Taiwan, Singapore widen lead over Hong Kong on digital ad spending, says report
HK spend to reach estimated US$748.5 million by 2020, but the digital share at 24pc, will be way behind Taiwan (51pc) and Singapore (30.8pc)
Advertising spending in Hong Kong is predicted to see a steady shift to digital media platforms over the next few years, with campaigns reaching an estimated US$748.5 million by 2020.
But the city may lag behind the rapid pace of such change in Taiwan, Singapore and other Southeast Asian economies.
A report published on Monday by research firm eMarketer, in collaboration with IAB Singapore, predicts digital campaigns will account for 51 per cent of total advertising expenditure in Taiwan and 30.8 per cent in Singapore by 2020, compared with 24 per cent in Hong Kong.
Malaysia and the Philippines are also expected to outpace Hong Kong with digital advertising spending shares of 25.2 per cent and 24.2 per cent, respectively, in the same period.
Shelleen Shum, a senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer, said the growth trajectory for broadband internet and mobile connectivity across Southeast Asia in the coming years “presents a unique opportunity for advertisers to tap into new markets of fast urbanising middle-class consumers”.
The latest industry forecast could also serve to temper expectations on the progress of digital advertising in Hong Kong, which a PwC report last year suggested would see revenue exceed that of television campaigns for the first time this year and be worth US$1.07 billion by 2020.
Media-monitoring firm admanGo last month said Hong Kong’s overall advertising market saw a 13 per cent year-on-year drop in spending to HK$39.8 billion in 2016 due to the slowdown in marketing campaigns of industries across the board.
Digital media, comprising online interactive and mobile platforms, accounted for a 13 per cent share of total advertising spending in Hong Kong last year, according to admanGo.
Shum said the sustained weakness of Hong Kong’s economy “prompted advertisers to act cautiously and cut budgets”.
The eMarketer report estimates digital campaigns will make up 20.4 per cent, worth US$616.8 million, of total advertising spending in Hong Kong this year, up from US$560.8 million last year.
In response to the report, Pixels chief executive Kevin Huang told the South China Morning Post that its estimates on the share of digital advertising in Hong Kong were “too conservative”.
Huang, who leads the city’s largest digital advertising agency, said: “Digital advertising has grown significantly in Hong Kong over the past three years, and its share of spending is close behind that of Taiwan’s.”
He pointed out that demand continues to be strong from various industries, as marketers retool their media spending programmes. This situation prompted the establishment of the Digital Marketing Association of Hong Kong in October, so advertisers can better understand online and mobile campaigns, he said.
The association’s founding members are Facebook, Google, the Post, Pixels, Yahoo, Next Digital, and media measurement and analytics company comScore.