Ad spend in APAC is expected to grow by 8% in 2021: dentsu Ad Spend Report

In the region, Australia and India are forecasting particularly high growth rates

In APAC, the 6.2% rise in digital spend last year is forecast to grow by 12.8% in 2021
In APAC, the 6.2% rise in digital spend last year is forecast to grow by 12.8% in 2021

Advertising investment is forecast to grow by 10.4% globally in 2021, according to the latest dentsu Ad Spend Report. The report anticipates US$634 billion will be spent globally with all regions enjoying positive growth.

Ad spends in APAC is expected to grow by 8% or US$17 billion to US$229 billion. In the region, Australia and India are forecasting particularly high growth rates in 2021, with 2021 growth expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels in China.

In APAC, the 6.2% rise in digital spend last year is forecast to grow by 12.8% in 2021 to reach US $124.5 billion, representing a 54% share of total ad spend. Forecasts for social (33.4%) and video (10.8%) will also rise, with search also growing (7.8%) reaching US $23.1 billion in 2021.

Offline/Linear ad spend will see a return to growth 2.8% to US$104.8 billion, following a 15% decline in 2020, however it is predicted that spend levels in APAC will remain below pre-pandemic levels in 2021.

While regional live events such as Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games continue to be a significant driver of growth in Linear TV ad spend in APAC (3.9% increase in 2021 to reach US$59.2 billion), the dentsu data suggests a shift towards CTV (Connected TV) and OTT (Over The Top) and audiences moving more towards digital media consumption mean Linear TV spend will remain below pre-pandemic levels until beyond 2021.

With restrictions lifting on social activity, OOH will see a bounce back post impact of the pandemic, rising 7.5% in 2021 in the region. Cinema has a slightly longer recovery, with a further decline in 2021 (-5.0%) but is expected to bounce back in 2022. Radio will also see growth (4.3%) in 2021.

While most channels will return to growth in 2021 (Cinema in 2022), Print is seeing a slight decline in 2021 (–2.7%) and expected to continue declining in 2022, as it continues to evolve towards new modes of digital delivery.

The decline in APAC advertising spend prompted by the pandemic in 2020, has proved to be less severe than originally anticipated. While 2020 remains the weakest performing year since the global financial crisis, the decline in growth has been raised since dentsu’s January 2021 forecast (from -8.0% to -5.2%.) In 2021, the market is seeing a recovery in growth (8.0%), an improvement (2.1% pts) on January’s prediction. Looking to 2022, recovery is set to continue when spending is likely to reach US$243.6 billion and grow at a rate of 6.3%.

“It is promising to see a return to growth in the APAC region with two of our markets in the top five contributors of ad spend growth; China and Japan. While China continues to see strong levels of growth driven by Digital and OOH, Japan’s growth will be buoyed by events like the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the House of Representative elections and the advertising spend associated with it, particularly in TV,” Ashish Bhasin, CEO APAC, dentsu international, said.

In addition, Australia and India are two of the top year-on-year growth markets, forecasting a surge in ad spend. Australia has had a stronger economic recovery after the pandemic particularly in TV and digital where the government focused much of their Covid-related campaigns, while India is expected to see a resurgence in digital advertising spend though TV is still the main contributor with a 40.9% share.

For Prerna Mehrotra, CEO Media APAC and MD Media Singapore, the main drivers behind the growth is economic recovery, with the APAC GDP set to increase by 7.3%, and a stronger-than-ever push to digital marketing.

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