Chinese ad market continues upward trajectory

07 June 2010

BEIJING: The Chinese advertising market will be the second largest in the world by 2013, according to a new forecast.

Magna Global, part of Interpublic Group, has predicted that adspend in the country will rise by 14.4% to 144.2bn yuan ($21.1bn; €17.3bn; £14.4bn) in 2010, following on from an expansion of 8.2% in 2009.

Totals are expected to climb to 228.4bn yuan in 2013 and 308.3bn yuan in 2015, as local and multinational brand owners continue to boost their budgets.

Magna stated that TV will remain the "dominant" medium in the short term at least, posting a compound annual growth rate of 14.5% from 2010 to 2015.

In this period, overall spend will jump from 57.6bn yuan to 113.5bn yuan, ten times the amount recorded in 1999.

This process will be encouraged by the surge in popularity of regional satellite stations serving niche tastes.

However, Magna suggested the lack of commercial players in the TV sector is hampering innovation, while recently-introduced regulations have also restricted the inventory available.

As such, television's share of spending will decline from 40% to 36.8% between 2010 and 2015, with the internet being the main beneficiary as consumers look online for entertainment.

Web advertising sales are set to leap from 17.2bn yuan in 2010 to 56.2bn yuan in 2015, as the net's proportion of all media revenues improves from 11.9% to 17%.

Within this, search is expected to be a major catalyst of growth, delivering a CAGR of 28.6% and increasing in value from 9.4bn yuan in 2010 to 33.1bn yuan by 2015.

More specifically, Google's decision to scale back its activities in China will enhance the stranglehold of Baidu in this area.

As Xinhua, the state news service, is now thought to be working with Baidu, it appears the Chinese authorities may have a role in shaping the contours of the search industry going forward.

"In the long-run, any Chinese government effort in search is likely to triumph given the vast resources and clout its state-owned enterprises currently hold," Magna said.

Other forms of internet and digital advertising expenditure are also due to more than double to 19.5bn yuan by 2015, with local companies again predicted to assume the primary positions.

"Domestic dominance online may eventually mirror domestic dominance across the rest of the media industry."

Despite the challenges facing the category in the US and Western Europe, the outlook for newspapers is still favourable in China, with figures improving by over 15% a year to 93.0bn yuan in 2015.

Magazines will also see annual growth in the 12% to 14% range, but totals will come in at just 6.7bn yuan by 2015, making this medium the smallest of the main measured media.

Print's share of the advertising market will drop from 33.6% in 2010 to 32.4% in 2015, but it will remain in better health in China than elsewhere.

Outdoor will benefit from events like the Shanghai Expo this year, when it will generate returns of 11.3bn yuan, and further build on this momentum by reaching 24.4bn yuan in 2015.

Finally, radio will see a double-digit CAGR in this period, climbing from 9.6bn yuan this year to 18.2bn yuan in 2015. 

Data sourced from Magna; additional content by Warc staff