Regional online adspend to hit 4% in 4 years

The third Arab Media Outlook, released today, offered a hopeful alternative to the doubts raised in my post yesterday: The Middle East online advertising industry won't have to sustain itself on a measly one per cent of the region's total adspend much longer. The Dubai Press Club and their partners at Value Partners project that the internet will take up four per cent of the $6.3 billion spend on advertising in the region in 2013.

Most of this growth will be driven by increasing broadband penetration, as I'll be discussing in tomorrow's paper, but some will come from eating newspapers' lunch. Newspapers soaked up 52 per cent of adspend in the region in 2007, then saw a huge boost during the property boom of 2008. But 2013, according to the report, they'll take up 49 per cent. That's still incredibly large marketshare for print compared to other markets, but one little stat in the new report shows the writing is on the (Facebook) wall: 40% of news consumers in the Arab region got their news via internet in 2009.

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