Staff Reporters
Aug 27, 2019

China, APAC to lead global social-media adspend

TOP OF THE CHARTS: Forrester predicts China's social ad spend will triple by 2023, leading APAC past North America globally.

China, APAC to lead global social-media adspend

China's social media advertising spending already accounts for 44% of the Asia-Pacific total. Yet Forrester predicts there will be an explosion of social ad spending in China in the coming years, boosting totals from $9.9 billion in 2018 to $27.6 billion in 2023.

While Forrester's latest social media advertising forecast further predicts that global totals will more than double in that same period, from $75 billion in 2018 to $165.6 billion in 2023, Asia-Pacific's share of the pie will soon be the biggest, thanks to China.


APAC owned about 30% of the global share of social spending last year, but that will rise to 35% as early as 2021, Forrester forecasts, when it will catch North America's declining share and then surpass it in subsequent years. 

The report says China's top social players will start aggressively monetizing their huge user bases, and revenue per user will drive China's social ad spend. It notes how highly receptive social media users in metropolitan China are to ads, engaging with them more than peers in other regions.


In the rest of APAC, user growth is largely decelerating, except in India, as you can see from the above chart from the report. As such, Forrester posits key social players are now focusing on boosting revenue per user to bring in capital. The report notes how Twitter's experimentation with larger ad loads have led Japan, Twitter's biggest market outside the US, to grow revenue per user by 35.1% in 2018.

In addition, Forrester predicts social video ad spend will more than triple from $17.6 billion in 2018 to $56.5 billion in 2023. It identifies formats like video as the primary drivers of revenue per user on social platforms, noting the surprise performance of short video apps for social marketers last year. But it notes players like Tencent, Twitter, and Weibo have made big strides to facilitate video creation and sharing on their platforms, making them more conducive to video ads.


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