Total 2017 U.S. TV Ad Spend Forecast As Flat

Following other big media agencies' advertising downgrades, eMarketer is lowering its estimates for total U.S. TV advertising in 2017 -- projecting just a 0.5% rise over the year before.

The media-research company now projects total U.S. TV spending will grow to $71.65 billion from $71.29 billion in 2016. Previously, eMarketer estimated $72.72 billion for this year in the first quarter of 2017. 

The slowdown was somewhat anticipated, in the absence of major contributions from Olympic TV and political advertising. Total TV share of U.S. advertising for 2017 will drop to 34.9% from 36.6% a year ago. However, it will keep falling through 2021, where it is estimated to be 29.4%.

TV will continue to see under 1% growth for each of the next few years through 2019.

Still, 2020 -- another big political advertising election and Olympic TV year -- will see a boost of 2.5% to $74.03 billion. Then in 2021, ad spend is estimated to climb just 0.2% to $74.17 billion.

Other estimates are that by the end of 2017, there will be 196.3 million U.S. adults watching via pay TV providers -- cable, satellite or telco. That's down 2.4% from 2016, eMarketer predicts. By 2021, it will continue to decline, dropping to 181.7 million.

It also estimates “cord-cutters” of pay TV service -- adults 18 years and older who have access to pay TV services and online video platforms, such as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, and DirecTV Now -- will grow from 22.2 million in 2017 to 40.1 million in 2021. These are

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