It's Official: Digital Overtakes Traditional This Year, Amazon Remains Ascendant

Well, it's official. Digital will overtake "traditional" media in share of U.S. ad spending this year. That's the news of the day from digital media statsmaster eMarketer, whose updated calculations call for $129.34 billion in digital ad spending this year, vs. just $109.48 billion for traditional media, which includes things like TV, radio, print, out-of-home and directories.

By 2023, eMarketer projects digital's trajectory will exceed two-thirds of U.S. ad budgets, up from a 54.2% share this year.

Interestingly, eMarketer projects digital's growth is being driven from a much more diversified base of sources than in recent years, noting that the combined share of the so-called "duopoly" of Google and Facebook will actually decline, despite increases in their overall revenues.

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eMarketer projects Google’s share will drop  to 37.2% from 38.2% in 2018, while Facebook’s share will expand marginally to 22.1% vs. 21.8% last year, thanks largely to growth from its Instagram division.

“Instagram is driving most of Facebook’s overall share increase,” eMarketer Principal Analyst Debra Aho Williamson states, adding, “There’s strong demand for ads in Instagram Stories, and Instagram still benefits from the perception that it’s less impacted by the challenges core Facebook has faced.”

The big winner will be Amazon, which this year emerged as the No. 3 player, displacing Microsoft from digital's top three ranking.

Amazon's U.S. ad business is projected to expand 50% this year, and its share of the U.S. digital ad market will grow to 8.8%. eMarketer projects it will reach nearly 10% in 2020.

Among the major traditional media, eMarketer projects only out-of-home will expand in 2019.

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