Digital shift accelerates

15 June 2011

LONDON: Global advertising spend will continue to rebound in the next five years, but agencies, brands and media owners must all respond to the major shift towards digital channels driving this trend.

Business services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has released its latest Entertainment & Media Outlook, which stated industry revenues jumped 4.6% in 2010, to $1.4tr.

Figures are anticipated to reach $1.9tr by 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7%, it added.

Latin America will enjoy the most rapid acceleration across this timeframe, as revenues increase from $66bn to $109bn (a 10.5% uptick per year). Brazil, boasting a CAGR of 11.4%, will be the region's fastest-growing nation.

Income levels in Asia Pacific should hit $541bn from a starting point of $395bn, not least thanks to China, where the segment is likely to grow by a CAGR of 11.6%.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa are pegged to deliver $614bn in 2015, measured against $477bn in 2010, totals standing at $607bn and $481bn for North America.

By medium, digital spending rose 12.9% worldwide in 2010, beating the 2% lift registered by all other sectors.

It could accrue an average 11.5% in incremental returns per year to 2015, as traditional alternatives see a more modest 3.3% gain.

As such, digital will generate 59% of entertainment and media growth in the next five years, during which time its share of revenues is due to climb from 26% to 33.9%.

Mobile broadband may encourage these processes, as the number of users more than doubles in Asia Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa, triples in North America, and rises 400% in Latin America.

By category, PwC reported adspend - the most "cyclically sensitive" funding stream - logged a 5.8% leap in 2010, when it was worth $442bn, but failed to offset the 11% contraction recorded in 2009.

Looking ahead, ad expenditure is set to increase by an average 5.5% a year, claiming a net value of $578bn at the end of the assessment period.

The web will post the strongest growth of any medium, becoming the second-largest global outlet, behind TV, in 2012, after overtaking newspapers.

Digital took 15.9% of advertising outlay in 2010, and is predicted to be responsible for 22.5% in 2015.

One key idea identified by PwC was that offerings like smartphones, tablets and social media have yielded an "empowered consumer", who typically expects to view material without charge.

"This is a golden age for consumers, who have never had it so good when it comes to accessing premium content (often free) over multiple devices," Marcel Fenez, PwC's global leader for E&M practice, said.

"The bottom line is that in order to continue to create quality content, someone has to pay."

Given this, the challenge for media owners is to leverage factors including convenience, experience, quality, participation and privilege to monetise their content through digital channels.

Evolving conditions have also produced "involved advertisers", exploiting the available tools to engage with, and listen to, customers, enhance effectiveness, prove return on investment and change agency payment models.

Equally, the surging uptake witnessed by apps, in-house social networks and other such services are fuelling the genesis of a new breed of corporations, the Collaborative Digital Enterprise.

These firms utilise interactive systems to pursue open innovation, revolutionary delivery strategies and real-time responses in areas like pricing.

"Those who have digital collaboration infused into their company DNA will be the front runners of the E&M industry in 2015 and beyond," said Fenez.

Data sourced from PricewaterhouseCoopers; additional content by Warc staff