4 Predictions about Latin American Media in 2012

4 Predictions about Latin American Media in 2012This post is also available in: Spanish

Although we’re not quite Nostradamus, after reviewing a number of different studies on the Latin American media market, we have a few predictions for 2012.


#1 Print Will Become Stronger
In in a recent media study, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predicted that daily newspaper revenue in Latin America will grow by 4.7% per year through 2015; in that time frame, Latam’s daily newspapers will take in a combined total of $9.2 billion. Top Latam print markets in the near future include Argentina (set to grow by 32.7% per year until 2015), Brazil and Mexico. These future predictions are in line with the present. Last year magazines in Brazil broke a record for revenues, newspaper circulation in Latam is up 5% since 2005 and print media adspend continued to increase in 2011 in the region’s main markets.


#2 Brazil Will Overtake Mexico in Pay TV
In May 2011, the Latin American Multichannel Advertising Council reported that Mexico had 10.5 million homes subscribing to pay TV, ahead of Brazil (9.8 million) and Argentina (7.9). But in October, Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações said that 12.2 million households in Brazil were subscribing to pay TV. The quick increase and annual growth rate of 25% suggests strongly that Brazil will become Latin America’s biggest pay TV market in 2012.


#3 Online Will Surge Impressively

Until recently, online ad spend has been modest in Latam. But 2010 saw some spectacular rises, and those continued in 2011. For instance, the Cámara Argentina de Agencias de Medios reports a 86% increase in online ad spend in 2011 for Argentina. IAB Colombia and PwC reported in late 2011 that in Colombia, online ad spend grew by 69% between the third quarter of 2010 and the third quarter of 2011. And just recently, IAB Brasil announced that online ad spend went up 25% in Brazil in 2011.
These increases—as well as 40% projected Internet penetration for all of Latin America in 2012—suggest that this year will bring even more spectacular growth for online media in the region.


#4 Mobile Will Take Off as an Ad Platform
A number of factors seem to be in place to allow for mobile ads to take off in Latin America. First, phone quality is improving: Latin Americans are buying more multimedia and smartphones. In fact, IDC research predicts an 80% increase in smartphone sales in Latin America in 2012. In addition, other mobile-friendly factors are falling in place. Brazil ranks #5 in the world in mobile Internet usage and other countries are catching up, including Mexico and Colombia. In addition, comScore’s December 2011 Device Essentials report notes that mobile devices (including phones and tablets) accounted for an average of 12.6 percent of all web browsing in 10 major Latin American markets. Brazil has 39.9% of its mobile web traffic coming from tablets, which accounted for 38.9% of Colombia’s mobile web traffic. Tablets are also important for accessing the mobile web in Ecuador (30% of traffic), Mexico (27.8%) and Costa Rica (27%).


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