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ZenithOptimedia predicts mobile ad spend explosion

Peo­ple work­ing in media jobs for mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies could be for­giv­en for feel­ing a lit­tle con­fused by two new adver­tis­ing expen­di­ture fore­casts. ZenithOp­ti­me­dia has tak­en a bull­ish­ly opti­mistic view of the com­ing three years, pre­dict­ing that mobile adver­tis­ing will expand to 36 per­cent of the glob­al ad spend by 2016. That’s more than a third of the $90 bil­lion in new rev­enue antic­i­pat­ed over the com­ing three years.

But WPP’s media buy­ing wing, Group M, has tak­en a rather more pes­simistic view in its pro­jec­tions for 2014, hav­ing revised its ear­li­er glob­al ad growth fore­cast of 5.1 per­cent to 4.6 per­cent, attribut­ing its gloom to “eco­nom­ic grid­lock in the US and a per­sis­tent finan­cial cri­sis in the Eurozone.”

“And”, not “instead of”

ZenithOptimedia’s fig­ures also sug­gest a remark­able devel­op­ment in the rise of mobile phone adver­tis­ing – that 36 per­cent growth in ad spend will not be at the expense of oth­er media like TV and news­pa­pers. It’s addi­tion­al growth, not “instead of”. As any­one with expe­ri­ence of media jobs in Adland can tes­ti­fy, this is pret­ty unprece­dent­ed. When inter­net dis­play and search adver­tis­ing began to take off with the advent of PCs and lap­tops over the last ten years, tra­di­tion­al media (espe­cial­ly print) took quite a hammering.

But accord­ing to ZenithOptimedia’s Head of Fore­cast­ing, Jonathan Barnard, that won’t hap­pen with mobile:

“This is the first time in the past 20 years that a new plat­form is expand­ing over­all media con­sump­tion with­out can­ni­bal­is­ing any of the oth­er media plat­forms,” he said.

A mobile explosion?

By 2016, the fore­cast claims, mobile will have leapfrogged over out­door ($40bn), cin­e­ma ($34bn) and radio ($37bn) to become the fourth biggest glob­al ad medi­um at $45bn. Zenith pre­dicts that the glob­al ad mar­ket will be worth upwards of $500bn by the close of this year and will grow by 5.3 per­cent in 2014 and by 6 per­cent for the fol­low­ing two years to 2016, tak­ing the total val­ue to $590bn.

“The prin­ci­ple engine of this growth will be mobile tech­nol­o­gy,” says Barnard.

TV adver­tis­ing is on course to be the sec­ond biggest con­trib­u­tor to the addi­tion­al $90bn in ad spend, account­ing for 34 per­cent. It’s also set to retain its sta­tus as the biggest medi­um by far in the world, with a share of 39 per­cent (worth $230bn) by 2016.

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