SINGAPORE: Marketers in Asia-Pacific will outspend their international counterparts in digital channels this year, with an estimated 45% of all adspend going into digital compared to an average 40% in other markets.

Though the region’s marketers are grappling with digital transparency and effectiveness, investment into online channels has yet to slow. According to a new report by media agency Zenith, digital spend in Asia-Pacific will climb 6.7% this year.

North Asia markets are leading regional growth, with China, Taiwan and South Korea projected to see notable increases this year.

Despite ongoing crackdowns, China’s digital landscape is booming, with the country set to record the highest growth in investment. Digital adspend in China is predicted to increase a massive 60% as internet penetration and mobile phone usage in the country continues to soar. Overall, the mood in China is one of optimism, according to the report, with brands set to benefit.

“Investment in manufacturing has picked up, and business confidence has increased. China is the world’s second biggest ad market, accounting for 15% of global adspend, so an upgrade here has a big effect on the global total,” the report notes.

Television advertising in China, which has been battling with online video for the attention of marketers, also increased 1% after losing spend in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Although it’s all good news for now – growth is forecast to hit 6.2% this year, rising from 4.9% in 2016 – Zenith predicts that the next two years to 2020 are likely to see more pessimistic growth forecasts for Asia Pacific as a region.

Growth is expected to drop to 5.7% in 2019, and further to 4.9% by 2020, with digital adspend also projected to reach 48% by 2020.

Sourced from Zenith; additional content by WARC staff