Global Ad Spending

Posted on 10/30/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Here are some figures to think about.

Total worldwide ad spending in 2012 is expected to be $529.5 billion. Of that, almost 18% will be digital advertising for a total of $94.2 billion. This digital advertising figure is 17.4% higher than the $80.2 billion in 2011. The nine countries that generate almost 82% of the digital advertising revenue are: United States, Japan, China, UK, Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Spain. U.S. sales represent slightly more than half of the sales of the group.

ZenithOptimedia predicts Brazil will overtake the UK to become the fifth largest ad market in 2013, and in 2014 Russia will overtake Canada to become the ninth largest. China is already third largest and is steadily approaching Japan.

In 2012 U.S. print advertising spending (newspapers and magazines) is expected to be $38.8 billion, up 1.8% from $36 billion. Online ad spending is expected to be $39.5 billion, slightly higher than print and up 23% from $32 billion in 2011.

Newspaper Association of America advertising statistics posted in September 2012 show $798 million in print losses for the first half of 2012 compared to 2011. These loses were only slightly offset by a $32 million gain in digital advertising. The ratio of losses to gains is 25 to 1.

In 2005 total advertising sales for newspapers (print and digital) was $49.4 billion. In 2011 it was $23.9 billion according to the Newspaper Association of America.

In July the Association of Magazine Media found that total revenue for the first half of 2012, including Sunday magazines, reached $10.046 billion. Without Sunday magazine revenue, the number was $9.297 billion. Assuming a similar advertising level for the rest of the year, the total for 2012 will reach $18.594 billion, well below the  $20.086 billion in magazine print ad revenue for 2011. This revenue level was down about one-fifth compared to the same period in 2007 according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

When it comes to circulation, magazine sales fell nearly 10% in the first half of 2012 to 26.4 million copies according to the latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. This was down from 29.1 million copies in the period January to June in 2011. Compare this to the 47.1 million copies sold during that the same period 2007, a drop of 44% in five years.

Meanwhile, according to a February 2012 eMarketer forecast Google will pass Facebook in display advertising revenues by 2013, reaching $3.68 billion to Facebook’s $3.29 billion.  In 2012 Facebook expects display advertising revenue of $2.58 billion and Google $2.54 billion.

The overall US display advertising market, which includes spending on online video, sponsorships, rich media and banner advertisements is expected to reach $15.39 billion in 2012 a 24% increase over the $12.4 billion in 2011. In the U.S. these two companies generate one-third of the total online display advertising revenue.

It should also be noted that the vast majority of the $94.2 billion of the world’s online advertising revenue comes from search, not display (that uses images and video) advertising. In addition, despite the revenue being spent, there is a general feeling among marketing executives that display advertising doesn’t work.

Copyright © 2012 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:  


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