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The advertising market in Asia-Pacific is growing so fast that it is expected to become the first region to surpass North America in total advertising dollars spent by 2019. Analysts credit high-speed internet penetration, as well as heavy mobile and social media adoption — particularly in Southeast Asia — for the sharp increase.

Expand chart
Data: eMarketer; Note: 2018-19 values estimated; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Why it matters: Because the ad market in Asia-Pacific is growing, there is more incentive for large technology companies that rely on data-based advertising revenue to invest in products and services that will increase their margins in those regions.

Triple-digit mobile ad growth and social media penetration are driving factors in advertising increases in the region.

  • Many first-time internet adopters, particularly in Southeast Asia, are accessing the web through mobile devices, which is causing a spike of mobile data to be collected in those regions. Mobile ad spend in Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore will reach $1.5 billion by 2021, up from roughly $300 million last year.
  • Facebook's largest user base continues to be Asia-Pacific by large margins. User growth there grows faster than any other region globally. Google's Sundhar Pichai noted that Alphabet revenues are up "significantly" in Asia, which is forcing the company to create region-specific products and engineering teams.

E-commerce also continues to be a big driver of digital advertising in the region. "Chinese e-commerce companies like JD.com and Alibaba, as well as US-based companies like Amazon, have been investing a lot in Southeast Asia," says eMarketer forecasting analyst Shelleen Shum. Google, for example, launched Tez, a mobile payments and commerce app in India that already has more than 7.5 million users who have made more than 30 million transactions.

China will continue to be the second-largest ad market in the world, next to the U.S., through 2019, per eMarketer and Zenith, which contributes to the region's advertising growth. Companies like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are focusing on mobile advertising innovations to grow the market even further, similar to what the large U.S. tech companies are doing in North America.

User backlash to sharp digital advertising increases in the region continue to manifest itself in ad blocking. As Axios noted earlier this year, mobile ad blocking is particularly high in Asia Pacific, especially in comparison to the U.S.

Go deeper

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with the Denver Broncos' quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.