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Emerging markets catching up slowly as digital adspend to hit $137.53bn

If you’re looking for a decent slice of the global digital advertising pie, you’re still much better off being in North America than pretty much anywhere else on the planet. If you’re in an emerging market country meanwhile, you can take solace in the fact that the market will grow in the next few years, but not all that quickly.

According to online marketing research company eMarketer, adspend across desktops, laptops, mobile phones and tablets will reach US$137.53-billion this year.

That amount, up 14% from last year, means that it will account for around a quarter of global adspend this year. According to eMarketer’s growth estimates, it will rise to nearly one-third of total adspend by 2018 but when advertisers around the world will invest in the region of US$204.01 billion in digital.

Digital global adspend

The level to which some emerging market regions benefit from that increase in adspend however isn’t all that great. Driven by the US, North America is set to account for nearly 40% of global digital adspend this year and is only set to increase that share in the next four years.

By way of comparison, Africa and the Middle East, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe will account for less than 10% of digital adpsend this year, with that number only set to increase to around 11% by 2018. Much of that growth, it seems, will be at the expense of the Asia-Pacific, where digital adspend actually appears to be shrinking.

Digital adspend percentages

One possible reason for the continued dominance of the US is the fact that most of the world’s biggest online ad platforms, including Google and Facebook, are based there.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that total media adspend will only grow around five percent, with eMarketer estimating that it will reach US$656.3-billion by 2018.

Another point of interest is that while the US is the highest spender on digital media in terms of absolute dollars, the UK that sports the highest share of total media spending on digital channels, at 47.5% expected this year. That compares with 40.1% in second-place Denmark, 37.5% in third-place Australia, and 27.9% in the US.

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart is the editor-in-chief of Engage Me Online. After pursuing an MA in South African literature, he spent five years reporting on the global technology scene. Intrigued by the intersection of technology and work, he joined Engage Me as the editor-in-chief. He is a passionate runner, and recently ran... More

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