Publishing and Ad Spend: Next chapter in your business

  • Print is by far the most popular medium for UAE advertisers to get their message across, with newspapers accounting for 55%; magazines 15%; and television, 10% of advertising outlays in 2012, according to figures from PARC.
  • Advertising spending increased 9% in 2012 over 2011, rising from $1.45 billion to $1.58 billion.
  • While spending on ads grew by 4% in 2012 over 2011 in both the newspaper and magazine segments, television saw a decrease of 6% in 2012.
  • Advertising outlays in English-language papers totaled $499 million in 2012, topping the $388 million spent on Arabic-language papers.
  • Government and organizational advertising remained at the top of the market in terms of spending with $371 million, or 23% of all spend.
  • 55% of total ad spending goes to newspapers.
  • Abu Dhabi is home to Emirates Novel Award

Publishing opportunities are high across the region with strong growth across publishing mediums. As global print revenues plummet, across the Arab world they are growing by 15% year on year. The difference is that whereas growth in advertising spend has slowed in mature markets, it is on the rise in the MENA region. Between 2014 and 2018, ad spend per capita is forecast to grow 2.8 percent in Saudi Arabia, 6.2 percent in Egypt, and 2.7 percent in the UAE — compared with just 2.5 percent in the U.S., 1.7 percent in Japan, and 1.4 percent in Germany. Overall, the MENA advertising market is expected to enjoy a 6 percent CAGR from 2014 to 2019, from $5.6 billion to $7.6 billion, compared with 4.4 percent for the global advertising market.

One important shift to watch will be the rebalancing in ad spending among different types of media. Newspapers, for example, account for 32 percent of advertising spend, but just 9 percent of time spent on media. By contrast, digital media accounts for 27 percent of time spent by consumers, but only 9 percent of advertising spend. With investment in high-quality ad platforms and capabilities in the region, digital advertising should increase substantially. Additionally, the increased penetration of IPTV in a few GCC countries offers marketers the potential to increase the efficiency of their TV advertising. This could potentially accelerate the shift of advertising away from newspapers and magazines in these markets.

The UAE has some of the highest circulation figures in the region and an estimated 56% of readers read a newspaper every day – compared to 45% in Saudi Arabia and 42% in Egypt. The market is almost evenly split between readers with subscriptions (49%) and those without (51%), which is high by regional standards.

The Pan Arab Research Centre (PARC) ranks the UAE as the MENA region’s top advertising market, estimating spend for the first nine month of 2013 at Dh4.37bn ($1.2bn). This represents a 4% gain from the same period a year prior. Print is by far the most popular medium for UAE advertisers to get their message across, with newspapers accounting for 55%; magazines 15%; and television, 10% of advertising outlays in 2012, according to figures from PARC. Advertising spending increased 9% in 2012 over 2011, rising from $1.45bn to $1.58bn.