Has digital come so far that it will soon surpass TV ad spending in the coming years? I had never thought about just how immense digital advertising was becoming until the other day when a guest speaker presented in my digital marketing class. He made the point that digital was going to surpass TV ad spending by 2019! After hearing what he had to say, I wanted to find out more about ad spending and see how the numbers looked for myself. The numbers that I came across made it clear to me that digital marketing continues to explode and offers completely new opportunities for young graduates who wish to pursue some career in marketing.
After searching numerous articles, there was no universal date that digital was projected to overtake TV. Some articles projected 2016, while others projected 2017-2019. While the numbers on ad spending may vary at this point, all of these dates reveal the fact that digital will overtake TV in just a few short years! According to an article on Adage, U.S. advertisers spending on digital marketing should overtake TV in 2016 and reach around $103 billion in 2019, representing 36% of all ad spending. It is clear that TV ad spending is nearing the end of its reign. According to the Wall Street Journal, Comcast saw a 4.6% decline in ad revenue across its cable networks last month, Time Warner reported flat domestic revenue a few days ago, and Discovery Communications revenue only increased by a measly 1%. With TV being one of the most expensive forms of advertising, many companies are shifting towards digital to return a profit.
Another noteworthy statistic has shown that marketers spent 6% less, or about $577 million on making upfront deals with cable TV networks. So why is this trend continuing to occur? One reason might be because of the fact that consumers are now spending more time on their desktops, tablets, and smartphones instead of watching TV. I can personally vouch for this when I am at college because of the fact that cable is not free for students in the dorms. As a result, I find myself always on my laptop and finding things to watch on my computer instead of going out of my way to watch something on live TV. Furthermore, media proliferation means that there is more ads to buy and that a recovering economy stimulates confidence in technology. These ads also use much more sophisticated targeting techniques unlike television. There is no hassle to go through with scheduling, so marketers can run the most effective campaign to reach their target audience.
Marketers are continuing to focus on digital ad spending as it offers unique opportunities that television simply cannot offer! Not to mention that it is cheaper and much more targeted than TV. While it may not be clear as to when digital will take over TV, one thing is certain: digital will soon take down the giant that has reigned for over 60 years.