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Social Media, Online Video Driving Ad Spend Growth

December 5, 2012
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Bolstered by Internet advertising—particularly social media and online video—global ad spend growth is forecast to strengthen over the next three years, rising from an estimated 3.3% year-over-year (YOY) growth in 2012, to 4.1% growth in 2013 and 5.6% growth in 2015, according to projections by ZenithOptimedia.

Internet ad spending is forecast to grow 14.6% YOY in 2013, while traditional media is on track to grow 1.7%.

Moreover, Internet ad spending is projected to overtake newspapers—for the first time—in 2013, and then exceed the combined total of newspaper and magazine advertising in 2015.

"Advertisers are willing to increase their budgets wherever they can achieve a strong return on investment," said Steve King, global chief executive officer for ZenithOptimedia Group. "This means that developing markets, social media, and online video are all growing rapidly, supporting continued expansion in global ad expenditure despite stagnation in the eurozone."

On a regional basis, developing markets are expected to contribute 61% of ad spend growth between 2012 and 2015, increasing their share of total spend from 34% in 2012 to 37% in 2015.


Developing markets are forecast to grow 8% on average in 2013, while developed markets rise only 2%, weighed down by the eurozone crisis.

Below, additional projections issued by ZenithOptimedia.

Overall global ad spend is projected to grow 4.1% in 2013, reaching $518 billion by the end of the year; however, regional growth levels vary dramatically:

  • North-American ad spending is now forecast to grow 3.5% YOY in 2013 and 4.4% in 2014.
  • The eurozone region, now the primary drag on the global ad market, is expected to shrink 4% in 2013, stabilize in 2014, and grow 2% in 2015.
  • Northern and Central Europe is projected to be static in 2013, then grow 2% annually in 2014 and 2015.
  • Strong growth is forecast for Latin America in 2013, up 10% YOY, then growing 9.0% in 2014 and 9.4% in 2015.
  • Asia-Pacific excluding Japan is expected to grow 5.5% in 2013 YOY; Japan's ad spend is on track to rise 8.0% in 2013 and 8.6% in 2014.

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