Slowing internet advertising growth to be overtaken by cinema

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

For the first time in 18 years, internet advertising will lose its place as the highest-growth portion of the advertising market, and is set to be overtaken by more traditional media.

In 2001, the bursting of the dotcom bubble left global internet advertising growth at under 10% - but since then it recovered strongly, peaking in 2005 at more than 40%. It has been the fastest-growing advertising medium for nearly 20 years.

However, following concerns about online security, placement of ads beside extreme and inappropriate content, and dropping trust in internet giants, brands are looking for lower-risk placements for their advertising content.

According to Zenith, the global media agency group, next year internet advertising will grow by just 10%. At the same time, cinema advertising will grow by more than 12% - unprecedentedly overtaking online advertising.

While the online sector stumbles slightly, the film sector is more successful than ever, with cinema attendance in 2018 at its highest since 1970. 

The research shows that overall growth in ad spend will be at just above 4% - and that following behind cinema and internet advertising will be outdoor, whose ad spend growth is set to be around 4.5%.

These three sectors are the only predicted to be above average next year, with TV, newspaper and magazine advertising growing negatively.

While growth is slowing, it's clear that internet advertising is still a vital part of the market. In 2020, a full half of the £520 billion global advertising spend will be online. Zenith commented that the wealth of SMEs spending their whole ad budgets on Google and Facebook ads drive internet advertising - but at the same time, big brands remain committed to traditional media outlets, spending big there.