Global Overview.
Produced by Mediabrands’ research unit Magna.
Media owners advertising revenues are forecast to grow by +3.7% in 2017, to $504 billion.
This is in line with MAGNA’s previous forecast (+3.6% in December ’16). This is a noticeable slow-down compared to 2016 that displayed a record +5.9 growth rate; however it was expected by MAGNA as global sports events or US elections contributed by approx. one point to the 2016 growth. Excluding special events, the slow-down will, in fact, be minimal.

Global ad growth is expected to re-accelerate to +4.5% in 2018, as even-year events come back (Football World Cup in Russia, Mid-Term US elections, Winter Olympics in South Korea).
67 of the 70 markets analyzed by MAGNA will experience some level of growth this year. The most dynamic markets this year will be China (+7.3%, 0.8% above previous forecast), Spain (+7.3%, 0.7% above previous forecast), India (+11.5%, 2% below previous forecast) and Russia (+9.6%, 0.9% above previous forecast). The weakest growth in the top 10 will come from the UK (+1.9%), the US (+1.6%) and France (+0.4%). Only three markets are expected to show ad sales decreases: Singapore, Hong Kong and Croatia. The fastest-growing region will be Central & Eastern Europe (+7.2%) ahead of Latin America (+5.9%) and Asia-Pacific (+5.6%). The slowdown vs 2016 will be mostly concentrated around North America (+1.7%) and Western Europe (2.8% vs 4% last year).

After a positive performance in 2016 (+3.3%) linear television advertising sales will decrease this year by almost -1% to $180bn. This is due to the lack of cyclical sports events (affecting spending from automotive, drink and finance) and the long-term erosion of viewing and ratings now taking place or accelerating in an increasing number of markets. Scarcity-induced TV CPM inflation will remain high in many markets (close to 10% in Germany, Australia, China and the US) but it will cool down below 5% in other markets (typically: the UK) and even high-single-digit CPM inflation will not always be enough to offset the decline of ratings and maintain the level of net advertising revenues.
This year online ad sales will grow by 14% while traditional offline ad sales (television, print, radio, out-of-home) will decrease by -2% (last year was flat). Internet advertising is reaching several symbolic milestones in 2017: after growing double-digits for eight consecutive years, online ad sales will pass the $200 billion mark ($204 billion) to surpass television as the #1 category globally, with 40% of total ad sales vs 36% for television.

Print ad sales will continue to struggle in 2017: newspapers and magazines will lose an average 9% and 10% of their ad revenues respectively. Broadcast radio ad revenues were essentially flat for the last four years (-0.4% in 2016) but it is expected to get worse in 2017 (-2%) as audio streaming and other digital formats take budgets off traditional linear radio.
Out-of-Home, on the other hand, will remain resilient in most markets, growing by an average 4% in line with the last eight years. (MAGNA has just published a special “Media Economy Report” entitled “Why OOH Outperforms” and entirely dedicated to global OOH trends, in partnership with RAPPORT the OOH Specialist Agency of IPG Mediabrands.)

The global digital growth (+14%) will almost entirely be driven by mobile advertising. The majority of ad sales (54%) is now generated by impressions and clicks on mobile devices. The share of ad sales based on mobile usage reaches 55% for paid search and 85% for social media. Mobile advertising will be passing the $100 billion mark for the first time this year ($110 billion), which makes it larger than print and radio combined.

In terms of formats, video and social will continue to drive digital advertising growth (expanding by +30% and +32% respectively) while paid search will grow double digit again (+13%) to remain the #1 revenue generator (49% of total digital ad sales). The two digital-native advertising formats or environments (search and social) now represent a combined 70% of total digital ad spend and will capture 85% of the net growth this year. For the second year in a row, social video formats (counted as “social” by MAGNA) will represent a major driver to digital spend, attracting major consumer brands in the social environment where, until recently, they were spending very little.

US: +1.6%
A Steep Slowdown From 2016 (But It Was Expected).

In the US, media owner’s advertising revenues are expected to grow by +1.6% (or $3bn) to reach $185bn this year, in line with previous MAGNA predictions (+1.7% in December 2016). Online advertising sales will grow by +14% to $83bn offsetting a decline of offline ad sales (TV, print, radio, OOH) of -4% to $102bn.
+1.6% will be a significant slowdown from 2016’s record growth (+7.7%) but one that was expected by MAGNA due to the lack of cyclical events of the kind that boosted 2016(elections, Olympics, Copa America) and the natural end of long strong growth cycles for several key spending verticals, such as automotive and pharmaceuticals.
Excluding the incremental ad revenues generated by political ad spend and Olympic-related campaigns (“P&O”) last year, underlying growth will be +3.4% in 2017, i.e. still a slowdown from 2016’s +6%. This represents the slowest rate of ad sales growth (excl. P&O) since 2014, when the market grew by only +1.6%.

First quarter advertising revenues grew by only +2.3% (incl. P&O), posting the weakest quarterly growth since the second quarter of 2014. All offline media categories were either flat or down yoy in the first quarter: national television in particular took a bigger-than-expected hit (-4%) as well as out-of-home (flat) a category that had previously posted at least +3% quarterly growth consistently in the last three years. It must be said that 1Q17 ad sales had to compare with record levels of growth in 1Q16 (overall +8.7%, national TV +5.8%, OOH +3.6%).
Nevertheless the 1Q slowdown also likely had something to do with the abrupt slowdown in economic activity: real GDP grew by just +1.2% in 1Q compared to +3.5% in 3Q16 and +2.1% in 4Q16. Economists however consider this slowdown temporary and still expect the next few quarters to stay on course with previous forecasts, with real GDP growth in the mid two percent to low three percent range.  Nevertheless the Philadelphia Fed’s Survey of Professional Forecasters in its May update now expects full-year economic growth to be +2.1% (compared to +2.3% in its previous update in Feb.). That compares with +1.6% in 2016, the slowest rate of real GDP growth since the recession ended.

Meanwhile, nominal personal consumption – an important precursor to retail sales and advertising spend – is still predicted to be strong this year (+4.1% compared to +3.9% last year).
+1.6% ad sales growth in 2017 would be the lowest annual growth rate since the recession of 2008-2009, but it is partly due to the tough comparison with an exceptionally strong growth in 2016. In 2018 growth will rebound to +4.8% as the mid-term elections and Winter Olympics will bring in incremental ad spend again.

In terms of verticals, automotive has drawn a lot of attention year-to-date. After seven consecutive years of growth, car sales reached a new all-time high in 2015 with 17.5 million light vehicles sold. 2016 then saw a plateauing (+0.1%) and 2017 was predicted to show a decline in a saturated market (-2%). So far this year sales are indeed pacing at -2% over Jan-May and, also as expected, marketing and advertising spend from automakers and dealers fell disproportionately as they decided to focus on profitability rather than push sales in a saturated market: auto ad spend was down -12% in 1Q17 according to Kantar, and this was felt primarily in local television (the #1 vertical with 27% of total revenues outside election years,) and national television (the 4th largest vertical, down -13% in 1Q17).
Among other big ad spending industries “Food & Beverage” was down -7% in 1Q17, in part due to a -30% decline in beer spending. “Pharmaceuticals”, until recently the fastest-growing category, was merely flat in 1Q17; “Retail” was down -3% with a -21% decrease from dwindling department stores.
Linear national television ad revenues will decline by -3% to $42.8bn due to the lack of Olympic Games in 2017, strong comparable from 2016 (specifically 1H16), a softening of scatter pricing in the marketplace, and a weak demand from some key categories like automotive (-13% in 1Q17), food (-1% in 1Q17) and pharmaceuticals.
In the second half of 2015 and even more so in 2016, strong pricing offset declining supply (i.e. ratings). So far in 2017 ratings are decreasing as much as they have in the last two years (if not worse) but without driving prices further up, therefore moving revenue growth into negative territory. Prime-time Adult 18-49 English-Speaking broadcast networks ratings were down -15% in the first quarter. Cable networks ratings were down -8% in 1Q, despite news networks being constantly up in the last eight months as a result of the heated political climate and news cycle. Those poor ratings contributed to ad sales being down -7% for broadcast networks and down -1% for cable networks in the first quarter.

For full calendar year 2017, MAGNA is now expecting English networks ad sales to fall by -6% (to $13.7bn), while national cable ad sales will decline -1% (to $25.8bn), and Spanish networks ad revenues will drop -3.5% (to $1.5bn). Excluding the (lack of) political and Olympic spend in 2016 and 2017, growth will be -3% for English networks, flat for national cable and -1.4% for national TV as a whole (compared to +0.7%, +1.5% and +1.1% resp. in 2016).
Local television ad revenues – the main beneficiary of political ad spending and therefore the media category with the highest variance in ad spending between even and odd years – will fall -13% to $20bn in 2017. On a comparable basis (excluding political sales) revenues will drop -3% as local stations will suffer from lower spend from car dealers, restaurants and retail. In 2018 local television ad revenues will rebound to +10% thanks to mid-term elections.
Print-based advertising sales (newspapers and magazines) have now been decreasing for the last ten straight years due to the erosion of readership and the competition of digital media, but there has been an acceleration in the rate of decline of print ad revenues starting in late 2016. In 2017, print ad sales will fall -13% to $18.1bn, down to just a third of the $54bn in ad sales it captured ten years ago, with a similar trend for daily newspapers (-13%) and magazines (-12%).
Broadcast Radio started off 2017 with low demand from advertisers that spanned a variety of spending categories such as auto (the 4th largest category, -14%), finance & insurance (the 2nd largest category, -9%) and restaurants (-12%). As a result ad sales declined by -4% in the first quarter. MAGNA now expects broadcast linear radio ad sales to decline by -4.4% in full year 2017, to $13.4bn, an acceleration of the -3% decrease experienced in 2016. We expect a similar drop in revenues in 2018.
Out of home advertising is expected to grow +2% to $7.9bn in 2017 (including cinema). MAGNA reduces its 2017 growth forecast following weal first quarter ad sales, that grew by just +0.3% in a sudden slow-down (seven of the last eight quarters had shown yoy growth of 3% or more). The 1Q17 stagnation was due as several key verticals reduce spending (both automotive and food & beverage, which were down double-digit), offsetting the continued growth from tech brands (e.g. Google, Apple, Hulu and Netflix) that have driven OOH sales in the last two years.

Digital media ad sales will increase +14% – or by more than $10bn – in 2017, to $83bn. It will account for 45% of total media spend, on the strengths of mobile video (+58%), mobile social (+36%), and mobile search (+32%). By 2019, digital media will account for fully half of all advertising sales in the country, and will surpass the $100bn mark to end the year at nearly $103bn. Within digital, mobile will become the dominant format this year, with a 58% share, as it grows +34% to $48bn.
Mobile advertising will go on to account for nearly half of all advertising sales by 2021 (46% share – $96bn). Desktop-based ad sakes, on the other hand, will decline by -5% in 2017 to $35bn as it continues to lose market share to mobile (5yr desktop CAGR is -7.3%).

Global Digital Advertising: +14%
Online Advertising Sales have Surpassed Linear TV Globally.

Global digital advertising spend is expected to increase by +14% this year, slightly slower than last year’s +18.3% growth rate, and slightly stronger than prior expectations (+13.3%). This year’s growth brings the global digital advertising spend total past $200 billion, to $204 billion, larger than television ($180 billion). Digital outperformance isn’t expected to slow, either, and by 2021, digital advertising spend will reach $300 billion, or half of total budgets across all spending formats.
Growth in digital is now entirely driven by mobile advertising. Mobile spend is expected to increase by 33% to $110 billion this year, in-line with prior expectations of 31.4% growth. While this is slower than last year’s 51.6% mobile growth rate, it represents $27 billion of incremental mobile advertising spend, very similar to last year’s $28 billion of incremental mobile spend. Mobile isn’t losing any momentum; growth rates are just declining because of the increasing base of mobile advertising spend. This strong growth compares to desktop growth, which is expected to shrink by -2.2% this year. This is the second consecutive year of negative desktop advertising spend growth, and it is expected to continue to decline for the foreseeable future.

Within digital, search advertising is by far the largest portion of spend; search is expected to grow by 13% this year to reach $99 billion, or just under half of total digital advertising budgets. This growth represents 30% mobile search advertising growth, and desktop search advertising shrinking by -3%. Mobile search advertising has passed the halfway point to become the majority of search ad spend (55% total share expected this year). Furthermore, the incremental $11 billion of search advertising spend represents over 40% of total incremental digital dollars. Search has been especially strong both because of continued new product innovations such as search remarketing and customer match lists, as well as because of the growth of non-core search such as Alibaba product listings. Furthermore, search advertising continues to be strong because of its position in the advertising funnel and the ease at which search activity can be connected to customer behavior and sales. Looking forward, search advertising will remain robust, growing around 10% annually to reach $140 billion by 2021. At that point, it will be larger than newspaper, magazines, radio, and OOH combined.
Equally important within digital advertising is social media, which is expected to grow by +32% this year to reach $42 billion, slightly ahead of prior expectations for +29% growth. Social advertising is the fastest growing portion of digital spend, and like search this is because of mobile platforms. 85% of total search advertising dollars are coming from mobile devices, the highest share of any digital sub-format. Furthermore, social’s 31.6% growth rate represents $10 billion of incremental spend. This is nearly as much as can be found in search advertising despite social being less than half the total size. Growth comes both from increased social usage and penetration, as well as new product innovations (social video) and increasingly dense ad loads on social media. Looking forward, mobile advertising will continue to be dominant in social: by 2021 it will represent 93% of total social media sales. Impressively, search and social combine to represent more than the total incremental dollars across all media formats (offline media and shrinking digital formats like banner display are net losers; search and social are the growth engine for global ad spend).
Video advertising is growing nearly as quickly as social media; growth this year is expected to be 30%, which will bring total video advertising spend to $23 billion. While desktop video is still showing growth at +14% (unlike most other desktop formats), the engine for online video ad spend growth is mobile (+56% growth expected to bring mobile share of video spend to +45% this year). Mobile video will match desktop next year as the mobile video experience, wireless broadband penetration, and mobile video content continues to improve. By 2021, online video advertising will have passed the $50 billion mark globally, and digital video will represent more than 20% of total video viewing (TV and online video).

Banner display and other digital advertising formats (email advertising, online classifieds etc.) are stagnating, with both expected to shrink by around -3% this year. Not only have brands found better outcomes using other digital formats such as search, social, and video, but display inventory is also on the decline. Standard banner online real estate is being replaced by video and other rich media formats.

Western Europe: +2.7%
Significant Slow-Down, Mostly Caused by the UK Market.

Media owners advertising revenues are expected to grow by +2.7% this year to an all-time high of $100 billion. This is a noticeable slow down after ad sales grew between 4% and 5% three years in a row (2014-15-16) but one that was expected by MAGNA in its previous report (Dec. 2016) as the biggest market, and biggest growth engine in the last four years – the UK – started to slow-down from very high growth in the course of 2016. UK ad sales are predicted to grow by just +1.9% this year – compared to an average 6% in the last four years – with all traditional media categories predicted to be flat or down.
The beginning of the year was slightly below expectations in a few other markets like France and Italy leading us to reduce the full forecast to +0.4% and +2.1% respectively but the rest of European market is holding well. Germany, the second largest market, remains an oasis of economic and political stability in Europe and advertising pacing according to expectation and our forecast is unchanged at +2.2%. Meanwhile, “Peripheral” and Southern Europe – most affected by the recession and Eurozone crisis of 2009-2013 – keep recovering at above-average growth rates (Spain +7%, Greece +4%, Portugal +5%, Ireland +5%).
In terms of media, television ad sales will suffer this year (flat overall and down in several markets like UK and France). The lack of cyclical sports events compared to 2016, the worsening of linear TV viewing as video streaming gains momentum across Europe and the softening of CPM pricing all play a role in the abrupt slowdown (TV ad sales grew by approx. 3% in each of the last three years). Overall traditional offline advertising sales will decrease by an average -2% across Western Europe to $58 billion after being flat (growth in TV and OOH offsetting the decline of print) in the last three years.
Meanwhile online advertising sales will grow by an average 10% through the region, to $42 billion. Digital advertising now represent almost 42% of total advertising in Western Europe, slightly above the global average (40%). The fastest-growing formats will be social media (+37%) and video (+19%) while paid search spending will grow by 10%. Ad revenues from static banners will decrease by 5%. In terms of platform, mobile will capture all the growth (+36% to $19 billion). Mobile ad sales will represent 43% of internet ad sales by the end of 2017, which is slightly below the global average or APAC average.

The UK advertising market is expected to grow by just +1.9% in 2017, to approach GBP 18 billion. This is in line with our previous forecast (+1.7% published in December 2016) and a significant slowdown after three years of strong growth (an average +6% in the last four years). For 2018, MAGNA is expected UK advertising growth to remain subdued, with total ad sales up +1.5%, television flat and digital ad sales up 5%.

The French advertising market had a weak first half but MAGNA anticipates a slightly better second half as the economic and political environment will stabilize. Full year, the market should thus be stable: +0.4% at 10.7 billion euros. All media categories will be down except Ooh (flat) and digital (+8%).
In Spain, media owners advertising revenues are forecast to grow by +7.3% this year, to 5.8 billion euros. As the economy continues to cool down in 2018 (real GDP growth +2.1%) MAGNA anticipates advertising spending will slow down further but stay in the middle-single-digit range (+5.3%).
Germany remains so far a trouble-free zone in a region rocked by unemployment, social tensions and political instability. The economy is predicted to grow at nearly the same rate as last year (+1.6%) but and that is enough to maintain an incredibly low unemployment rate (below 4%), preserve consumption and the social fabric. In that environment MAGNA anticipates advertising spending to increase by +2.2% to 20.5 billion euros, in line with our previous forecast (+2.1%).
The Italian advertising market is predicted to grow by +2.1% this year, to 8 billion euros. Italy was the tenth largest ad market in the world up to 2016, but it will be leapfrogged by fast growing India this year and drop outside the top ten. 2.1% will represent a slow-down from 2016 (+4.4%).

The next Global Advertising Forecasts by MAGNA will be published in December 2017.

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