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Digital ad spend to surpass TV in 2017

March 9, 2016

Next year will mark a major milestone for ad spending, as total digital surpasses TV for the first time, according to eMarketer’s latest quarterly ad spending forecast. In 2017, TV ad spending will total $72.01 billion, or 35.8 per cent of total media ad spending in the US. Meanwhile, total digital ad spending in 2017 will equal $77.37 billion, or 38.4 per cent of total ad spending.

eMarketer has lowered its growth projections for TV ad spending since the last forecast. Television will grow 2.5 per cent this year, compared to 4.5 per cent forecast in Q3 2015. In the long term, TV ad spending will continue to grow by about 2 per cent a year. But by 2020, TV ad spending’s share will drop below one-third of total media ad spending for the first time in the US.

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

Meanwhile, eMarketer has increased its projections for digital ad spending since the Q3 forecast. Total digital ad spending will increase 15.4 per cent this year, to $68.82 billion. Not surprisingly, mobile continues to drive growth within overall digital ad spending. Mobile ad spending in the US will grow 38.0 per cent this year to equal $43.60 billion. That means mobile represents 63.4 per cent of total digital ad spending in the US this year.

“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,” said Utreras.

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