Rahul Sachitanand
Jul 13, 2021

2021 APAC adspend to grow 8% to $229 billion: Dentsu

Global investment will grow 10.4% in 2021, with all regions seeing growth, according to Dentsu's latest forecast. Digital spend will reach 54% of the total in APAC.

Digital spending will drive the rebound in ad spending. (Shutterstock)
Digital spending will drive the rebound in ad spending. (Shutterstock)

Global adspend will grow by 10.4% in 2021, according to the latest Dentsu Ad Spend Report. APAC adspend, according to the forecast, will grow by 8.0% ($17 billion) to $229 billion. In the region, Australia and India are forecasting particularly high growth rates, with 2021 growth expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels in China.

The twice-yearly report, which combines data from 59 markets, anticipates advertisers will spend $634 billion globally in 2021, with all regions growing. In APAC, the 6.2% rise in digital spend last year is forecast to expand to 12.8% in 2021, reaching $124.5 billion and representing 54% of total spending. Spending for social (33.4%) and video (10.8%) will also rise, with search also growing by 7.8% to reach $23.1 billion, according to the forecast.

"Australia has had a stronger economic recovery after the pandemic, particularly in TV and digital, where the government focused much of their Covid-related campaigns, while India is expected to see a resurgence in digital advertising spend, though TV is still the main contributor with a 40.9% share," said Ashish Bhasin, CEO APAC of Dentsu International.

The decline in APAC advertising spend prompted by the pandemic in 2020, has proved to be less severe than originally anticipated. While 2020 remains the weakest-performing year since the global financial crisis, the expected decline in growth has been revised upward since Dentsu’s January 2021 forecast (from an 8.0% drop to a 5.2% drop.)

Looking to 2022, recovery is set to continue, with overall APAC spending likely to reach $243.6 billion and grow at a rate of 6.3%.

Offline/linear adspend will see a return to growth at 2.8% to $104.8 billion, following a 15% decline in 2020, however it is predicted that spend levels in APAC will remain below pre-pandemic levels in 2021. While regional live events such the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics continue to be a significant driver of growth in linear TV (3.9% increase in 2021, reaching $59.2 billion), Dentsu data suggest a shift towards CTV (connected TV) and OTT (over the top) channels. Audience movement toward digital media consumption means linear TV spend will remain below pre-pandemic levels until beyond 2021.

"Digital media will continue to drive ad revenue growth this year, with strong performance in social (+33.4%) and video (+10.8%) and majority of spends in mobile," said Prerna Mehrotra, CEO of media in APAC and MD of media in Singapore. "We will also see more investments diverted towards addressable and the digitalisation of OOH channels." 

With restrictions lifting on social activity, OOH will see a bounceback, rising 7.5% in 2021 in the region. Cinema will see a slightly longer recovery, with a further decline of 5% in 2021, but is expected to bounce back in 2022. Radio will see 4.3% growth in 2021. While most channels will return to growth in 2021, print will see a slight decline (-2.7%) and is expected to continue declining in 2022.

Government spending remains a key growth area, with spending going toward vaccine rollouts and other related initiatives. In APAC’s key markets, the travel and transport sectors will still be affected by the uncertainty of the past year. The forecast calls for a muted increase of 4.9%, while the media and entertainment sector is forecast to grow by 9.7%.

Campaign Asia

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