Adspend growth in Cambodia currently stands at around double the average for the Asia Pacific region as a whole. We take a look at prospects for further growth and provide an overview of the media landscape of this small but fast-growing market.
Cambodia’s economy has been growing steadily for some years, and the IMF expects further growth of 10% a year over the next few years.
We estimate that advertising expenditure totalled US$198 million in 2018, a small amount in absolute terms but a generous 0.8% of GDP. Drinks, health, personal care and professional services are prominent advertising categories (it should be noted that alcohol advertising has been banned on prime time TV since 2014). We forecast 11% annual growth this year and next.
Cambodia officially made the transition from planned to market economy in the mid-1990s, and the economy has grown relatively quickly since then, but GDP per capita is still below US$1,700. The economy continues to suffer from corruption, uneven delivery of public services, weak protection for private property, and state intervention in business activities. Cambodia’s economy depends largely on agriculture, tourism and the garment industry, the last of which accounts for over three quarters of exports. In February 2019, the EU, which imports the lion’s share of these garments, launched a process that could lead to the suspension of Cambodia’s preferential trade status under the EBA scheme in response to human rights concerns; this could obviously pose a problem for exporters in the short to medium term.
Media in Cambodia are prolific and relatively free from formal regulation, but many outlets depend on the support of political parties, particularly the Cambodian People’s Party, which has been in power since 1985. Broadcasters and publishers face imprisonment if they are deemed to have spread false information or insulted officials.
There were just over 8 million internet users by the end of March 2019, representing 48.6% of the population.
- TVK (National Television of Cambodia – state broadcaster)
- CTN (Cambodian Television Network)
- MyTV (youth channel owned by CTN)
- Bayon TV (local station based in Kandal Province)
- Apsara TV
- OneTV (digital terrestrial)
- DRV Star (cable)
- Cambodian Cable Television
- Phnom Penh Cable Television
- TrueVisions (based in Thailand but popular)
- RNK (state broadcaster)
Over 50 private stations including
- Radio Bayon
- Apsara Radio
There are a large number of Cambodian newspapers, but only 20 or so are published regularly by a full-time editorial team. The most popular include
- Rasmei Kampuchea
- Koh Santepheap
- Cambodia Daily (English language)
- Phnom Penh Post (English language)
Many of these target tourists and business visitors, such as
- Cambodia Tourism Magazine
- Cambodia CityLife Magazine
- Visitors Guide
- Discover Cambodia