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Worldwide Ad Spending Expected to Grow in 2016 Despite Economic TurbulenceGlobally, economies are wrestling with changing conditions and uncertain outcomes.

But according to ZenithOptimedia’s just published “Advertising Expenditure Forecasts,” the global ad market is on course for 4.6 percent growth in 2016, up from 3.9 percent last year.

The exact estimates suggest worldwide advertising expenditure will total U.S. $579 billion in 2016 and top $600 billion in 2017.

“The global economy faces clear challenges – such as the ongoing slowdown in China, and recession in Brazil and Russia; the humanitarian disaster originating in Syria; and uncertainty over the future of the European Union, notably continuing fragility in Greece and the possible departure of the UK,” noted ZenithOptimedia. “But advertisers’ confidence has remained largely unshaken, and our forecasts for global growth in 2016 have barely changed since we published our last forecasts in December (when we forecast 4.7 percent growth this year).”

Why the positive outlook? The company cited three main factors: special events this year, rapid recovery from the markets most affected by the eurozone crisis, and the opportunities in rapidly growing markets just opening up to international advertising.

Add to that the fact that 2016 is a quadrennial year, when ad expenditure is boosted by the US presidential elections, the Summer Olympics, and the UEFA football championship in Europe.

“We expect these events to add a net U.S. $6.1 billion to the global ad market in 2016,” noted the report. “The quadrennial will therefore add 1.1 percentage points to this year’s growth rate for global advertising expenditure, which would otherwise be 3.5 percent.”

In the medium term, most of the European ad markets that suffered the deepest cuts from the financial crisis and its aftermath are now enjoying sustained recovery and will expand rapidly over the next few years.

The long-term potential for rapid growth?

“Many smaller advertising markets are now opening up to international advertising, and have the potential to growth at double-digit rates for many years to come.”

ZenithOptimedia surveyed those markets in its regular Advertising Expenditure Forecasts report on 81 key advertising markets across the world. In its Top 30 Markets survey, the firm estimates that advertising expenditure across these 30 markets totaled U.S. $7.7 billion in 2015.

Perhaps most interesting is the forecast that internet advertising will outrun television.

“As usual, internet advertising is the main driver of global adspend growth,” noted ZenithOptimedia. “This sustained growth, combined with downgrades to television in Brazil in China, has led us to forecast internet advertising to overtake television advertising globally in 2017, a year earlier than we forecast back in December.”

There’s more data in the executive summary, which you can access here

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