Global digital advertising spending broke $100 billion for the first time, according to eMarketer, which predicts the business will grow another 15.1% this year.
That figure compares to a market increase of 17.8% in 2012. The slowing growth rate appears to be a natural consequence of the maturation of the industry — the larger it gets, the harder it is to grow. While figures for the entire ad industry’s growth in 2012 aren’t in yet, Magna Global last June predicted that the ad business would expand 4.8% worldwide in 2012.
Digital advertising’s stronger growth means it’s taking up more of the overall business. eMarketer estimates that online advertising accounted for just under 20% of all advertising. This year, 21.7% of the advertising pie will be taken up by digital advertising. The double-digit growth is expected to decline steadily until 2016.
Not surprisingly, eMarketer found that the biggest growth is happening outside of so-called mature markets. In particular, digital ad spending grew 55.8% in the Middle East and Africa in 2012 and 38.4% in Eastern Europe compared to 21.5% and 13.9% for North America and Western Europe, respectively. While eMarketer doesn’t break down ad spending by region, IAB last year estimated that the digital ad spend in the U.S. hit $31 billion in 2011.