Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Sep 15, 2014

TV to fall below 50% of adspend in China: GroupM

SHANGHAI - According to GroupM's 2015 China media forecast, television's share of advertising expenditure will drop below 50 per cent for the first time. Meanwhile online ad growth will slow (having reached scale last year), out-of-home will be increasingly digitised and radio is regaining favour as car ownership rises.

CCTV headquarters
CCTV headquarters

Even though TV still holds a dominant place among all forms of media in terms of coverage and influence, its 50.3 per cent share of all advertising expenditure in 2013 will drop to 46.8 per cent this year and to 43 per cent in 2015.

The development of the market for internet-enabled televisions in China is not yet noteworthy for advertisers. Despite an estimated installed base of nearly 30 million, the sector is hampered by heavy government restrictions and a complicated ecosystem that will delay development through 2014, according to the media-agency network. The Chinese will continue to access internet content primarily through PCs and mobile devices, where the regulatory climate is much more favourable.

Cooperation between TV and e-commerce companies is probably a trend in the future, according to GroupM. For example, the recent A Bite of China 2 programme collaborated with Tmall for a simultaneous launch of the recipes shown in the program. For advertisers, such cooperation can take advantage of the two platforms to enhance exposure and provide easily quantified sales figures attributed to the influence of TV.

E-commerce search ads will contribute the largest share of internet adspend in 2015. Brands are beginning to invest in advertising on China’s leading e-commerce platforms, not only to drive traffic and sales to their online flagship shops, but also in recognition of an e-commerce site as a ‘medium’.

The internet continues to play an important role in China, but the biggest "revolution" currently underway is the shift to mobile. Traffic to social networks, online video sites, and search are all beginning to cross the 50 per cent mark, said Andrew Carter, president of trading and knowledge at GroupM China. In 2015, brands will attempt to keep pace by funneling more adspend into cross-screen search and video campaigns, as well as mobile display ads on 'hero' apps and in-app ad networks.

Digitisation will strengthen the OOH ad market, as the traditional billboards and LCD screens in major cities give way to high-definition, interactive ones. The overall growth rate of out-of-home advertising expenditure is forecast to be 5.7 per cent this year and 6.2 per cent next year.

Finally, advertisers have increasingly favoured radio in recent years as private car ownership continues to grow. Ads targeting ‘high-value’ consumers have been launched to match their listening patterns. These consumers have later 'peak periods', from 9 to 10 am and 8 to 9 pm as they drive to and from work at these times. Radio's ability to reach this segment has been proven and will maintain adex in 2015 at a growth rate of 3.4 per cent, according to GroupM.


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