Forecasters have been predicting it for some time, but now the day has arrived. Digital advertising is expected to represent 37 percent of U.S. total media ad spending — but most interestingly, it will surpass TV advertising.
“It’s no secret advertisers are flocking to digital at the expense of traditional format,” notes eMarketer. “But the latest data shows the shift accelerating faster than expected in the U.S. Our latest ad spending forecast (shows) digital will overtake TV ad spending this year for the first time.”
Earlier forecasts had not anticipated the shift until next year.
The numbers tell the tale. U.S. digital ad spending is expected to climb to $72.09 billion, while TV spending will hit $71.29 billion. Digital will then constitute 36.8 percent of total media ad spending, with TV taking 36.4 percent.
“Digital advertising is not only pulling dollars from traditional media, but it’s also creating new advertising opportunities at the local and national level,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Martín Utreras.
Not all is bleak on the TV front. TV ad spending is still growing — and will be bolstered this year by increased spending tied to the Olympics, presidential election, and a strong scatter market.
What’s driving the dominance of digital?
“The strong performance of the digital ad market is being driven by several factors, including, not surprisingly, mobile and video,” reports eMarketer. “Mobile ad spending will grow 45.0 percent this year to reach $45.95 billion. As it grows, it will represent an increasing share of overall ad spending. By 2019, mobile will represent more than a third of total media ad spending in the U.S.”