Key Trends for Advertising Industry in 2016

Global advertising revenue is set to grow by 6% in 2016. Over the year, the industry is forecast to see some key trends: it will be driven by dynamic spending on advertising in China; television and the internet will be the main marketing channels; and retailers will be the dominant buyers in the global advertising industry.

China leads global advertising revenue

The advertising industry in China is forecast to experience robust growth in 2016. The industry is expected to expand by 15% over the year and close the gap on the largest global advertising industry (the US).

Chart 1 – Largest Advertising Industries in Terms of Value and % Growth: 2016


Source:         Euromonitor International from trade sources, national statistics

Due to a slowing economy, Chinese companies will increasingly be investing in brand awareness, thus boosting demand for advertising services. Pharmaceutical producers are expected to spend the most on advertising services in the country in 2016, followed by clothing manufacturers.

Television and the internet: Key advertising channels

Television advertising and internet advertising are projected to account for close to 60% of total global advertising revenue in 2016. Television advertising will dominate in developing countries, especially in rural areas, and will be boosted by a number of events in 2016, such as the Olympic Games in Brazil, the US presidential elections and the UEFA European Championship.

However, internet advertising is predicted to be the most dynamic category, increasing by close to 8% in 2016. The percentage of the population using the internet in 2016 is forecast to reach 41%, up by two percentage points on 2015. With more than three billion internet users, internet advertising is projected to generate 29% of global revenue, only one percentage point less than the largest category television. In addition, growing digitalisation and expanding e-commerce are set to stimulate a further shift from traditional advertising channels to internet advertising.

Chart 2 Advertising Categories’ % Shares of Global Advertising Revenue: 2009/2016


Source:         Euromonitor International from trade sources, national statistics

Retailers remain the largest spenders on advertising

Retailers generated 9-10% of global advertising revenue over 2009-2014 and are expected to remain the largest clients in 2016 as well. The retail industry is set to recover in 2016 after a fall in the previous year, and grow by 4% in value. In line with rising consumer expenditure, retailers will increase spending on advertising in order to capture a larger share of the global audience.

Chart 3 Top 10 Global Advertising Buyers in Terms of Spending: 2014


Source:         Euromonitor International from Trade Sources/National Statistics

Some of the largest retailers, Amazon, Wal-mart and Alibaba, spent US$3.3 billion (in fiscal 2014), US$2.4 billion (in fiscal 2015) and US$1.4 billion (in fiscal 2015), respectively, on marketing and promotional services, and such spending is expected to be even higher in 2016.