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Digital Ad Spending On The Rise Globally

With consumers increasingly tethered to their smartphones, tablets and other devices, expect brands to funnel more and more of their marketing dollars into digital channels. A new global report by eMarketer finds that 2016 will be the year when advertisers in the United Kingdom spend more on digital advertising than on traditional media. By 2017, China will do the same, and in 2018, Denmark, Australia and Norway will join the list.

Only three of the 20 markets examined by eMarketer showed a decline in total ad spending for 2015: France, Finland and Norway. However, even in those markets, spending on digital advertising is expected to grow.

In the U.S., digital ad spending as a share of total media ad spending was at 31.6% in 2015. Next year, it is expected to grow to 34.4%, according to eMarketer. By 2019, digital ad spending in the U.S. is projected to reach 41.4% of total ad spending.

When it comes to the types of companies investing in digital, fast-moving consumer packaged goods are the leaders, in part due to multinational brands’ adeptness at such channels and their willingness to invest in developing markets ahead of local players. Still, for many startups in the developing world, digital advertising is most affordable, and such companies often direct 100% of their ad budgets to digital channels, according to eMarketer.

The auto industry was another big spender in digital, especially in countries where auto sales are on the rise. In China, automotive digital ad spending was up 3% in 2015. Car buyers around the world have become accustomed to researching their purchases online, helping fuel the increase in digital advertising in this sector.