US Offline Media Spend in 2019 and the Outlook for 2020

February 3, 2020

WinterberryGroup US Offline Media Spend Review Outlook Feb2020Despite being knee-deep in the digital age, marketers have not turned their backs on offline media. Boosted by the upcoming Presidential election and the Summer Olympics, offline media spend in the US is expected to grow from $218.1 billion in 2019 to $223.1 billion, per a report [download page] from Winterberry Group. Here’s a rundown of offline channels in order of their total spend in 2019.

Linear TV

Although media spending on linear TV dropped 4.2% y-o-y in 2019, it remains the channel where marketers allocate the largest portion of their offline media spend, with investments reaching $64.3 billion last year.

No doubt due to the aforementioned election and the Olympics, linear TV spending is expected to rise by 1.9% this year to total $65.6 billion.


Experiential/sponsorship spend hit $47 billion in 2019, a gain of 3.3% over the previous year. Growth in this channel is expected to continue into 2020 with a forecast spend of $48.5 billion (+3.1%).

Previous research from the Integer Group indicates that sponsorship has more influence on purchases than it did in the past, with nearly three-fifths of adults saying sponsorships had been influential to some extent in making a purchase.

Shopper Marketing

Accounting for $17.3 billion of the total US offline media spend for 2019, Shopper Marketing (which includes merchandising, in-store display, sampling, retailer-specific coupons/offers and in-store events) saw the largest decrease in spend (-33.2%) in 2019, potentially due to a methodology change. However, spending is expected to increase by 19.5% in 2020 to reach $20.7 billion.


Research from Nielsen shows that radio reaches 9 in 10 US adults each week which is more than TV or mobile phones. And, while digital radio is nibbling away at the time spent listening to the radio, some two-thirds of listeners’ time is spent tuned into traditional AM/FM radio.

According to Winterberry’s figures offline media spend on radio in 2019 totaled $13.8 billion, flat from 2018. This number is expected to drop slightly (-1.7%) in 2020, however, to $13.6 billion.

Newspapers and Magazines

The $12.9 billion invested in offline newspaper media in 2019 reflects a 12.7% decrease over 2018. It doesn’t look much better for 2020, in which the Winterberry Group estimates spending will drop by another 9.1%, to $11.8 billion.

Earlier data from PwC doesn’t have a much better outlook for the future of print newspaper advertising, with predictions that ad revenues in the US will drop to $6.4 billion by 2023 (compared to their estimate of $9.3 billion in 2019.)

Print magazine media spend continues to drop also. In 2019 offline magazine media spend fell 11.2% y-o-y to a total of $10.8 billion. Winterberry Group estimates that spending on this channel will decline another 9.7% in 2020 to $9.8 billion.

Traditional Outdoor

One area of offline media that has consistently succeeded in the digital age is out-of-home advertising (OOH). Although a great deal of the total growth of OOH has been attributed to digital, the report shows that traditional outdoor media spend enjoyed a gain of 6.7% ($8.6 billion) and is expected to increase 3.3% this year to reach $8.9 billion.

Addressable TV

The offline channel that has experienced the most impressive growth is addressable TV. Media spend on this channel reached $2 billion in 2019, an increase of 37% y-o-y. Although media spend is expected to increase by another 44% in 2020 ($2.9 billion), addressable TV still has a long way to go before it eats into the linear TV pie.

The full report can be downloaded here.

For more on media trends and audiences, see MarketingCharts’ Media Audience Demographics, 6th Annual Edition.

About the Data: Data is based on Winterberry Group spend estimates.

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