Asia Pacific will overtake North America as the world’s biggest market for digital ad spend this year, according to forecasts from Strategy Analytics.
It is expected an 18.2% surge in digital ad spend in Asia Pacific to $59.7bn will help it overhaul North America, whose spend is expected to increase 9.6% to $59.5bn.
The big jump in spend in APAC is being driven by China, which will grow 25.1% to $22.4bn.
China is the second biggest country for digital spend, but its market is still half the size of the US.
The digital ad spend market in the US will stand at $55.6bn at the end of the year and when combined with China the two countries will account for 44% of global digital ad spend this year.
Strategy Analytics forecasts global digital ad spend will increase 12.6% in total this year to $176.7bn, representing a 32% share of total ad spend.
Within digital ad spend, search advertising accounts for 52% of overall spend, display advertising stands at 36% and classifieds at 11%.
Research and analytics firm Strategy Analytics forecasts APAC’s digital ad market will be 33% bigger than North America’s in 2021.
Strategy Analytics digital media director Michael Goodman said: “Advertising is about ‘eyeballs’ and the sheer scale of the Chinese market, along with India and Indonesia, is why Asia-Pacific will overtake North America this year, despite underlying economic weakness in some economies. Millions just can’t compete with billions.”
The digital ad spend per capita in the North America still far outstrips other regions.
Northern America spends $165 per person, while Western Europe trails in second with a $95 spend per person.
In comparison, spend is APAC is only $15 a person.
Goodman said: “Asia-Pacific’s relatively low ad spend per capita shows the tremendous potential for growth compared to the more saturated markets in the West, particularly with mobile phones removing a barrier to internet access in less developed markets.
“This will grow the online population dramatically and, consequently, ad spend will follow suit.”