Digital spending continues to surge in Hong Kong: PwC

Total digital revenue surpassed non-digital for the first time in 2016 for advertising and consumer spending in Hong Kong. This trend is projected to continue at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% to reach US$6.6bn in revenue in 2021, according to PwC’s global entertainment and media outlook 2017–2021.

Paid search and high video consumption is driving this shift to online advertising. However, the study projects Hong Kong’s entertainment and media industry will grow at a CAGR of 3% in 2016-2021, lagging behind a 4.7% growth of GDP CAGR.

To cope with the challenges of shifting consumption habits of content, PwC said companies must embrace technology to improve quality of content and create the most compelling user experience.

Top 3 segments experiencing highest growth in 2016-2021 are internet video (22.9%), internet advertising (10.2%) and video games (6.6%).

2016 marks a tipping point in digital revenue surpassing non-digital forms. Key drivers include social media platforms as well as better data analytics and advertising technology that has improved the quality and relevancy of adverts to drive mobile advertising spend.

“This gives companies greater flexibility in planning and measuring digital adverts more effectively,” said Cecilia Yau, PwC Hong Kong entertainment and media leader.

In Hong Kong, mobile internet advertising is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 17.5% to reach US$587mn by 2019, surpassing paid search. The segment is generating the highest growth among four engines of advertising for this period such as paid search (8.7%) classified (4.8%) and display (3.0%) advertising.

Mobile advertising will continue to dominate internet advertising spend. “Measuring analytics from social media and online searches is key to understanding users’ digital footprint to optimise products and enhance the brand experience,” said Wilson Chow, PwC China and Hong Kong TMT leader.

Within the video games segment, social/casual gaming revenue (US$373mn) exceeded traditional gaming revenue (US$360mn) in Hong Kong for the first time in 2016. The figure marks a year-on-year increase of 25.8%. Hong Kong’s total video games revenue for 2016 was US$742mn, which reflects the increasing importance of this segment in the entertainment & media sector.

Total TV advertising revenue in Hong Kong reached US$664mn in 2016 after two years of sharp declines in 2014 and 2015. Hong Kong’s traditional TV market is highly correlated to the slowdown of domestic consumption and retail sales. Stagnant growth in this market reflect shifting generational preferences as younger viewers opt to spend less and stream more.

(Photo courtesy: 123rf)

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