SINGAPORE: The non-traditional media (NTM) market in Asia this year is forecast to grow faster than expected following a late surge in investment during the fourth quarter, according to ASN.

The industry intelligence business reported that NTM spending – defined as sponsorship, branded content, native and influencer marketing – had been slated to grow 7% over the year but by mid-November its index tracking all such spending in the region had jumped to +18%.

Consequently it is now projecting that total NTM spending for 2015 will exceed US$6bn, compared to just under $US5bn recorded in 2014.

"Non-traditional media in Asia is continuing to suck ad dollars from paid media channels," said Ben Heyhoe Flint, ASN CEO. "Alongside paid digital spend, it is the only channel in Asia that is growing in sustained double digits."

"More and more brands in Asia are looking at alternatives to the tired, old establishment," he added, "to achieve sincere audience engagement via content and unique experiences in order to generate spontaneous talkability and conversion."

ASN's earlier forecasts were based on the fact that some major sports platforms operating on a two of four-year cycle – the FIFA World Cup, the Youth Olympics, the Asian Games and the Asian Beach Games – were not taking place in 2015.

It did add, however, that sponsorship revenues for June's Southeast Asian Games had far exceeded expectations and noted that there had been "enormous gains in North Asia this year" that were helping to fill in the gaps, "especially China where brands are paying over-inflationary rates to be associated with content".

Heyhoe Flint further noted the continuing attraction of celebrity endorsement across the region.

Data sourced from ASN; additional content by Warc staff