Digital to Account for More Than a Quarter of all Ad Spend in 2016


In 2016 digital will, for the first time ever, account for more than one quarter (25.9%) of all advertising spend, Carat forecasts. The media network also claims that digital media—with an expected $17.1 billion (15.7%) increase in spend in 2015—is already outpacing its prior predictions from September 2014. Its predictions are based on data from 59 global markets, as well as the increases in mobile ad spending globally (+50%) and online video (+21.1%) that the company predicted for 2015.

“Carat’s latest advertising forecast gives us increased optimism for the outlook for global advertising spending,” says Jerry Buhlmann, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network, of which Carat is a part. “With harder times behind us, negative growth markets are pleasingly now a minority, and collectively we can look ahead to 2016 with positive growth predicted for all key markets.”

With regards to a more holistic perspective, Carat predicts that advertising spend across all media will balloon by $23.8 billion to $540 billion in 2015—accounting for a 4.6% year-over-year increase. Such growth is anticipated to continue in 2016, with a prediction of 5% year-on-year global advertising growth.

“The strength of digital continues to dominate discussions and the new distribution of spending,” Buhlmann continues. “With a quarter of the global population now owning and relying on their smartphones daily, they are our second brain in our hands. Mobile dominates the way consumers access information, view content, browse products, and purchase goods, and this is reflected in the innovative services and approach we are discussing with our clients.”

While digital is the leader in terms of growth, TV continues to dominate in terms of global share of advertising spend. For instance, the media channel commanded 42.7% of the market share in 2014 and is expected to experience a more than 3% year-on-year increase in 2015 and 2016. Carat predicts that out-of-home will also grow. In fact, out-of-home is second to digital in terms of fastest growing media and has a global share of ad spend of 7.1%, according to its research.

However, not all media channels share the same fate. Print will continue to experience a decline in terms of growth, and magazines, specifically, are expected to fall behind radio in terms of global share of advertising spend for the first time in 2016.


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