billion, buoyed by AVOD growth of 17.5 per cent.

Across the board, digital will be by far the largest area of investment for Australian advertisers with 54.9 per cent of total media spend, trailed by TV (21.6 per cent) and print (9.8 per cent). Outdoor advertising, which is showing 11.6 per cent YOY ad spend growth in 2018, is expected to slow to 4.5 per cent in 2019, leaving its share of the total market by channel at 5.7 per cent.

Top spending categories in 2018 are computers, accommodation, gambling/gaming, communications and appliances, while those with the biggest falls in spending are pharmaceuticals, real estate, insurance and motor vehicles. These reflect similar trends globally.

In its worldwide report, the agency giant said global advertising investment growth in 2018 was 4.3 per cent, down from its mid-year prediction of 4.5 per cent. In 2019, it’s now predicting 3.6 per cent global growth, or $19 billion, again a 0.3 per cent forecast downgrade on figures reported earlier this year. 

GroupM’s still strong but slightly fraying 2018 views tie to macro questions: Tighter money, China’s slowing growth, and the potential for pricey trade wars,” said futures director, Adam Smith.

For example, while China remains the largest contributor, 2019 represents the sixth consecutive year of single-digit ad growth and its lowest growth rate to date. It’s also now on par with the growth rates reflected in the US, although the reported noted Chinese consumers are still sustaining an 8.5 per cent annual run rate.

India is expected to perform much better in coming years, and the report pointed out HSBC expects India to become the world’s third-largest economy by 2023. GroupM added India’s prospective 2019 growth is comparable to Australia, Russia and Brazil combined, rising to US$1.4 billion and putting it behind China ($4.8 billion) and the US ($4.3 billion).

In the US meanwhile, total market growth has been forecast down from 3.4 per cent to 2.9 per cent, a reflection of the challenges in the US economy.

“Marketers continue to study their investments in traditional media, and have increased their scrutiny of all phases of digital, with a continued emphasis on verification and value,” the report stated on US conditions.

Globally, GroupM also reported Australia as the eighth-largest market, and one of the top 10 countries expected to provide more than 80 per cent of all ad spend growth in the New Year.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

 

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