BRICs and sports to boost global ad revenues in 2012

MAGNAGLOBAL, a division of IPG Mediabrands, has released an updated global advertising forecast, showing media owners' revenue growth for 2011 and 2012 to be slower than previously projected, but still resilient.

The key findings from the report show:

  • 2011 global growth is revised down to +4.7% (downgraded by -0.5%), totaling $427 billion.
  • 2012 global growth is revised to +5.0% (downgraded by -1.5%), totaling $449 billion.
  • Quadrennial events, combined with the scale and dynamism of the BRIC countries will help sustain global growth despite worsening economic outlook. They contribute to 45% of the global growth in 2011.
  • Internet will become the second biggest media category in 2011, reaching a 20% global market share in 2012.
  • China will become the second largest advertising market in 2012, outgrowing Japan.


2011: The Slowdown

In 2011, media suppliers around the world will see their advertising revenues grow by +4.7% to total $427 billion (constant USD 2010 basis). That estimate is down slightly (-0.5%) from MAGNA's +5.2% forecast published in June 2011, due to the softening of some markets in the second half of the year.

MAGNA's media suppliers advertising revenue projection includes: television (pay and free), internet (search, display, video, mobile), newspapers, magazines, radio, cinema and out-of-home (traditional and digital). It excludes direct marketing categories such as direct mail or traditional "yellow page" directories. It monitors media suppliers' revenues in 63 markets (including all major markets), representing more than 95% of the world's economy.

More than ever, emerging economies drove global advertising revenue growth in 2011, posting an average +15.0% growth during the year. Among these developing economies, Latin America posted the strongest growth rates, averaging +13.2%, closely followed by Central and Eastern Europe (+13.0%). Developed markets, meanwhile, grew at much slower rates, such as +1.6% in Western Europe and +3.1% in North America, due to a number of factors including: a strong 2010 comparison (revenues were up +8.2% compared with 2009); macro-economic slow-down and persistent financial uncertainties; the absence of major sporting events or US elections; and natural disasters in Asia.

Among individual countries, the strongest growth rates came from: Argentina (+37.9% in the context of a strong inflationary economic growth), China (+22.5%), Kazakhstan (+25.6%), Russia (+20.4%), India (+15%) and Brazil (+10.2%). Eleven countries (out of the 63 analysed by MAGNAGLOBAL) suffered a decline in advertising revenues, including countries in Southern Europe hit by protracted economic turmoil and political instability (Greece: -19.3%; Portugal: -6.9%; Spain: -6.3%; Italy: -2.5%); emerging markets temporarily destabilised by the Arab Spring (Egypt -21%); and Asian countries hit by natural disasters (Japan -2.0%, Thailand: -2.0%). Many of the large markets of Western Europe and North America wound up in the middle, typically showing low single-digit growth (UK: +1.8%; Germany: +3.0%; U.S.: +2.9%).

Among media categories, television, an unexpected winner in 2010 (+12.7%), continued to show strength in 2011, despite the absence of cyclical sporting events or elections in the US broadcasters' advertising revenues grew +4.8% to $175 billion, in 2011, maintaining TV'?s leadership with a 41.0% market share globally. Strong audience levels and audience measurement improvements - such as the integration of time-shifted DVR viewing into ratings for the first time (e.g. France) - made the medium attractive.

Out of home (OOH) media fared even better. Including cinema, OOH grew +6.4% globally, driven by the incremental revenues generated through digital billboards (+19.9%), which have rolled out in various parts of continental Europe and Asia. Other traditional media categories, however, had a tougher year. Radio grew only +2.2%; newspapers' revenues were down -2.4% and magazines declined -0.9%.

Declining circulation, shrinking readership, internet competition and short term media buying patterns (which penalises monthly magazines), all contributed to print's decline in developed markets.
Things are different in emerging markets, however, where literacy is still increasing and broadband access is still relatively low. In those markets, magazines are growing along with the middle class, and there is enough advertising demand for every media beyond TV to benefit. Overall, print advertising revenues are up by high single digit percentage points in emerging markets.

The big winner of 2011, however, was online media. Total internet advertising revenues increased +16.9% to $78.5 billion. While display subcategories increased +15%, paid search reaped the benefits of usage growth and algorithm improvements to reclaim its position as the largest digital revenue driver (+19%). Within Display, online video continues to show impressive growth (+58.5%), reaching $4.7 billion in revenues. P
Pre- and mid-rolls in online videos now generate 6% of total internet advertising revenues and 1% of global advertising revenues. Even more than online video sharing specialists, TV broadcasters offering free, ad-funded online catch-up of long-form, full-length episodes are driving category growth.

Overall, coming after a strong 2010 and in a poor macro-economic context, media suppliers displayed a resilient performance in 2011. But the global market is barely back to where it was in 2007 ($423 billion in constant USD), and still smaller in the case of Western Europe (2007: $112 billion, 2011: $106 billion). This reflects that media costs that are still low from a historical perspective.

2012: The BRIC Engine

For 2012, we now forecast media owners' advertising revenues to grow by +5.0% to $449 billion. This is -1.5% below our previous prediction published in June 2011 (+6.5%).

This downward revision is due to deteriorating macro-economic perspectives. Our forecast model is based on current, official economic forecasts that are generally predicting weaker - but still positive - growth next year. However, the uncertainty remains high, especially in Europe. In September, the IMF reduced its global output forecast (real GDP growth) from +4.5% to +4.0%. Although that forecast suggests the world economy would still grow, it's an awkward average between emerging economies that are growing at healthy rates and developed economies that are still sputtering (average +1.9%, US: +1.8%).

In late November, OECD revised its own global output forecast to +3.4% (including +1.6% for OECD countries and only +0.2% for the Euro area) warning that Q4 2011 and Q1 2012 could tip negative in most European countries, in line with Q3 2011 slowdown. Greece, Italy and Portugal, in particular, are now expected to suffer full-year recessions in 2012. Other economic indicators (industrial production, personal consumption and business confidence) have been similarly downgraded in recent months and some independent forecasters have expressed increasingly gloomier views.

Despite the worsening economic outlook, MAGNA is still projecting a positive growth rate based on a few factors:

  • First, the well-known "quadrennial" cyclical driver is back, and we believe it will be stronger than ever. The incremental ad spend generated by major sporting events (London Summer Olympics, Poland/Ukraine European Soccer Championship) and the US Presidential Elections will bring an additional +1% to +2% on top of organic revenue growth across markets. In the US, political and Olympic (P&O) money will account for three billion dollars of incremental ad spend, mostly on television ($2.4 billion related to the elections, $600 million generated by Olympic broadcasts). Meanwhile, major sporting events will help in European markets that are otherwise hit by economic stagnation, such as the UK (which is hosting the Olympics, although the games are broadcast on the ad-free BCC) and Italy (where the games and football tournament will mostly be broadcast by RAI, one of the few European public television groups still allowed to carry a full, all-day advertising load).
  • Second, big emerging countries will increase their share of global economic and advertising influence. At the end of 2012, emerging markets will represent 24% of global advertising revenues (compared with 7% in 1999) and the four BRIC countries alone will account for 14% (compared with 3% in 1999). Adding scale to dynamism, the BRIC markets have the capacity to offset part or all of the Western weakness. The four BRIC markets equated to only 10% of Western Europe's advertising revenues in 1999. That ratio will grow to 59% by the end of 2012, and by 2016 the BRIC countries will almost match the size of Western Europe (94%). The BRIC countries contributed to 45% of the global market growth in 2011 ($9 billion out of $19 billion). With a growing proportion of the BRIC countries' population adopting Western-style media consumption patterns, and with Western and local brands competing for top-of-mind among the emerging middle class, media demand is in excess of supply and inflation reigns. BRIC countries lag behind the global average advertising spend per capita ($80) - Russia: $70, Brazil: $60; China: $21, and India: $4. With such structural factors, we expect advertising spending and revenues in those markets to keep growing faster than the general economy, supporting global revenues in their wake.
  • Thirdly, some lessons learned in 2009 may help avoid a replay. Some major advertisers, eg in FMCG, have since admitted that they may have over-reacted back then by cutting advertising expenditures too hard and too quickly, harming their brands. We believe that this time, even if sales forecasts are being revised downwards, marketers will remember that market shares are subject to losses or gains, including - and perhaps even more so - during a recession, as consumers reconsider their choices. In addition, the Western advertising market is still smaller than five years ago, which means prices and net costs per thousand - despite some inflation in 2010-2011 - are still competitive and attractive by long term standards. Therefore, brands in various sectors have both the incentive and capacity to invest smartly to boost or defend their market shares.

In 2012, advertising revenues will grow by +12.4% in emerging economies, with Latin America still leading the charge (+13.0%) followed by Central and Eastern Europe (slowing down at +7.7%). Asia Pacific will re-accelerate to +8.3% due to the recovery of Japan and the continued growth of China. Western Europe will slow down at +1.1%. The sports driver will not be enough to offset recession in many European countries: Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland will decrease again (between -2% and -6%); Italy and France will be flat at best. UK and Germany will grow below +2%.

The biggest growth rates of 2012 will come from Argentina (+26.4%), Ukraine (+21.0%), Indonesia (+16.0%), China (+16.1%), Brazil (+12.0%), India (+13.5%) and Russia (+9.6%).

In terms of media market share, online will grow by 11.2% and outrank newspapers to become the second biggest media category globally, accounting for nearly 20% of global advertising dollars (19.5% at $87.4 billion).
The category already stands at 23% in both North America and Western Europe (where it even takes the number one  spot in a few markets, such as the UK). Television will receive the bulk of the "quadrennial" bonanza and will benefit from the typical concentration of advertisers into leading media at the expense of secondary media during harsh times.

TV will grow by +6.7% globally to $187.1 billion. Newspaper and magazine revenues will shrink by an average -1.0% and -1.3% respectively, with much deeper drops in Western markets, where circulation losses of 2011 will be reflected in 2012 ad pricing. Radio will grow by +1.6% to $30.4 billion.

OOH will also benefit from the "quadrennial" events and the roll-out of new digital (+6.3% to $28.3 billion) platforms. In the UK, the innovative upfront auction process conducted last summer to allocate the most premium London inventory during the games did not quite meet the high expectations, but the industry is still expected to grow healthily next year.

China's advertising market is expected to continue outperforming its already impressive economic growth in 2012, with a +16.1% growth. At $33.3 billion, China will become the second biggest advertising market, ahead of Japan, now third at $32.1 billion. Germany remains the fourth biggest market, some distance behind ($25 billion). Other top 10 markets are - in order - UK, France, Brazil, Canada, Australia and Italy. Russia will enter the top 10 in 2013, at the expense of Italy.


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