Advertising Trends

Posted on 1/2/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Total global ad spend in 2013 was between $489.6 billion (Magna Global) and $503 billion (ZenithOptimedia). This is up between 3.2% and 3.5% compared to 2012. According to eMarketer the U.S. portion for 2013 is about $171.33 billion or 34% of the world media market.

ZenithOptimedia projects the following global trends between now and 2015.
  2012 2015
Television 40.0% 39.5 %
Internet (digital) 18.3% 24.6%
Newspapers 18.7% 14.9%
Outdoor 8.5% 7.0%
Magazines 7.0% 6.8%
Radio 6.9% 6.6%
Cinema 0.6% 0.6%

The only growth area as a percentage of total revenue will be the Internet. Advertising spend for all types of print products are expected to decline. This means there will be fewer dollars allocated to purchase photos for ads or editorial purposes. With less dollars spent on television there may be less need for video clips. The Sochi Winter Olympics, Brazil Soccer World Cup and the U.S. mid-term elections will be big contributors to the television ad spend.

Digital Growth

Within the digital category mobile is taking an increasing share of the market and grew 81% in the U.S. market in 2013. That rate of growth is expected to slow to 61% in 2014 and 53% in 2015 when it will makeup 8.4% of all digital ad spend. By 2018 mobile is expected to account for 20% of global digital ad spend and 6% of all ad spending.

In the Internet and Mobile categories paid search continues to generate a higher percentage of the advertising dollars than any type of display advertising that might use photos. Also, there is some indication that when visuals are needed for the small mobile screen there is a tendency to go with simple illustrations rather than photos that are harder to read.

Probably a more serious implication of the shift from print to digital is the fees buyers are willing to pay for the images used on digital devices. It is hard to get accurate figures. In many cases digital may be included in a fee for print use (or a small supplementary add on) even when more customers are being reached through the digital promotion than via the print one.

Royalty Free buyers only need small, cheap 72dpi file sizes for digital use when they might need a much larger more expensive 300dpi file for print use.

When it comes to editorial uses online image buyers often need many more images than they might use in print, but their overall budgets remain about the same. They look for subscription deals that allow unlimited image use for a flat fee.

Thus, it appears that the amount being spent per-image used online is about one-tenth to maybe one-twentieth of what image buyers would have spent a few years ago to reach the same audience. Unfortunately, if still cost the same, if not more, to produce and make each image available for use.

Why Can’t We Charge More For Online Use?

The first responses of photographers are: “My images are worth more.” “My agents should be charging more.” But, there are several things to consider from the buyer perspective.
  • Advertisers now find it necessary to use a variety of targeted pitches in a variety of narrow markets, rather than one blockbuster presentation. Thus, the same advertising budget has to be divided up in many different ways leaving fewer resources for each pitch.
  • Because there are so many different ways to reach small segments of the customer base it is not as big a disaster if one ad doesn’t work. Thus, finding just the right image for a project may not be as important as it used to be.
  • With the Internet it is easier to measure results and keep testing different approaches until they find something that works.
  • More is being asked of those whose job is to purchase images and design the ads. Thus, they have less time to focus on finding the right picture.
  • The explosion of content available on the Internet makes it less likely and any particular image will be found, or used.
All these factors make it unlikely that usage fees will rise.

Markets Grow At Different Rates

Some markets will grow much faster than others. The younger the population they faster they grow. The G7 markets (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA) have a median age of 40 and account for 58% of global ad spend. , They are forecast to grow at an average annual rate of only 3.6% between 2013 and 2016. The BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) have grown enormously over the last twenty years, and now account for 14% of global ad spend, up from 1% in 1993. Their median age is 31 and their growth is expected to be an average of 9.5% a year over the next three years. Among the youngest markets with a young, vigorous population and a median age of 27 are: Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey. They are expected to grow at an annual average rate of 14.9% between 2013 and 2016.

For more information see Magna Global Advertising Forecast: 2014. (

Copyright © 2014 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff