Widespread social unrest and economic volatility during H2 2019 greatly disrupted market dynamics in several countries across Latin America. 2020 was expected to be a year of recovery and economic growth, but the arrival of COVID-19 on February 26 put a damper on such expectations.
Since then, the region has become a new epicenter of the pandemic. According to Johns Hopkins University, 3.6 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean had tested positive for COVID-19 as of July 17, accounting for more than one-quarter (26.1%) of confirmed cases worldwide.
The fallout from the coronavirus and the political turmoil seen throughout the region in recent months will have more negative consequences for traditional media this year than for digital media. While we expect traditional media outlays to decrease by 17.5%, digital will continue to grow in terms of share and real investment as advertisers pivot their ad budgets toward online channels amid market volatility.
From 2015 to 2020, digital ad spending in Latin America more than doubled from $4.18 billion to $9.33 billion. That means, for the first time, digital will account for nearly 40% of the regional ad market. Under these current circumstances, this share should further improve in the years ahead.