MAGNA: Malaysia’s advertising economy to increase by +1.1%

December 7, 2018

MAGNA recently released their global advertising report – monitoring, analyzing and forecasting media owners advertising revenues in 73 countries and across every media category (television, digital, print, radio, outdoor, and multiple sub-categories). APAC ad spend growth will increase by +7.1% in 2019, to reach $177 billion. Growth will only slightly slower than 2018’s +7.7% growth rate, but higher than prior expectations (+6.0% in June 2018).

Spend in APAC is concentrated as almost two thirds of total ad spend occurs in China (42% of total spend) and Japan (23%). However the fastest-growing markets in 2019 will be in the Indian sub-continent: Sri Lanka (+17%), India (+15%), and Pakistan (+14%). On the other end of the spectrum, Singapore (+1%), Malaysia (+1%) and New Zealand (+2%) will show little or no growth in 2019.

Growth in APAC is led by digital advertising formats, which will increase by +16% in 2019 to reach $81 billion, representing 46% of total ad sales.

“2019 will continue to be a hugely challenging year for marketers, however we will see an abundance of opportunities for innovation and creativity in media. With the slight decline in adex 2018, publishers are eager to capture their fair share of the market by providing bespoke solutions and being more open to innovation in media. Traditional players are already racing to integrate digital to their offerings, and in 2019, we look forward to further expanding opportunities in this space,” said Audrey Chong, Chief Investment Officer of Magna Malaysia.

Gurpreet Singh, Managing Director MAGNA APAC added that “The battle for share of ad spend continues between TV and digital across most of the APAC markets. There is a clear movement towards digital across the spectrum, including most of the TV dominant markets.

Malaysia’s advertising economy will increase by +1.1% in 2019, slightly stronger than this year’s +0.3% performance, but below prior expectations for +2.8% growth. Television advertising revenues will decrease by -3.2% in 2019, as they did in 2018, as double-digit CPM inflation is not enough offset the significant declines in viewership on traditional linear television.

Digital advertising formats will increase by +11% in 2019 to reach a third of total budgets. This is relatively slow growth for the relatively low penetration of digital advertising formats in Malaysia, but that is reflective both of brands that are still reluctant (many brands are only spending on digital formats for the first time in the past year), as well as a newfound focus on brand safety and viewability. Newspaper readership continues to decline, and advertising revenues will decline by -10%. Newspaper advertising still commands 20% of total brand budgets, however, the fourth highest total globally (behind global leader Austria).


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APPIES is an annual festival of the best marketing ideas in Malaysia and Asia. Only outstanding campaigns that have unique marketing success stories will go on to ultimately win the APPIES Gold or Silver Medals.

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