Online Display Estimated to Have Overtaken TV in US Ad Spend

January 2, 2020

This article is included in these additional categories:

Advertising Trends | Creative & Formats | Digital | Display & Rich Media | Spending & Spenders | Television | TV Advertising

The final tally for US TV ad spending in 2019 is expected to be at the lowest level it has been in 8 years, down 6.6% year-over-year to total $60.5 billion. In the meantime, the portion of US advertising spend held by online display (which encompasses social media, online video, content and banner advertising) is predicted to have edged that of TV by about 0.01%, per a recent report [download page] from WARC.

Although TV advertising in the US is expected to be lower in 2019 than in 2018 when it reached $64.8 billion, it is forecast to rebound somewhat this year to reach $62.9 billion. According to WARC, the predicted growth this year, of 4%, is primarily due to the summer Olympics and November elections.

While the amount spent on TV advertising is experiencing some fluctuation, one constant appears to be television’s gradual, yet consistent, loss of share of total advertising spend. WARC’s report states that in 2002, TV surpassed newspapers as the largest advertising medium in the US. However, by 2018, TV had dropped to less than one-third (31%) share of total US advertising spend. This share is expected to decrease to 27.6% for 2019 and 26.4% in 2020.

At the same time, online display has seen its share of total advertising spend increase just as steadily. Accounting for about one-quarter (24.5%) of total ad spend in 2018, online display is forecast to be on par with TV ad spend (27.6% share) in 2019 and to overtake it this year (29.4% share).

Prior research from PwC complements WARC’s findings when it comes to the slowing growth of TV advertising in the next few years, as other viewing alternatives such as streaming services compete and drive a change of viewing habits. Indeed, other research has shown that younger viewers (18-34-year-olds) are spending less time with traditional TV, while the majority of this age group report subscribing to a streaming video service.

A sample of WARC’s report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Figures represent the share of total ad spend at current prices. Data are net of discount, include agency commission and exclude production costs.

45th Parallel Design Ad

Explore More Charts.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This