ZenithOptimedia says ad market to stabilise in 2010

The recession caused an “unprecedented” downturn in advertising revenues this year but there are signs that the market is stabilising and will grow next year, according to ZenithOptimedia.

The Publicis owned media agency says it expects global ad income to drop 10.2% to $443.7bn (£271.5bn) this year, hit by the “worst recession since the Great Depression”.

However, the media agency has raised its growth forecast for next year, from 0.4% to 0.9%, its first 2010 upgrade in 18 months.

Zenith adds it expects the market will continue to “improve steadily” over the next three years and will reach “normal” 5% growth in 2012.

Despite global increases, the agency says Western European and US ad markets will continue to decline next year, falling to $106.2bn (£64.9bn) and $153.3bn (£93.8bn) from $106.7bn (£65.3bn) and $156.9bn (£96bn) respectively.

Television ad spend is forecast to fall 7.6% to $171.5bn (£104.9bn) this year, but will see its market share increase from 38.2% to 39.2% as people turn to the “cheap but absorbing form of entertainment” in the recession. The medium is expected to grow to $175bn (£107.1bn) next year.

Spending on newspapers and magazines is expected to drop to $101.9bn (£62.3bn) and $45.1bn (£27.6bn) this year and again to $97.8bn (£59.8bn) and $43.1bn (£26.4bn) respectively in 2010.

Online is the only medium that has grown this year, up from $49.3bn (£30.2bn) last year to $54bn (£33bn), and is forecast to grow again to $60bn (£36.8bn) in 2010.

The agency says the internet to overtake newspapers to become the world’s second-largest advertising medium by 2015.

The sunnier forecast from Zenith tells a similar story to a recent study by Nielsen that showed that the decline in advertising spending is slowing.

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