Study: Ad Revenue to Hit $545 Billion Globally in 2015

Mobile will surpass radio, magazines and outdoor in next three years

In large part due to surging revenue generated by advertising on social media sites and mobile devices, the global ad industry should grow five-to-six percent annually for the next three years, according to a study released Sunday from ZenithOptimedia.

In 2015, advertising is expected to grow 4.9 percent to $545 billion worldwide, but the next year it should leap 5.6 percent, helped by the Summer Olympics, a U.S. presidential election and the UEFA European Football Championship. The year after that growth should drop down to 5.2 percent.

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Mobile advertising will account for a whopping 51 percent of all new advertising dollars spent by advertisers between 2014-2017, according to ZenithOptimedia. Still, there's much room for improvement, as mobile accounts for just 6.2 percent of the ad-spend in the U.S. this year but occupies 23.3 percent of media consumption time.

ZenithOptimedia says mobile is challenged in that there is not a lot of screen space for advertising and that consumers consider mobile ads more intrusive and annoying than they do ads elsewhere.

That being said, "There's one area, though, where digital display has proved very successful on mobile, and that's social media," the report says. "Facebook and Twitter have rapidly restructured their  operations for mobile consumption and advertising, and between them are on track to capture 33 percent of all mobile ad-spend in 2014.

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Globally, mobile should take in $25.8 billion this year and rise to $68.2 billion in 2017, which means it will surpass radio, magazines and outdoor advertising and come very close to matching newspapers.

Despite competition from the Internet, television will remain dominant for the foreseeable future. In 2014, it will account for 39.6 percent of all ad revenue globally and in 2017 it will account for 37.4 percent, according to the report.

Regionally, the area growing fastest -- 10.3 percent annually from 2014-2017 -- is "fast-track Asia," which consists of China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philipines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Growing slowest, at 2.4 percent annually, is Japan, while North America is third from the bottom at 3.9 percent per year.

North America is so huge, though, that it will still account for more new dollars over that three-year time frame than any other region, despite the moderate growth rate.

The U.S. will remain the dominant country for years to come. This year, about $176.01 billion should be spent by advertisers in the U.S., far ahead of second-place China at $45.49 billion. In 2017, the U.S. will be at $197.54 billion and China will be at $62.08 billion.

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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