Digital adspend highest in UK as Asia-Pacific overtakes North America

Asia-Pacific will overtake North America as the world's biggest market for digital advertising spend for the first time this year, according to research and consulting company Strategy Analytics.

Shanghai: China is driving much of the growth in Asia-Pacific
Shanghai: China is driving much of the growth in Asia-Pacific

Globally, digital adspend this year is expected to grow by 12.6% to $176.7bn, accounting for 32% of all adspend. Within digital, search will account for 52%, display ads 36% and classifieds 11%. By 2020, the global figure is forecast to hit $253.5bn – an increase of 61.5% in five years.

Spend in the east Asian region, including China, Japan and South Korea, is expected to hit $59.7bn this year, a rise of 18.2%, taking it past North America, where spending will grow 9.6% to $59.5bn.

The shift in spending power is driven by China, the second biggest national market after the US, which will increase spend 25.1% to $22.36bn. This is almost double the UK, the third biggest at $12.88bn, which is an 8% rise.

The UK, however, is far ahead of other Western European countries, with its total digital spend this year expected to be more than twice as high as that of Germany, and more than three times higher than France.

The UK also has the highest spend per capita of the top ten national markets, at $201, just ahead of Australia on $192, and the US on $174.

Regionally, though, per capita spend is far higher in North America ($165) than Western Europe ($95) and Asia-Pacific ($15).

"Advertising is about 'eyeballs' and the sheer scale of the Chinese market, along with India and Indonesia, is why Asia-Pacific will overtake North America this year, despite underlying economic weakness in some economies," said Strategy Analytics digital media director Michael Goodman.

"Asia-Pacific’s relatively low adspend per capita shows the tremendous potential for growth compared to the more saturated markets in the West, particularly with mobile phones removing a barrier to internet access in less developed markets."

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