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China 2015: BACKGROUND | Media Spending

Total media spending is expected to reach ¥524.8 billion ($85.7 billion) in 2015, double the level of 2009, and allocation of media investment has shifted dramatically with the growth of Internet marketing.

TV will comprise less than half of media spending for the first time in 2014. Internet will account for almost one-third of media spending. Spending on outdoor, print and radio together will total about one-fifth of media spending and growth is flat or declining.

Internet, which totaled only ¥20.7 billion ($3.4 billion), 8 percent of media spending, in 2009, is expected to grow sixfold to ¥148.3 billion ($24.3 billion) in 2014, reaching a 31 percent share of media spending.

In contrast, TV spending increased only by about one-third, from ¥165.5 billion ($27.1 billion) to ¥221.2 billion ($36.2 billion), during the same period, and TV’s media spending share declined from 63 percent to 47 percent.

This evolution brings TV spending in China into rough alignment with average TV spending worldwide. The growth rate for TV spending, low in most regions of the world, is lowest in China and Western Europe, at 2 percent. 

Meanwhile, spending on Internet advertising is growing more rapidly in China than in other country markets worldwide.

In 2014, Internet spending in China was expected to grow 35 percent, compared with 8 percent in Western Europe and a world average of just 14 percent.

The shift in spending reflects the changes in how Chinese consume media. Multiscreen users look
at a screen almost eight hours daily. Two-thirds of this time is divided roughly evenly between smartphones and laptops. TV watching occupies about an hour- and-a-half and tablets about an hour.

Chinese multiscreen users exceed the world averages for time spent on all these devices except TV. And at any time during the day, Chinese consumers are more likely to be using their smart phone than any other digital device.