Next year looks pretty good for worldwide ad sales, although not so much for U.S. television, two leading forecasting firms will report today at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. ZenithOptimedia expects global sales to increase 4.9% to $545 billion, while Magna Global is a tad more conservative projecting a 4.8% increase to $536 billion. The growth rates are lower than this year’s 5.5%. But 2015 still looks strong considering that it won’t have the boosts we saw in 2014 from the Winter Olympics, the FIFA World Cup, and the U.S. mid-term elections.
Advertisers are excited by digital and mobile platforms — spending on digital will match TV in the U.S. next year, Magna says. Buyers also will spend a lot more in Latin America, where some countries including Venezuela and Argentina have astronomical inflation, and in fast-growing parts of Asia including China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
But the forecasters warn that television will be pinched as buyers shift some of their dollars to digital. Television globally accounts for 39.6% of ad spending, and that “has now peaked,” says ZenithOptimedia . The number will slip to 37.4% in 2017, while online video will grow to 2.8% of the market from 1.9% this year.
Magna says it already sees trouble in U.S. television, describing this year’s 4% growth as “mediocre” in light of the even-year sports and political spending and improvements in the overall economy. The Sochi Winter Olympics fell short of the firm’s ratings and ad sales forecast. Spending on political ads also was lighter than expected: the most hard-fought races were in relatively small markets, not big ones in New York and California. Still, the “most fundamental factor” was “the shift of media mixes towards digital….Marketers are now more comfortable with the level of brand safety and accountability provided in the digital media space than they were just one or two years ago, and they are also keen to seize the opportunities created by data-based programmatic buying techniques.”
The firm expects U.S. ad revenues to increase 2.7% to $169.5 billion in 2015, with television down 1.4%, and digital up 15.5%. It also expects an 8.2% fall for newspapers, 9.4% drop for magazines, and 1.2% slide for radio.