Report: Global Media Ad Revenues Will Grow More Slowly in 2015

World Cup, Olympics boosted the industry this year

In the past year, global media advertising revenues jumped 5.5 percent to reach $512 billion, Magna Global estimates. But in 2015, growth will likely slow to 4.8 percent.

The forecast is in line with two others released by GroupM and ZenithOptimedia, which both predict growth of around 4.9 percent next year, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Special "even-year" events—the Olympic Winter Games, FIFA World Cup and U.S. midterm elections—helped spur larger numbers this year. While next year's grown won't match 2014, Magna noted it will be higher than the last odd year, 2013, which saw 4.2 percent growth.

"In 2015, the lack of non-recurring events, the continued slowdown of the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa's economies] and the deflationary effects generated by the rise of digital media will inhibit global advertising growth, in a slight disconnect with the positive acceleration in the macro-economic environment,” wrote Vincent Letang, director of global forecasting at Magna Global, a New York firm that makes and researches media investments.

U.S. media owners saw their ad revenues rise by 4 percent to $165 billion this year, better than last year's 2.4 percent. That revenue is expected to grow by 2.7 percent next year. 

Worldwide, mobile and social media campaigns boosted digital media revenue by 17.2 percent in 2014, to $142 billion. Magna Global expects the category to grow another 15.1 percent in 2015, reaching $163 billion. And by 2019, digital media should be on par with television, with each capturing 38 percent of total revenues.

Interestingly, Magna Global found that digital is already the top media category in 14 of the 73 markets it covers, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, China, Sweden and the Netherlands. In the U.S. market, digital mediums will outpace the current leader—television—by 2017, the group predicts.

One reason for that growth is programmatic technology, according to the report. Digital media inventory that moved through programmatic platforms increased 52 percent in 2014, to $21 billion. Overall, programmatic spending across all categories was up 9 percent.