Global ad spend growth being driven by Asia Pacific as marketers continue mobile focus

Asia Pacific will contribute 43% of all new global ad spend dollars by 2020 as mobile was again forecast to explode over the next three years.


The figures, contained in Zenith’s latest Advertising Expenditure Forecasts report, show mobile advertising will contribute 30.5% of worldwide ad spend by 2020, up from 19.2% in 2017.

The anticipated spend of US$187b will be more than twice that of desktop’s US$88b and only US$5b behind TV.

The report said mobile advertising will “comfortably” overtake TV by 2021 with expected annual growth of 21% a year until the end of the decade.

Overall global advertising expenditure will grow 4.5% in 2018, fractionally behind the 4.6% growth forecast in March, with anticipated growth in 2019 of 4.2% and rising to 4.7% in 2020.


Asia Pacific was described as “by far” the biggest contributor to global adspend growth and between 2017 and 2020 will generate more than US$32b out of the additional US$75bn total.

China will account for 22% of global growth – second only to the 26% generated by the US – with India contributing 5%, Indonesia 4%, Japan 3% and the Philippines 3% and South Korea 2%.

By 2020, Asia Pacific will account for almost 34% of global adspend, up from 32.6% in 2017.

“Dynamic markets in Asia Pacific are leading the way in global adspend growth, growing at 5%-6% a year,” said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s Head of Forecasting and Director of Global Intelligence.

“By the middle of the next decade it will be the biggest advertising region in the world.”

Top 10 contributors to ad spend growth 2017-2020

While mobile continues to grow, Zenith questioned its effectiveness at creating long-term awareness among potential customers and urged marketers not to under-invest in traditional channels.

Zenith global brand president Vittorio Bonori said: “The mobile device in our pockets is becoming the gateway to our media world, but its brand-building capabilities are still in question – simply applying old practices to new technology may not translate to brand growth.

“Having a clear understanding of how the entire ecosystem of paid, owned and earned media works together to drive return on investment is vital.”

Elsewhere, print advertising will continue to shrink, with ad spend on newspapers forecast to dip by an average of 5% each year until 2020 and magazines by 6%.

TV and radio will grow by only 1% a year while out-of-home advertising will see a 3% annual lift.

Cinema, however, is tipped to fare significantly better with growth of 16% a year. China will lead the way and overtook the US in 2017 to become the world’s biggest cinema advertising market in 2017.

Advertisers will spend US$2.8b through cinema in China by 202, up from US$1.2bn last year.


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