Thanks To Mobile, Digital Making Molehill Of TV Dollars

Next year, digital ad spend will finally surpass TV's, according to a fresh forecast from eMarketer. That’s remarkable. Ever more remarkable is the driving force behind the big shift: mobile.

In fact, mobile continues to drive growth within overall digital ad spending, the research firm says.

This year, mobile ad spending is expected to grow 38%, to $43.6 billion. If that's right, mobile will then represent 63.4% of total domestic digital ad spending.

“As consumers continue to increase engagement with mobile devices for daily activities and content consumption, marketers will further integrate all marketing activities -- including advertising -- to the mobile category,” Martín Utreras, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer, notes in a new report.

Total digital ad spending is expected to grow 15.4%, to $68.82 billion, this year.

By next year, total digital ad spending will reach $77.37 billion -- or 38.4% of all ad spend -- while TV will total $72.01 billion, or 35.8% of all domestic spending.



Media consumption habits are changing so fast that eMarketer had to lower its growth projections for TV ad spending since the last forecast. The research firm now expects TV to grow 2.5% this year -- down considerably from the 4.5% figure that it predicted last year.

In the long term, TV ad spending will continue to grow by about 2% a year, eMarketer believes. But by 2020, TV ad spending’s share will drop below one-third of total domestic media ad spend for the first time.

“We still expect positive growth for TV ad spend, driven by political advertising and the summer Olympics,” according to Utreras. “However, we see more ad dollars flowing to digital as a way of optimizing spending in what may be a challenging economic year.”

3 comments about "Thanks To Mobile, Digital Making Molehill Of TV Dollars ".
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  1. Leonard Zachary from T___n__, March 8, 2016 at 2:38 p.m.

    Ed please comment ASAP before its a 4 alarm fire.

    Is Attribution critical to the future of TV ads?

    Just looking forward not backwards at statistical data based on samples.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 8, 2016 at 4:06 p.m.

    These are apples vs. oranges comparisons. They lump in all types of advertising---classifieds/email, search, sales promotion, direct response as well as pure branding. In the case of TV, branding represents, at a guess, 90-95% of the ad dollars; in the case of digital, branding represents, as a guess, about 10-15% of the ad dollars.

    So, if we are talking about typical TV-type branding campains, TV has a huge lead over digital in terms of dollars spent; indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if magazine and radio ad dollars also exceed digital in terms of branding campaigns.

    In any event, general ad spending data, even if accurate and based on the same definition---in this case branding---means absolutely nothing to media planners and their clients. Their media mix decisions are based on the specifics of their brand situations and product categories, the nature of their share-of-market and sales momentum relative to competition, budget size, how the campaigns are targeted, editorial tie-ins, merchandising capabilities, reach attainment, etc.etc. and, of course, how effecftive they believe their ads will be in each media context.

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, March 10, 2016 at 6:44 a.m.

    Welcome to Hyperbole Central.

    Digital is projected to be a "mountain" at $77.37 billion.   Meanwhile TV is projected to be a "molehill" at $72.01 billion.

    Give me a break - that is like trivialising K2 as a molehill.

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