ZenithOptimedia Expects Ad Spending to Rise in Each of the Next 3 Years

Growth due to the global economy’s progress

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ZenithOptimedia predicts that global ad spending will rise 5.5 percent to $537 billion in 2014, up from $509 billion in 2013.

The estimated growth is a reflection of the global economy’s improvement, as well as the adoption of programmatic buying and the rise of mobile advertising, according to the media agency group. Recurring events—including the Winter Olympics, the World Cup and the mid-term elections—will also boost the global ad spend for 2014.

The Eurozone’s recovery seems to be gathering steam and advertisers are taking note, but it has a long way to go before it returns to pre-recession levels, according to Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting at ZenithOptimedia, a unit of Publicis Groupe.

The unit is forecasting that advertisers will spend $70 billion in the Eurozone this year, compared to $69 billion in 2013, up 0.7 percent, which is the first year of growth since 2010. The forecast for the following years looks brighter, with growth expected to be up to 1.6 percent in 2015 and 1.7 percent in 2016.

As for the U.S., ZenithOptimedia expects ad spending to increase 4.9 percent to $176 billion in 2014, up from 2013’s $167 billion. The following years are expected to have slightly smaller increases with 2015 slated to garner 4.6 percent and 2016 seeing 4.3 percent.

“When the economy is more stable, our predictions are less surprising. It’s more of a gradual improvement than a sudden shock,” said Barnard. “The growth that we’re seeing is a combination of economic improvement, recurring events and technological advancements.”

Television remains the dominant advertising medium with nearly double the ad spend (40 percent) of the Internet (21 percent). Zenith predicts that television will grow 5.2 percent in 2014 with boosts from the Winter Olympics, World Cup and the U.S. mid-term elections—up from 2013’s 4.4 percent.

While Internet has yet to match television, it is still the fastest-growing medium. It grew 16.2 percent in 2013, according to Zenith’s data, and the company forecasts that it will grow an average of 16 percent from 2014 to 2016.

Mobile advertising vastly outpaces desktop Internet advertising: mobile is expected to grow by an average of 50 percent each year until 2016. According to Zenith’s estimates, the global expenditure for mobile advertising was $13.4 billion, or 2.7 percent, in 2013 and by 2016 it is expected to be $45 billion, or 7.6 percent, of all expenditures. Desktop Internet advertising, on the other hand, is expected to grow an average of 8 percent per year. 

@KristinaMonllos kristina.monllos@adweek.com Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.