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Digital to Dominate Surging Ad Spend in Latin America

This post is also available in: Spanish

A recent report from ZenithOptimedia and eMarketer offers encouraging projections for Latin America and suggest a much larger role for digital, especially in certain markets.

Overall Ad Spend
While Zenith Optimedia predicts 4.9% global growth in ad spend in 2015, eMarketer has a rosier forecast of 6.8%. Both organizations predict increased ad spend growth around the globe in the coming years, between 5 and 6% per year in 2016 and 2017.

Latin America’s Ad Spend Share to Grow
In 2014 eMarketer indicated that Latin America accounted for 7.3% of global spend, compared to 35.6% for North America, 27.9% for Asia-Pacific, 21% for Western Europe, 4.5% for Central and Eastern Euripe and 3.8% for Middle East and Africa. However, by 2018 eMarketer forecasts that Latin America’s share of global ad spend will rise to 8.4%.  (Click on the image below to enlarge.)

Ad spend 2018 Eng

In fact, eMarketer projects that between 2014 and 2017 Latin America’s ad spend will grow by 10% a year: only countries in a group called Fast-Track Asia (China, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam) will grow more, with 10.3% annual growth.

Digital Driving Growth
According to Zenith Optimedia, mobile advertising will account for 51% of total ad spend growth around the world between 2014 and 2017. Desktop digital will also be an important part of global ad spend growth: it will account for 25% of it between 2014 and 2017. In fact, by 2017 desktop advertising will account for nearly 20% of global ad spend while TV will remain #1 with 37.4%. Mobile advertising will be close behind newspapers, accounting for 11.5% of global ad spend compared to 12.2% for newspapers. (Click on the image below to enlarge.)

Ad spend 2017 by medium Eng

Digital to Play a Key Role in Latam Markets
Historically, it’s obvious that traditional media have dominated ad spend in Latin America, particularly television. But eMarketer’s projections suggest a significant shift will happen in certain markets this year. For example, eMarketer forecasts that digital will command as much as 50% of the ad spend in the United Kingdom in 2015, while accounting for anywhere from 42% to 45% in countries like China, Denmark, Australia and Norway.
While digital won’t be as dominant in Latam countries, it’s significant to note that eMarketer projects that digital will account for 24% of the total 2015 ad spend in Mexico, not far behind the percentage projected for digital in the United States (31%). In fact, Mexico’s projected digital ad spend percentage is the same as that of Germany, Finland and Japan. In Brazil in 2015 digital will account for 15% of total ad spend. In Argentina, digital will account for 9% of total ad spend in 2015. While neither Brazil nor Argentina will have digital dominance in their 2015 ad spend, those familiar with ad spend in these countries will note that these percentages represent a significant increase for digital compared to years past.

Massive Mobile and Digital Ad Spend Growth for Argentina, Brazil and Mexico
According to eMarketer’s projections, in 2015 digital ad spend will grow by 30% in Argentina. Digital ad spend in Mexico will grow by 28% in 2015. And in Brazil, digital ad spend will grow by 15% in 2015.

Here’s a quick look at 2015 ad spend in these countries as per eMarketer (click on the image below to enlarge):

Ad spend ARG BR MX 2015 eng

Mobile advertising is set to grow in all 3 countries, according to eMarketer. Here’s the breakdown:

  • In 2015 mobile advertising spend will grow by 201% in Argentina
  • In 2015 mobile advertising spend will grow by 120% in Brazil
  • In 2015 mobile advertising spend will grow by 81% in Mexico

Over the next few years, between 2015 and 2018, digital ad spend should grow strongly in these countries, as per eMarketer projections. For example, digital ad spend will grow by 49% in Brazil between 2015 and 2018 to reach nearly US$5 billion. Mexico will post 73% growth in digital ad spend between 2015 and 2018, with more than US$2 billion invested in digital advertising in 2018. However, Argentina will have the most dramatic growth: 114% growth in digital ad spend between 2015 and 2018 and a total of nearly US$1 billion invested that year.

Leveraging This Data
As the digital money flow gushes in the coming years, we’ll see a parallel growth in programmatic ad spend in Latin America: a 600% increase just in 2015 and a nearly 9,000% increase by 2018. See more on that here. These projections suggest that brands will be putting more of their digital spend into programmatic, which makes sense when you consider the improved targeting offered by programmatic and the ability to buy by audience. An additional factor in this could be the ability to buy mobile programmatic impressions, which allows brands to reach the 194 million Latin Americans who use mobile Internet.

Contact us to find out how you can use programmatic to reach Latam’s 307 million Internet users via desktop, mobile or video, or if you just need help with a digital desktop campaign.

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