China Insights

GroupM: Ad spending in China to grow 5.2% in 2018

Martin Guo

Editor-in-Chief, Kantar China Insights

TV & Movie 26.04.2018 / 12:11

TYNY 2018 Spring cover 2 col

Spring 2018 edition of This Year, Next Year: China Media Industry Forecast report estimates ad spending in China this year will grow 5.2% to reach 585.8 billion yuan.

GroupM China on April 25 published its Spring 2018 edition of This Year, Next Year: China Media Industry Forecast report. It forecasts that total ad spending in the Chinese market will reach 585.8 billion yuan in 2018, with growth rate rebounding to 5.2%. This is partly due to stable upward trends in terms of macroeconomics and consumer confidence, combined with anticipated improvements in the structure of China’s economy and a rebound in the global economy, all of which will support continued growth in overall ad spending. Another key factor is that 2018 is a big year for sports marketing, drawing significant amounts of attention to TV screens and strongly guiding a flow back towards traditional live broadcasting.

The report also estimated a 4.3% growth in total ad spending in 2017 in China. While the rate of growth in Internet ad spending had slowed down, the sector remained the main driver of growth in total.

This Year, Next Year: China Media Industry Forecast is part of GroupM’s media and marketing forecast research and uses data mainly sourced from its parent company, WPP, across various sectors including advertising, public relations, market research and communications. The report features in-depth analysis of changes in market share and placement trends for different types of media.

GroupM is Kantar’s sister company within WPP.

Traditional TV commercials will see a continued fall in overall spending, with expenditure shifting further toward content marketing and digital marketing and an increase in brand placement in variety shows and dramas. In 2018, the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, FIFA World Cup in Russia and Asian Games in Jakarta will provide a shot in the arm for TV media, while the development of e-sports will create new growth points for traditional sports. OTT (Over The Top) TV, such as smart TV sets or Internet-based TV set-top boxes, is currently attracting the attention of even more consumers and advertisers and becoming a new area of opportunity in the big-screen market.

Compared with previous years, Internet advertising spending is forecast to grow at a slightly slower rate of 13.5% in 2018, with advertising on e-commerce platforms accounting for a bigger share than any of other Internet ad formats in this category. In 2017, Internet advertising further developed in the directions of product placement, native advertising and intelligent marketing. Laws and regulations to deal with the burgeoning information network industry have been issued in quick succession, while news feed ads and “self-media” may also face more strict government scrutinies. As a result, advertising and marketing campaigns will need to continue to discard outdated methods and pursue innovations while complying with the relevant laws, rules and regulations.

The out-of-home advertising market remains buoyant thanks to its advantages, such as viewability, reach, consumer proximity and low interference, and ad spending growth for this sector is forecast to remain high at 9.2%. Backed by further developments in big data, new technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), OOH marketing can now be integrated into a variety of “things”, which could evolve into another point of entry to the IoT era, maximizing the value of integrated marketing and cross-screen linkages, which will aid the further development of programmatic buying for outdoor advertising.

Radio media stabilized after experiencing a wave of growth driven by the popularity of mobile radio and private car ownership. Developments in AI and the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) are creating opportunities for innovation in radio media. Newspapers and magazines are currently tapping their core assets, exploring new business growth points, and moving into the knowledge economy market.

Rycan Di, Chief Investment Officer at GroupM China, explained: “The media outlook is continually changing and coalescing, consumer behaviour is constantly changing, and marketing campaigns are also transforming to different models and exploring methods such as content marketing and intelligent marketing in search of better audience experiences and greater effectiveness. However, GroupM has always been guided by an unwavering commitment to maintain a grasp of consumer media usage and identify the touchpoints that are most appropriate for individual brands.”

Patrick Xu, CEO of GroupM China and WPP China, commented: “Consumption upgrades are coming into play in many sectors in China, and as consumers place increasing emphasis on quality of life and brand experience, improving the quality and personalisation of brand marketing is also increasingly important and will be a strong driver of growth in the advertising ecosystem. However, the trend towards active development across the whole ecosystem is inextricably linked to the creation of uniform standards, improvements in measurement, and further increases in industry integrity, as well as to the combined efforts of all industry players.”

Source: GroupM

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