Although internet ad spend, which is already the dominant medium in the UK ad market with a 50% share, will remain in second place to television globally, the gap between the market shares of the two mediums will shrink from 11 percentage points in 2015 to just four in 2017.
“The internet is quickly establishing itself as the dominant advertising medium, and on current trends will overtake television by the end of the decade,” said Steve King, ZenithOptimedia’s CEO.
“The amount of time viewers spend watching online video on their laptops, tablets and smartphones is increasing rapidly, as well as the launches of new devices, and advertisers are shifting their budgets online to follow them.”
The quarterly report also predicts that the UK will overtake Germany to become the world’s fourth largest advertising market in 2015.
The UK’s 5.4% growth, which compares to just 1.2% growth for the Germans, was attributed to a rise in mobile advertising, with mobile forecast to more than double its share of global ad spend from 5.1% currently to 12.9% by 2017.
The UK’s growth will follow a 2% rise in ad spend across Europe as the majority of Eurozone economies start to strengthen.
Global ad spend, meanwhile, is forecast to grow by 4.2% to total £334bn in 2015. This rate, according to ZenithOptimedia, will accelerate to 5% growth in 2016 due to the Summer Olympics and the US presidential elections.
The positive forecast for UK advertising follows April’s IPA Bellwether Report, which revealed that UK marketing budgets grew by 11.8% in the first three months of 2015, up from 6.1% in the final quarter of 2014, the tenth successive quarter of growth.