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Abu Dhabi Media Summit: eMarketer's Ramsey says a third of planet is on web

Geoff Ramsey, (Founder & CEO, eMarketer) dazzled the Abu Dhabi Media Summit audience with an 18-minute presentation that allowed them at least to peer into the digital future.

Drawing on eMarketer’s new Global Media Intelligence Report, Ramsey ripped through statistics and charts covering 40 markets.

32% of the world’s estimated 7 billion people are online, Ramsey noted. “One third of the planet are active internet users, accessing the web.”

Of the $540 billion dollars spent globally on advertising, the internet represents around 20% - a figure of $676.17 billion.

By 2016, Ramsey forecasts, “two thirds of people on the planet” will have a mobile device.

“There’s no surprise that some markets like Brazil, India, Asia Pacific,  Mexico, Middle East and Africa as a region are behind in terms of penetration but the story here is one of growth,” the eMarketer CEO stated.

China currently has 880 million mobile uses, “one fifth of all global mobile users in the world.”

Meanwhile, the rise of the smartphone continues apace.

“Right now, roughly a billion people on the planet have a smartphone,” Ramsey revealed.

In the next four years, he said, this figure would continue to shoot up. In the coming four years, in China alone, the use of smartphones is expected to rise from 27% to 43%. “But that’s half a billion people in that country alone that are on smartphones.”

Another trend Ramsey picked up was the rapid move from fixed line broadband to mobile connections.

Other statistics tidbits included the information that 1.4 billion people now access social networks, “one out of every five people on the planet and 62% of all internet users.”

Ramsey queried Facebook’s claim that it has now passed a billion users. “We think it’s probably closer to 826 million based on inactive accounts of people who’ve come and gone and moved on to other places.” However, Ramsey acknowledged that Facebook was “dominant with 59% of the world’s social media users.”

The stand-out headline in eMarketer’s Global Media Intelligence report (published today and produced in collaboration with Starcom MediaVest Group) is that the Chinese are coming. China is set to become the world’s second-largest advertising market in 2013, and the second-largest digital advertising market the following year, behind the US. As a result, Asia-Pacific is on target to take over from North America in total ad spending in 2014.

Other striking trends highlighted by eMarketer include the UK’s strength in online advertising and marketing. Spending on internet ads overtook TV ad spending in 2011, to become the leading category; this gap will widen despite a modest revival in TV spending between 2012 and 2016. eMarketer forecasts that digital ad spending will represent 35.7% of the entire UK ad market in 2012 and continue to gain share throughout the forecast period. By 2016, digital platforms are expected to account for a hefty 44% of all British ad spending.

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