US Online Ad Spend Set to Exceed Print (Update)

January 19, 2012

emarketer-us-print-v-online-ad-spending-2011-2016-jan12.gifUS online ad spending will exceed the total spent on print magazines and newspapers this year for the first time, according to a January 2012 eMarketer estimate that projects $39.5 billion in online ad spending, $19.4 billion in newspaper ad spending, and $15.4 billion in magazine ad spending. eMarketer estimates that online ad spending will continue its dramatic growth to reach $62 billion by 2016, while the print total will continue to decline to $32.3 billion that year.

US online ad spend is expected to grow by 23.3% this year, with double-digit growth continuing through 2014 before slowing to 8.9% in 2015 and 7.8% in 2016.

TV Growth Unaffected

As online ad spending grows, so will TV, albeit more slowly, notes eMarketer, which estimates that US TV spending will reach $72 billion in 2016. At that point, the gap between TV and online ad spending will be $10 billion, compared to the $28.7 billion gap seen in 2011.

Overall, eMarketer projects total media ad spending to grow 6.7% this year to $169.5 billion, boosted by national election campaigns and gains in mobile spending. Growth will remain between 3-4% through 2016, with spending reaching almost $200 billion by then. And while online will be a major driver of that growth, traditional ad spending will for the most part stagnate during the period.

Q1-Q3 ’11 Ad Spend Up 1.5%

kantar-percent-change-in-measured-ad-spend-2010-2011-dec11.gifTotal US advertising expenditures in the first 9 months of 2011 increased 1.5% from the previous year, finishing the period at $104.7 billion, according to December 2011 data from Kantar Media. Spending growth slowed during Q3, up 0.4% compared to 2010, after rising 4.1% in Q1 and 2.8% in Q2. Spending among the 10 largest advertisers in the first 9 months of 2011 was $11.8 billion, representing a 1.4% decline compared to the previous year. Procter & Gamble maintained its top-ranked position with spending of $2.1 billion through September, down 5.6% compared to 2010, although its Q3 spending was flat compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, expenditures for the 10 largest categories grew 3.1% in the first 9 months of 2011, to $59.5 billion. For Q3, the aggregate increase was 1.8%, although quarterly growth rates for 7 of the 10 categories trailed their year-to-date average. Automotive was the top category with $9.9 billion of spending during the 9-month period, up 7% from 2010. However, the bulk of the gain came early in the year, and from April through September automotive budgets grew just 1%.

TV Ad Spending Rises

Most forms of TV displayed spending gains in Q3 2011: expenditures on cable networks rose 6.5% during Q3, while year-to-date outlays grew 9.9%. Network TV registered its first quarterly gain of the year, as Q3 expenditures inched up 0.2%, although year-to-date expenditures remained down 5.7%. Kantar insight suggests higher budgets from movie studios and consumer package goods marketers accounted for the Q3 increase for network TV, while the year-to-date decline can be attributed to the loss of marquee college football and basketball programming to cable networks in Q1.

Meanwhile, ad spending in Spanish Language Television jumped 18% during Q3 2011 compared to Q3 2010, while syndication TV was also up 14.8% for the period. The only TV segment to lose ground was spot TV, where spending fell 5.7% year-over-year in Q3, and was also down 2.7% for the year-to-date.

Overall, compared to the corresponding periods in 2010, TV ad spending grew 2.3% for the year-to-date, and 3.2% for Q3.

The top 10 TV advertisers, led by Procter & Gamble, spent $7.3 billion in the medium during the first 9 months of 2011, up 0.1% from a year ago. The group accounted for 15% of total TV expenditures by all advertisers.

Most Other Media Also Post Gains

Outdoor spending slowed during the third quarter, but still registered gains of 3.2% for Q3 and 8.6% for the first 9 months. The pace of spending in radio media was more muted, but remained steady, up a modest 1.1% in Q3 and 1.2% for the year-to-date, driven by over 2% growth in local radio and network radio advertising.

Magazine media spending declined 1.2% for Q3, but rose 1.5% for the year-to-date. The top 10 magazine advertisers invested $2.7 billion in the medium for the year-to-date, a decrease of 2.8%. As a proportion of total magazine ad spending by all advertisers, the top 10 accounted for 17.1%.

Although the internet sector posted a Q3 2011 drop of 2.9% compared to last year, overall expenditures for the year-to-date were up 2.8% compared to a year earlier. Display ad expenditures soared 15.8% in Q3 and 10.1% for the year-to-date, offsetting paid search drops of 14.4% and 2.1%, respectively. The 10 largest internet advertisers, led by General Motors, invested a total of $1.8 billion in paid search and display campaigns, up 11.1% versus a year ago, and accounting for 10.8% share of all internet ad dollars.

Newspapers Fare Poorly

The newspaper sector posted the worst figures of all media, experiencing a 3.7% decline in spending in Q3 2011 compared to Q3 2010, and 3.8% decrease for the year-to-date. Local newspapers, despite robust budgets from local auto dealers and an uptick in financial advertising, saw a 4.4% spending decline in Q3, and were down 3.9% year-to-date.

Print Media Get Spending, Lack Consumption

emarketer-time-spent-ad-share.jpgMeanwhile, according to December figures from eMarketer, although newspapers accounted for 15% of all US ad spending in 2011, they held just a 4% share of adults’ daily media time. Magazines also held a much larger share of ad spending than daily media time, at 9.7% and 2.8%, respectively.

By contrast, eMarketer estimated that mobile accounted for 10.1% share of adults’ media time each day, but less than 1% of ad dollars. TV (42.5% vs. 42.2%), internet (25.9% vs. 21.9%), and radio (14.6% vs. 10.9%) all also displayed a higher share of adults’ daily time than share of US ad spending.

eMarketer notes that time spent with the internet excludes internet access via mobile, but online ad spending includes mobile internet ad spending. As such, the total of the ad spending share for all the media adds up to more than 100%.

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