2016 will see Asia-Pacific overtake North America as the
world’s biggest market for digital advertising spend for the first time,
according to the latest Advertising Forecast from research and consulting firm,
Digital ad spend in Asia-Pacific will rise 18.2% in 2016 to $59.7 billion,
whilst North America will rise 9.6% to $59.5bn. Asia-Pacific’s rise to the top
is driven by China which will grow 25.1% to $22.4bn. China is the world’s
second biggest country for digital spend, behind the U.S. ($55.6bn). Together,
these two countries will account for 44% of global digital ad spend this year.
Alongside China, Japan (4th) and Korea (6th) means Asia-Pacific accounts for
half of the six biggest digital markets globally. By 2021, Asia-Pacific’s
digital ad market will be 33% bigger than North America’s.
Michael Goodman, Strategy Analytics’ Digital Media Director, says: “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. Millions just can’t
compete with billions.”Spend per capita
In terms of how much is spent on digital advertising in relationship to the
size of the population, North America spends by far the most per person ($165)
followed by Western Europe ($95). Although Asia-Pacific is the largest market
by spend, its huge population means spend per person ($15) is very low compared
to the West.
Goodman notes, “Asia-Pacific’s
relatively low ad spend 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. This
will grow the online population dramatically and, consequently, ad spend will
Overall, digital ad spend globally will rise 12.6% in 2016 to $176.7 billion –
a 32% share of total advertising spend. Within digital ad spend, search
advertising will account for 52%, display advertising 36% and classifieds, 11%.