MAGNA Global: Digital Ad Sales Could Outpace TV By 2017

USspendDigital media could be the No. 1 ad category in the US by 2017 with $72 billion in spend, outpacing TV by about $1.5 billion, according to a MAGNA Global quarterly Advertising Forecast released Tuesday.

The report attributed the shift partly to “the advent of programmatic buying in digital media and the stabilization of cost for premium video inventory,” converting categories of traditional TV spenders (namely consumer packaged goods companies) to digital channels. Marketers are exploring integrations of consumer and sales data to enhance digital media targeting.

Although television revenue was up 4% in the first half of the year, MAGNA lowered its full-year forecast from 8.3% to 6.1% in total growth for that category. Other traditional media categories fared worse in terms of revenue growth: print was down 9.5% year over year in the second quarter, radio was down 4.7% while out of home revenues slowed from a 4.3% growth rate to .9%.

Overall, US advertising revenue is expected to grow by 5.1% to $167 billion this year, a slight decrease from MAGNA’s previous growth estimate of 6%. This was attributed to non-recurrent ad spend generated from Political and Olympic (P&O) campaigns and “softer-than-expected” market conditions related to the economy in Q2.

This was, at least partly, why national television revenue for English broadcast networks was essentially flat last quarter. Circumstantial causes were at play. For instance, the Olympics pulled in more budget in Q1 at the expense of Q2 and more marketers may have moved dollars to Spanish-language television in light of the World Cup.

Television ad revenue is expected to increase by 2.3% in 2015, which is weaker than the previously estimated growth rate of 3.8%.

“Supply will gradually shrink due to acceleration in the erosion of viewing,” the forecast indicated. “Average CPM inflation was lower in previous years, for both broadcast and cable networks, in the recent upfront TV sales for the broadcast year 2014-2015.”

In addition to the “gradual acceleration” of media dollars put into digital channels, including social and mobile, IPG Mediabrands’ strategic global media research unit cited as another factor the 15% increase in digital video spend in the second quarter, likely fueled by budgets moved out of traditional television or allocated for cross-screen campaigns.

Despite the dip in growth of US ad spend in the second quarter, MAGNA expects things to pick up in the second half of the year, projecting 4.9% growth to $172 billion in overall spend for 2015.


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