Consumption-Adjusted Ad Spend on Print Far Outweighs Other Media

April 24, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

Magazines | Mobile Phone | Newspapers | Non-mobile Connected Devices | Radio | Spending & Spenders | Tablet | TV Advertising

eMarketer-Consumption-Adjusted-Ad-Spend-Major-Media-2010-2014-Apr2014US advertisers are projected to spend 7 cents for every hour a US adult spends on connected mobile activities this year, says eMarketer, but more than 10 times that consumption-adjusted figure on newspapers ($0.82) and magazines ($0.84). Print’s average of $0.83 is vastly higher than every other major advertising medium, and has been rising quickly in recent years.

(The “per US adult per hour” figure appears to be determined by examining the aggregate amount of advertiser spend on each medium and dividing it by the composite number of hours spent by adults with each.)

New data from GfK affirms that print ads garner high response rates, with survey results indicating that 35% of print magazine readers have taken an action in response to advertising this year, basically unchanged from 2010 (33%). Are those response rates high enough to justify the disproportionate spend on print? While print magazine ad response rates seem to be relatively unchanged, the consumption-adjusted advertising spend on print (magazines and newspapers) has grown significantly, from $0.53 to $0.83. That’s likely the result of ad spending totals not dropping as rapidly as the amount of time adults spend with print has.

It’s the opposite with mobile, where ad spending, although growing at a rapid pace, hasn’t kept up to speed with an increasing number of users and time spent with their devices. Recent data from comScore notes, for example, that time spent with mobile applications now exceeds the amount of time spent accessing the internet from desktop computers. As a result, the consumption-adjusted advertising spending figure for mobile, while growing, remains far behind other media.

According to eMarketer’s estimates, daily time spent with print media has been dropping by double-digits each year going back at least as far as 2011. Growth in time spent with connected mobile activities has slowed of late, but remains high, at a projected 23% this year.

Meanwhile, TV – with all its apparent influence as an advertising medium – is estimated to receive $0.17 in advertiser spend per adult per hour, only about one-fifth of print’s total. That’s still a higher figure than for radio ($0.13) and digital ($0.10).

Overall, advertisers are expected to spend $0.16 per adult per hour spent with major media this year, a figure which has been consistent for several years now.

A MarketingCharts analysis of online ad spending that adjusted for online population growth and inflation found that for every dollar spent on an online user in 2003, advertisers spent about $2.84 in 2012.

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