Zenith: Social media advertising to outpace print for the first time

By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 8 October 2019

Advertising on social media will surpass print around the globe for the first time, according to forecasts by Zenith.

The Publicis-owned media agency’s Advertising Expenditure Forecast shows global spending on social will grow by 20% to reach US$84 billion this year, while newspaper and magazine spending will fall by 6% to US$69 billion.

The increase will give social a 13% share of global ad spend, making it the third-largest channel for advertising this year, behind TV with 29% and paid search with 17%.

“Social is in a state of transition, with international platforms like TikTok, Pinterest and Twitch gaining significant traction among younger audiences - representing new opportunities for brands,” says Elizabeth Baker, Zenith head of investment in Sydney.

Zenith spend

Zenith's Advertising Expenditure Forecast

Overall, global ad spend is set to grow by 4.4% this year to reach US$640 billion, a downgrade to the 4.6% growth rate predicted in June.

Australia is expected to sit below the global average, at 2.8% year-on-year, reaching AU$17.1 billion. However, Zenith says this is a “healthy” rate of growth given the economic backdrop.

In Australia, paid search advertising will increase by an average of 3.7% each year until 2021 when it will consume 25% of total ad spend, or AU$4.3 billion. TV on the other hand will continue to “suffer” from shrinking ratings in key markets and is expected to slip to 20% of the total market spend by 2021, reaching AU$3.5 billion.

Baker says it’s been a tough year for linear TV, which appears to be bearing much of the brunt of marketing budget contraction, particularly across the banking, auto and food categories.

“In better news for our TV networks, BVOD revenue is booming and we anticipate growth will continue as measurable trading across linear and BVOD content is enabled via the launch of VOZ in 2020,” Baker says.

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