The headline news from a recent eMarketer forecast is that digital is expected to overtake TV next year in US ad spending. However such forecasts have been made for quite some time now, with the only deliberation being about exactly when that shift will come. Instead, the eMarketer forecast appears to be a more impressive projection: mobile alone will rival TV in ad spend in 2020.
The projections speaks to the impressive growth of mobile advertising, which in 2014 occupied only an estimated 10.9% share of US media ad spending. That has already more than doubled to an estimated 22.7% share this year, and is now forecast to grow to 32.9% in 2020.
The almost one-third of all media ad budgets would equal the 32.9% forecast for TV. (equal percentage share is due to rounding.)This year mobile’s 22.7% expected share of media ad budgets is greater than print (13.9%) and radio (7.4%) combined, says the report. By 2020, mobile is predicted to capture a considerably greater share of US media ad budgets than print, radio, out-of-home and directories, combined.
Last year, meanwhile, mobile captured the majority of digital ad budgets for the first time, per eMarketer’s estimates. By 2020, it is projected to occupy almost three-quarters of digital ad budgets.
US Media Ad Spending Share By Medium (Print=Print only; Radio=excludes off-air radio and digital
(% of Total Spend)
Source: eMarketer, March 2016
It’s worth noting, says the report, that ad spending might be following consumer media consumption shifts more so than advertising influence. TV ads influence far more consumers to make a purchase than video or display ads, though social media ads (primarily consumed today on mobile devices) are second to TV among Millennials, according to MarketingCharts’ ongoing research. The results could be a reflection of a greater exposure to TV ads than video ads, rather than a greater degree of efficacy, as research presents conflicting views on the relative efficacy of these media, says the report.
Returning to the eMarketer forecast, some other points of note include:
While traditional media formats are expected to decline in share of total ad spend, dollars spent will not decline, due to continued growth in overall media ad spending, increasing from $192 billion this year to $234.3 billion in 2020. Though TV’s share of total ad spend will decline during that time frame, the amount of dollar spending on TV is expected to grow from $70.6 billion to $77.2 billion, concludes the report.