Singapore's advertising economy set to become the only Asia Pacific market to shrink in 2018

The city-state is the only Asia Pacific market expected to experience declines this year.

Singapore’s advertising economy is expected to shrink by 2.2% in 2018, with export weakness, lethargic gross domestic product, US and EU policy uncertainty all contributing to weak consumer confidence, tight credit and slowdowns in spend.

The city-state is the only Asia Pacific market expected to experience declines this year, with China advertising spending increasing by 10.3% this year, faster than previous expectations, Japan growing by 2.8% in 2018, as double-digit digital growth offset a decline in traditional ad sales and the Australian advertising economy increasing by 3%.

However, Singapore’s ad market is expected to return to growth next year (1.3% in 2019), although this will be just recouping some of the lost dollars in 2018.

This is according to a new report released by Magna Global, an IPG Mediabrands-owned company, which also found that in APAC, advertising sales will grow by almost 7% (6.9%) in 2018 to reach $165bn.

In addition, APAC remains the second largest region for advertising spend, behind North America’s $218bn, which represents accelerating growth compared to 5.7% in 2017.

According to the report, digital continues to hold the top spot for advertising spend in APAC and will increase by almost 17% in 2018 to reach $70bn, from 18% in 2017. TV remains second, with ad sales set to increase by 2.4% this year in the region.

Digital formats will command 42.5% of total advertising budgets this year, ahead of television’s 36% share as mobile continues to dominate within digital and will increase by 29% this year to reach two thirds of total digital advertising spend and search spending growing by 15% this year, accounting for just over half of total budgets.

It is bad news for print as newspaper spend will decline by 7.5% in 2018, and magazines will shrink by 12%. The report noted that while these are negative growth rates, they represent stronger growth than in 2017.

“Overall 2018 looks more promising in terms of ad spend growth in APAC compared to 2017. There is a clear spectrum of ad spend trends across APAC. For markets like China, Australia, Korea and Taiwan, digital is the key driver of growth,” said Gurpreet Singh, managing director at for APAC at Magna.

“In South Asian markets (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) and big south east Asian markets (Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam) TV still dominates ad spend; digital is growing very fast - but from a low base. Markets like Japan, HK, Malaysia and Singapore are rapidly closing the gap between TV and digital spends. In the next five years, we will see spends further consolidate between TV and digital leaving a small single digit share for other media.”

To get the full report, you can contact the global Magna team here.

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