HONG KONG: Annual growth in the Hong Kong advertising market slowed to 3% in 2015, according to new data, while the year ahead could see more spending shift into mobile video.

The latest report from admanGo, an advertising monitoring business, noted that this was down on the 4% growth registered in 2014 and said marketers had become more cautious about their advertising spending.

The impact of the mainland's cooling economy was especially evident in the luxury sector – the Jewellery, Watches and Luxury Products category saw a -14% drop in adspend; within that, Watches and Clocks had plummeted -22%, Marketing Interactive reported.

This is one of the smaller spending categories, however. The highest-spending category of banking & investment services saw no change, but several others managed double digit increases in spending, including travel & tourism (+22%), beverages (+17%), pharmaceuticals & healthcare (+14%) and toiletries & household (+12%).

Digital continued to make inroads into marketers' budgets at the expense of print. Spending on mobile was up 51% and that on interactive platforms up 31%; magazine spending was down 15% over the year and paid newspapers down 6%.

In 2016, television may start to feel the squeeze, as OTT services become an increasingly attractive option.

According to Kevin Huang, chief executive at online advertising agency Pixels, most of the city's major advertising agencies have been researching this area.

"The data points to major consumption of mobile video, which is helping advertisers justify shifting more dollars to OTT platforms from free-to-air TV," he told the South China Morning Post.

"Most of the city's large television advertisers have started to invest in OTT video ads," he said, adding that over the past 18 months his own agency had worked "with more than 300 brands to run close to 1,000 campaigns available on in-stream video advertising online and on mobile".

Such investments "will only accelerate in 2016 and beyond," he stated.

Data sourced from Marketing, South China Morning Post; additional content by Warc staff