Digital advertising spending in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region will overtake North America for the first time this year, forecasts Strategy Analytics. APAC digital ad spending is projected to increase by 18.2% this year to $59.7 billion, edging North America’s $59.5 billion after its own 9.5% rise.
China will power APAC’s digital ad spend growth with a 25.1% surge this year, per the report. While China will be the world’s second-largest digital ad spender ($22.4 billion), its total spend will be dwarfed by that of the US, that world leader at $55.6 billion.
The US’ digital ad spending isn’t showing any signs of slowing, either. IAB’s revenue reports have showed double-digit online ad spending growth in the US for 24 consecutive quarters as of Q1 2016, including a 17% compound annual growth rate between 2005 and 2015.
Combined, China and the US will account for an impressive 44% of the total $167.6 billion spent on digital advertising.
While North America is expected to cede its title as the top region for digital ad spend, it will easily retain its lead in per capita digital ad spend. In fact, digital ad spend in North America is expected to exceed $165 per capita this year, more than 10 times the APAC rate ($14.94).
Last year, a report from Strategy Analytics found that the US spends $567 per capita on advertising, topping all other countries. China, with its vast population, was second-last on the list of 24 countries, spending $35 per capita on advertising.
An earlier report from MarketingCharts found that for every $1 spent on a US online user in 2003, advertisers were spending about $2.84 in 2012.
Overall, the latest forecast from Strategy Analytics calls for digital ad spend to climb by 12.6% this year and represent almost one-third (32%) of total advertising spend worldwide. Search will continue to be the dominant form of digital advertising at 52% share of spend, followed by display (36%) and classifieds (11%).