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Online ad spend to hit $1bn in Mena

Beirut, January 30, 2014

Online advertising spending totalled $300 million in the Mena region in 2013, and is increasing at a 37 per cent growth rate a year to reach $1 billion in 2017, said an industry expert.

“Online advertising is an essential driver for the growth of Arab web and mobile businesses. With the increase of ad budgets, the entire digital sector will flourish,” stated Omar Christidis, CEO and founder of ArabNet.

According to Michel Malkoun, managing director at Digital Media Services, social media reigned supreme a couple of years ago because it provided a very practical and efficient tool for small agencies to make money and reach a wide spectrum of audiences.

“As of 2013, the scene has evolved a great deal with most of the traditional marketing business units (MBUs) creating a digital department to service their clients’ needs,” said Malkoun.

According to him, the advent of rich media, mobile advertising, and the revamping of numerous websites triggered the move towards digital, and was reinforced the moment MBUs realized the potential of dollar spends in this sector.

He was speaking ahead of the upcoming ArabNet Beirut Forum, which will discuss digital and social media marketing.

The forum, running from March 4 to 6, will feature more than 80 experienced speakers from across the Mena region and beyond to discuss the opportunities in web and mobile for the media and entertainment industries.

The event will feature the Creative Combat, a one-of-its-kind competition that allows ambitious creatives in the fields of advertising, media and communications to showcase their digital innovation in front of more than 600 attendees.

Today, Lebanon leads advertising spend in the Levant, with $463 million, followed by Jordan with an ad spend of $140 million—almost three times less than its leader. While traditional advertising is growing, investment in digital advertising is increasing much more rapidly.

To compare, television advertising grew by 8 per cent, and print advertising by 5 per cent, whereas digital advertising increased by a whopping 29 per cent during the past year. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Online advertising | Digital | Social media | Arabnet |

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