Over the next three years, Iran will add more ad dollars than any of the other countries included in Zenith’s Thirty Rising Media Markets report, published today. Zenith predicts that adspend in Iran will grow by US$713 million between 2017 and 2020, to reach US$2,117 million.

The lifting of international sanctions in January 2016 kick-started Iran’s economic growth and began its reintegration into the global economy, providing a powerful stimulus to the local advertising market. This stimulus depends on continued growth in trade and investment, and is subject to political risk – reimposition of sanctions would bring it to a halt.

The second-biggest growth in adspend will come from Bangladesh, which we forecast to grow by US$457 million between 2017 and 2020, reaching US$1,311 million. Bangladesh’s economy is growing at a healthy 7% a year, and with over 160 million inhabitants it is achieving substantial scale. By 2020 Bangladesh’s ad market will be more than twice the size of Pakistan’s, although Bangladesh has only 80% of Pakistan’s population.

We regularly survey 81 global advertising markets in our quarterly Advertising Expenditure Forecasts report. For the Thirty Rising Media Markets we looked further and identified 30 up-and-coming advertising markets that are developing quickly and are starting to rival the scale of some of the established 81 markets. Some of the 30 rising markets have already attracted interest from multinational advertisers and global agency groups, and others are opening up to international advertising for the first time. They vary widely in population, diversity of economic activities and productivity, but their economies are all growing rapidly, in the long run at least, and their advertising markets are growing even faster.

Advertising expenditure in these 30 markets totalled US$9.7bn in 2017, 12.7% more than in 2016, while the global ad market as a whole grew by 4.0%. Over the next three years we expect them to grow at an average rate of 12.4%, three times faster than the world average growth rate of 4.1%.  By 2020 we forecast they will generate a total of US$13.8bn in advertising expenditure, having grown by US$4.1bn since 2017. 29% of this growth will come from Iran and Bangladesh.

In percentage terms, the fastest-growing markets are in Africa and south Asia: we forecast 19% average annual growth in Angola, and 18% growth in Myanmar and Ethiopia. We forecast 15% annual growth in Tanzania, Bangladesh, Ghana and Iran.

‘These thirty rising ad markets may be small now, but they are rapidly becoming richer with fast-growing demand for consumer goods’, said Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s Global Brand President. ‘They have great potential for brand growth for early entrants, which have the opportunity to establish their brands with relatively little competition.’

‘While the global ad market remains stuck at 4% annual growth, these markets are growing dynamically,’ said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s Head of Forecasting and Director of Global Intelligence. ‘They are becoming too big to ignore – by 2020 they will collectively overtake the adspend in Australia, the world’s seventh largest ad market.’

The 30 countries included in this report are: Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Paraguay, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.

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