2013 Forecast: TV Ad Revs To Dip, More Digital Growth

Watching-TV-AAExpect some troubling periods for most traditional U.S. media owners in 2013 -- with new digital media platforms finding more upside.

Magna Global expects overall growth will climb  2.7% to $154 billion in U.S. advertising revenues for 2013. This is slightly down from its earlier 2.8% projection. The media agency unit estimates core advertisers will only be up 0.6% this year.

Expect television revenues to show a more severe decline in 2013 -- to 3%. An earlier forecast said TV would sink 1.4%.

Last year, total television was up 7.2% to $62.7 billion. English-speaking national broadcast TV networks advertising revenues were up 2.2% to $13.7 billion (when including Olympic advertising). Local TV stations were 13.4% higher to $22.6 billion, and national cable networks 5.1% higher to $23 billion. Magna says national cable represents 59% of total national television revenues compared to 40% in 2001.

Magna Global stated: "Since the beginning of the broadcast season in September, the scatter market prices have showed very little “premium” over the upfront CPM inflation, despite the fact that prime-time ratings have been weaker than expected -- [down] 5% for broadcast networks, 2% [lower] for cable networks, on adults 18-49, including sports... Broadcasters had to serve extra spots to meet their guaranteed impact. That unusual pattern reveals weak demand."

In 2013, Magna says English-speaking national broadcast TV will continue to suffer but less so, down 1.8% this year. National cable will continue to see growth, up 4%, with local TV up 1.4% -- but will see a 9.1% decline when accounting for the lack of political advertising.

On the flip side, digital media will climb 14.2% to $41.5 billion in 2013 and mobile advertising will soar 55% to $4.5 billion.

In 2012, digital media grew by 14.4% to $36.3 billion with online video up 15%, reaching $2 billion in advertising revenue. Mobile advertising doubled its take $3 billion. Traditional banner ad revenues were slow moving -- with just 1.5% growth to $13.7 billion. Magna says this was due to price declines.

There was a 6.8% decline for magazines in 2012 and a 6.5% drop for newspapers. Expect more of the same in 2013, with magazines slipping 7.3% and newspapers off 7.9%. Outdoor advertising, which will grow 3.6% in 2013, was up 4.6% in 2012. Broadcast and satellite radio (excluding digital) added on 0.6% to $15.3 billion. Magna says it will climb by about the same amount in 2013 -- 0.5%.



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