In 2010, that spot was held by Japan, where total media ad spending last year reached $34 billion. But after slow, 0.4% growth in spending last year, the effect of the tsunami and continuing economic difficulties this year will cause ad spending in Japan to drop by 3.7%, to $32.7 billion.
Meanwhile, spending in China will increase by 14% in 2011, to $38.3 billion. The US will remain the world’s leading country in terms of total media ad spending, with a projected $157.4 billion in ad dollars this year.
“One key reason for Asia-Pacific’s growth in ad spending is that the region’s two most populous countries－India and China－two of the world’s fastest-growing economies,” said Kris Oser, eMarketer director of strategic communications and author of the new report, “Worldwide Ad Spending: Online Drives Growth.” “In 2010, China surpassed Japan as the world’s second-biggest economy. And this year marks another major milestone for the country.”
For digital advertising, China still has some catching up to do. This year, eMarketer estimates, advertisers will spend $4.6 billion on digital in the country, far short of Japan’s projected $7.2 billion in spending. But by 2014, China’s higher growth trajectory will bring the two countries closer with each other, at $9.5 billion in spending. The following year, China will win out and become the largest online ad market in Asia-Pacific.
Still, the huge Chinese population means that these spending levels are low on a per-person basis. This year, Chinese total media ad spending will reach $28.68 per person, compared to $258.88 in Japan and $502.49 in the US. In 2015 that figure will still be far below the worldwide average. Advertisers will spend $8.68 per internet user in China this year, vs. $76.80 in Japan and $134.87 in the US. Though spending per Internet user in China nearly doubles by 2015, online spending too will remain below average.