Digital, Alternative Media Revs Forecast To Hit $436B By 2017

Various types of mobile marketing and advertising accounted for nine of the top 10 fastest-growing digital and alternative media channels last year.

Driven by rebounding economies and wider broadband and smartphone penetration, PQ Media expects total digital and alternative revenue to reach $436.3 billion by 2017, increasing at a 14.1% clip annually.

Along with mobile, rising spending on Internet, digital out-of–home, product placement and other nontraditional media during the first half of 2013 equates to 13.6% revenue growth to $256.7 billion worldwide for the full year. That growth rate would mark a slight improvement on the 12% gain last year to $136.4 billion, according to a new study by PQ Media.

The media research firm’s “Global Digital & Alternative Media Revenue Forecast 2013-2017” reflects both projected advertising and marketing spending. Advertising is expected to account for nearly $104 million of the media total this year, with marketing accounting for almost $153 million. The former will rise 16.5% annually over the next four years, while marketing will increase a bit more slowly, at 12.3%.

Mobile will play a major part in that growth. Last year, mobile coupons were the fastest-gaining category in revenue -- up 115%, with online coupons, mobile marketing apps, mobile email, and mobile video and rich media all up by 50% or more. The eye-catching figures are partly the result of mobile starting from a smaller base than Internet advertising.

Mobile overall accounted for only 10.9% of digital and alternative (D&A) advertising in 2012, and 6.1% of marketing spend. Online advertising still dominates D&A advertising, with 73.3% share of ad dollars, while the Internet garners 45.1% of overall marketing budgets. The top categories by revenue last year were online search, online display and classified, consumer event sponsorship, consumer event marketing and online email.

D&A media spending is projected to make up nearly a third of global advertising and marketing revenue in 2017 -- up from about 23% this year -- and 13.3% in 2007. The U.S. will remain the largest market in 2017, with China overtaking Japan and the U.K. to claim the No. 2 slot. Russia will be the fastest-growing market, trailed by India and China.

In 2012, the U.S generated 29.7% share of worldwide D&A spending, followed closely by Japan and the U.K., at 28.5% and 28.1%, respectively. Rounding out the top five were China (27.5%) and Germany (27.1%).

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