HONG KONG: Advertising revenues in Asia Pacific will fall by 3.5% in 2009 on an annual basis, before returning to growth of 5.2% in 2010, according to a recent forecast from Media Partners Asia.

It has been argued that many advertising markets in Asia Pacific will prove more stable than their western counterparts during the financial crisis, meaning that all of the major holding companies are looking to increase their presence in the region.

Media Partners Asia expects adspend levels to decrease by 10% in South Korea, 8% in Japan and 5% in Australia over 2009 as a whole. 

Similarly, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan are all also forecast to post declines in revenues of between 7% and 9% to the end of this year.

By contrast, China and Indonesia will both see growth of around 9% in 2009, with India registering an upturn of 5.1% in 2009, followed by an expansion of 8.2% in 2010 and 13.2% in 2011.

This group of three countries will also record an expansion in marketing spend of between 8% and 13% next year, and of at least 10% in 2011.

Overall, MPA argues that "key Asian economies are recovering slowly but surely, and the impact on advertising is likely to be felt more positively from Q4 2009 onwards."

Among other major media trends in the region over the next two years will be the growth of IPTV in Japan, where the medium's user numbers are likely to double to 1.6 million by the end of 2010.

While satellite and cable companies such as Sky Perfect and J:COM currently have a 70% of the pay-TV market in the country, MPA reports that the increase in subscriber numbers is "slowing at a significant pace."

The expansion in the number of digital pay-TV subscribers in India has also declined slightly this year, but 2.3 million net new customers still took up these services in the first quarter of this year.

In all, some 15.7 million people, or 12% of the potential Indian TV audience, now use digital pay-TV in the country, but new business models may be required if companies are to drive revenues.

One key area of focus among broadcasters is cutting the cost of content production from the current level of 50% of their revenues, a figure that is "now being aggressively lowered to 30–40% as the targeted benchmark over the medium term."

China Mobile, the telecoms giant with over 480 million subscribers, is also due to launch Google's Android mobile phone later this year, although it will cost users over $700 (€501m; £438m).

Another of the country's mobile operators, China Telecom, is said to be in talks about bringing the iPhone to the market in China, where the wireless sector is becoming increasingly competitive.

Data sourced from Media Partners Asia/Reuters; additional content by WARC staff