BANGKOK: Digital adspend in Thailand is expected to grow by 62% this year to 9.8bn baht, a sharp increase on an earlier forecast of 33% to 8.1bn baht, according to the latest data from the Digital Advertising Association Thailand (DAAT)

Prepared in conjunction with research firm TNS Thailand and presented to DAAT's annual conference last week, the findings suggest that spending on Facebook and YouTube will account for the highest share of online adspend.

TNS revised up Facebook's share of digital adspend for 2015 from 16.5% to 21.4%, while also projecting that Google-owned YouTube would account for 16.5%, up from 15.6%, the Bangkok Post reported.

Meanwhile, TNS estimated instant messaging app Line will represent 4.5% of digital advertising, up from the 2.7% it forecast earlier.

The higher-than-expected growth for digital will be driven by the channel's cost efficiency and its growing audience, especially among younger consumers, said DAAT president Siwat Chawareewong.

"In the current economic crisis, brands and digital ad agencies might cut ad budgets for traditional media but not digital media," he told delegates.

Indeed, out of the 17 ad agencies that participated in the research, most reported that they expected their digital adspend to increase 30% in the second half of the year compared with the first half.

"Thailand is truly ready now for ecommerce. The telecommunication infrastructure has been enhanced while online conversation is on the rise," Siwat said in comments reported by The Nation.

"Online payment systems have also been upgraded and are getting well accepted by local buyers, while logistics services are customer-friendly," he added.

Data from Warc's Adspend Database show that digital adspend grew 46.1% to 7.1bn baht in 2014. This translated into US$219m last year, around 0.6% of all digital adspend in the Asia-Pacifc region.

Thailand ranked 9th out of the 13 markets monitored in terms of total online ad expenditure last year.

Data sourced from Bangkok Post, The Nation; additional content by Warc staff