US Keeps Lead in Online Ad Spend, But Global Growth Quickens

Online advertising spending is growing rapidly around the world as national economies recover from the recession and advertisers continue to shift money from traditional to digital media. This will help online ad spending grow 20.2% this year, eMarketer estimates, to $80.1 billion.

The largest share of that spending still comes from North America, particularly from the US, which will make 39.1% of all outlays this year. The US will lose some share of the online ad market as other regions grow their spending, but eMarketer expects nearly two in every five online ad dollars to be spent in the US throughout the forecast period.

Between 2010 and 2015, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa will all gain share, though Asia-Pacific is the only one of those regions with significant levels of spending during the forecast. Online ad spending in Asia-Pacific will more than double, from $16.4 billion in 2010 to $34.6 billion in 2015, with spending in China alone nearly tripling during that period, from $3.7 billion to $11.3 billion.

Online Ad Spending Share Worldwide, by Region and Country, 2010-2015 (% of total)

eMarketer forms its estimates of advertising spending through a meta-analysis of data from dozens of sources, including research firms, ad agencies, investment banks and governmental organizations, as well as an analysis of global trends in the economy and advertising markets.

North America and Western Europe will also see healthy growth during the forecast period, though these more mature markets, with a higher base of spending, no longer achieve the high double-digit growth rates of emerging countries. In 2011, spending in North America and the US will actually increase more quickly than in Asia-Pacific.

Online Ad Spending Growth Worldwide, by Region and Country, 2010-2015 (% change)

The picture is similar, though more subdued, for total media ad spending. Low but steady single-digit growth is expected in North America and Europe, as Asia-Pacific and other developing regions make faster gains. eMaketer expects North America’s share of total spending to fall slightly, from 33.4% this year to 31.1% in 2015. Asia will gain share, rising from 29.6% to 32% over the same period.

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