GLOBAL: Global internet advertising expenditure will grow 13% to reach US$205bn in 2017, overtaking television spending for the first time, according to Zenith.

The media agency's latest Advertising Expenditure Forecasts predicts that internet advertising will attract 36.9% of all advertising expenditure in 2017, up from 34.0% in 2016. This will also be the first year in which more money will be spent on internet advertising than advertising on traditional television (which will total US$192bn).

By a display-only measure, TV is still comfortably king, as some 45% of the internet total in 2017 will be spent on search advertising. 

Advertising expenditure on social media, meanwhile is projected to reach US$55bn in 2019, by when it will overtake spending on printed newspapers at US$50bn.

Social media advertising is the fastest-growing component of internet advertising, according to Zenith: it grew 51% in 2016 is forecast to grow at an average rate of 20% a year to 2019.

Newspaper print advertising, meanwhile, is shrinking by 5% a year as circulations continue to fall (Zenith includes newspapers' online revenues in the internet advertising total).

"Internet advertising has contributed all of the growth in global adspend since the beginning of the decade, and has stimulated much of the innovation we've seen in the market," said Vittorio Bonori, Zenith's Global Brand President.

"Innovation is proceeding as fast as ever, and we believe that this is what will continue to drive brand growth for advertisers."

But in the light of Google's recent troubles, Zenith added a note of caution when it observed that "it is vital that platforms and publishers address advertisers' valid concerns about viewability and brand safety to secure sustainable growth".

In addition to its usual forecasts, the media agency also sought to attribute advertising expenditure to individual cities, by estimating the amounts spent targeting the inhabitants of these cities (and their surrounding metropolitan areas) by advertising in local, national and international media.

On this basis, it reported that US$61bn was spent targeting the population of the top ten cities in 2016, a figure that will rise to US$68bn by 2019.

These ten cities will contribute 11% of all the growth in global adspend between 2016 and 2019, it said; they are, in descending order of contribution, New York, London, Los Angeles, Jakarta, Tokyo, Shanghai, Manila, Beijing, Dallas and Houston.

"Population numbers, productivity and disposable incomes are rising faster in cities than elsewhere," said Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting at Zenith. "So city dwellers are becoming more valuable for advertisers seeking growth. Big cities are now driving growth in adspend."

Data sourced from Zenith; additional content by Warc staff