Prospects improve for Arab ad world

02 May 2012

DUBAI: Adspend will rise rapidly in the Arab world over the next three years, a new report has shown.

The analysis, conducted by the Dubai Press Club and Deloitte, a consultancy, indicated that total adspend in the region would grow from $4.9bn in 2012 to $5.95bn in 2015, implying an annual growth rate of 6.7%, the National reports.

But the study also pointed out that this year's strong growth should be put in the context of the Arab Spring uprisings, which resulted in a double-digit decline in regional spend in 2011, and the -12.1% drop provoked by the global financial crisis in 2009.

Looking ahead, TV and digital are predicted to experience particularly rapid increases in spend, thanks to higher cable and satellite takeup and improvements in web infrastructure. As a share of the all-media total, digital is forecast to rise from 4% in 2011 to 10% in 2015.

Nevertheless, Maryam Bin Fahad, executive director of the Dubai Press Club, said that many of the nations facing a transition of power will implement "gradual" media reform, with economic and political issues taking precedence over the medium term.

Nevertheless, "in several markets directly affected by the political uprisings, the structure of the media industry is virtually being overhauled with a significant break from the past," she added. "Generally people are positive that the market is going to change."

As evidence for this positive sentiment, the report cited data suggesting that adspend per person is far lower in the Arab region than in other emerging markets.

According to the figures, per capita expenditure stood at $15.90 in 2011, compared to $54.40 in Asia-Pacific. Mature markets, which tend to have more tightly-regulated media sectors and higher consumer incomes, far exceeded these totals, with per capita adspend hitting $466 in North America.

Data sourced from The National/Khaleej Times; additional content by Warc staff