Digital Ad Spend To Surpass Traditional In 2018, Per Analyst

Analysis from the Winterberry Group says 2018 will be the year of digital media. One analyst at the firm forecasts that this year, digital media spend will overtake offline media and marketing spend for the first time.

Measured media spending is estimated to reach $117.4 billion in 2018; offline media and marketing spend, $97.8 billion; and digital media spend, $100.8 billion.

In the report, titled Outlook for Data-Driven marketing 2018, Winterberry author and Senior Managing Director Bruce Biegel predicts marketers also will spend more on display advertising compared with search, with mobile remaining the fastest-growing digital channel in 2018.

The shift to digital puts emphasis on data. However, Biegel attributes the change to several factors. He said more of the local advertising dollars are shifting from offline to online with the continued decline of mail, print magazines and print newspapers. "In essence the new money is all digital [and] data," he wrote in an email to Search Marketing Daily.



Biegal notes that traditional media spend fell slightly in 2017, as newspaper and magazine ad sales declined and TV lost share to online video. Television fell 0.85% to $69.7 billion, magazines fell 14.8% to 12.7 billion, and newspapers fell 10,9% to 12.2 billion. 

Digital advertising has been pulling dollars from traditional media for years. In 2016, eMarketer reported that by the end of that year. U.S. digital ad spend would surpass TV ad spend -- $72.09 billion vs. $71.29 billion. Now, rather than make the comparison between digital and television, Biegel makes the comparison between digital and offline.

Biegel also estimates that search will grow 11.5% to $40.7 billion globally, but display will grow 14.3% to reach $47.2 billion, according to the forecast. Mobile should see 22.2% growth to reach about $3.3 billion, and social will rise 20% to $1.8 billion. Email is estimated to grow 10.7% to $3.1 billion. Affiliate marketing's growth of 19% should allow it to reach $1.5 billion, and lead generation's growth of 4.5% should put it at about $2.3 billion in 2018.

In 2017, mobile ad spend for search, display and email accounted for 70% of digital ad spend, reaching nearly $60 billion in 2017. Winterberry estimates marketers will spend more than $90 billion by 2020.

Another trend highlighted in the report is Amazon capturing more search share in 2017, with 55% of consumers in one survey beginning their product search on Amazon. And mobile search now captures $25 billion of search spend and 44% of all mobile spend.

1 comment about "Digital Ad Spend To Surpass Traditional In 2018, Per Analyst".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 15, 2018 at 2:59 p.m.

    Digital has long surpassed traditional media when it comes to search and direct response as well as many other sales promotional types of "advertising". This is nothing new. When it comes to pure branding advertising digital has a long way to go before it surpasses TV, let alone all of traditional media.

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