Total advertising expenditure in Japan increased 2.2% year-on-year to 6.53 trillion yen (circa $58.9bn) in 2018, the seventh consecutive year of growth, according to the latest figures from Dentsu.

The Japanese agency holding company attributed the rise to sustained, gradual expansion of the Japanese economy, despite it facing challenges such as frequent natural disasters and weak personal consumption.

Reflecting global trends, Dentsu confirmed that digital and internet spending drove much of the increase while budgets allocated to traditional media continued to decline.

Traditional media (defined as television, radio, newspapers and magazines), posted a decline of 3.3% to 2.7 trillion yen, while digital adspend grew 16.5% to 1.759 trillion yen ($15.8bn).

That placed digital adspend, which included spending on formats such as digital TV and digital newspapers and magazines, just behind the 1.785 trillion yen ($16.1bn) spent on terrestrial TV.

Broken down by channel, advertising spend declined for newspapers (-7.1%), magazines (-9.0%), radio (-0.9%) and television, including both terrestrial and satellite (-1.8%).

Dentsu also noted a 0.9% year-on-year decline in the amount spent on promotional media, such as outdoor, direct mail, free newspapers/magazines and exhibitions.

Spending in this category fell to 2.07 trillion yen, its fourth consecutive year of decline, although the exhibitions/screen displays sub-category posted its seventh straight year of growth.

“The continued favourable performance by internet advertising expenditures drove growth in overall advertising expenditures,” the report said, adding that the Japanese market was “in the midst of a structural transformation”.

“The year saw further advances in the area of integrated solutions, which utilise a mixture of internet and traditional media to address challenges that cannot be solved by internet-based advertising alone,” Dentsu explained.

“Efforts to further bolster the strengths of each medium by leveraging data and technology became more conspicuous.”

Sourced from Dentsu; additional content by WARC staff