Digital Advertising in Armenia: The Numbers

Tigranuhi Martirosyan

Journalist, SMM specialist

The online advertising industry in Armenia is experiencing steady growth. Despite the increasing number of advertising platforms and formats, the demand for online advertising remains high.

Experts note that while the demand for influencer, TikTok, Instagram, and alternative advertising campaigns has grown, it has not been at the expense of online media advertising.

We discussed the topic with Arsen Sultanyan, the founder of Prodigy marketing company. He shared with us his research findings on the dynamics of online advertising, especially in the media industry of the last few years.

2021 saw the highest volume of advertising in the entire Armenian Internet domain over the past five years. A total of $11,200,000 worth of advertising was added, including ads appearing on Google, Yandex search engines, Facebook, and various news outlets.

In 2022, there was a 6% decrease compared to 2021. the advertising budget was 10 million 500 000 dollars. Around one million dollars of this sum was spent on advertising on online media.

According to Arsen Sultanyan, in 2022, a law was introduced banning online gambling advertising. This law applies to all forms of gambling-related advertising, including internet gambling, casinos, gambling halls, totalizers, and their respective organizers.The ban applies to advertisements on radio, television, and the Internet.

2021 saw the significant increase in indicators thanks to online advertising of gambling. Companies used all possible platforms for gambling and betting advertising. Media was the most sought-after platform and suffered the biggest blow. Following the law’s implementation, there was a noticeable decrease, but it should be noted that there was no decrease compared to 2020,” explained Arsen Sultanyan.

Sultanyan identified three main sectors that commonly provide media advertisements:

🔸Financial sector (banks, payment apps, applications),

🔸Telecommunications, communication operators,

🔸Retail (electronics, building material suppliers, etc.).

“Big companies are the biggest online media advertisers. Small and medium-sized businesses tend to prefer more targeted advertising methods. Many people use social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to achieve their goals and engage in influencer marketing. According to Sultanyan, more than simply having a product or service is required for larger companies. They also face public relations and branding challenges that are often resolved with the assistance of media.

According to Sultanyan, online media advertising tends to increase in price and become more expensive yearly; he noted that the rise in internet usage, along with inflation in the country, has contributed to changes in media consumption. Additionally, some media companies have embraced the strategy of minimal advertising at a higher cost.

The expert noted that the number of internet users in Armenia is expected to increase from 2,204,869 in 2021 to 2,316,508 in 2023. This figure represents 83 percent of the population and can be found in the table below.

Interestingly, Estonia, having a smaller population than Armenia and therefore fewer internet users than Armenia, has been able to allocate a larger budget to internet advertising.

The table indicates that in 2022, Estonia, with 1,211,210 users, spent $21.3 million on advertising. This amount is 4.3 times greater than Armenia’s advertising budget for the same year.

The expenditure per user in Armenia is 4 dollars, whereas, in Estonia, it is 17 dollars. Despite this, online advertising in Armenia is increasing proportionately to the economy, and the same is true for Estonia.

According to the table, the Internet advertising budget is 0.6 percent of GDP per capita.

Sultanyan noted that advertisements are not only in the form of banners on websites but also in the form of reports and articles, which can be either aggressive or passive in nature. According to Sultanyan, the media is not currently among the top two receiving advertising revenue on the Internet. However, with increased efforts in this area, it can potentially secure the third spot.

Therefore, the expert advises Armenian online media:

🔹 Engage advertising professionals who can use monetization strategies to generate revenue.

🔹 In addition to traditional advertising formats, offer new platforms, for example, advertising on Telegram, TikTok, Instagram,

🔹Use the tricks of hidden ads, increasing the effectiveness of advertising,

🔹Work with marketing and advertising companies to better understand the advertiser’s requirements and present strategies and proposals accordingly.

🔹 Finally, consider the media as a business.

Arsen Sultanyan assured that the accuracy of the presented numbers is quite high. The Revenue Committee has provided details regarding the sum transferred from advertisements through Facebook and Google. After receiving the information, the advertising budgets in the media and the budgets of large companies were added, which are VAT payers and pay taxes to the state, not Facebook or Google.

Tigranuhi Martirosyan

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