Every year, the gap between digital ad spending and television gets wider and wider, and 2018 is no exception. In its annual report on global entertainment and media, PwC is reporting that digital is growing far larger, far faster, than TV. This year, digital ad spend is expected to be approximately $100 billion to TV’s $71 billion. To put that into perspective, digital was only $15 billion larger than television in 2017. What’s more, the industry is growing at an extremely rapid pace of more than 7 percent annual growth, expected to hit $127 billion by 2022. TV, on the other hand, is only expected to hit $75 billion by 2022, a meager 1.3 percent growth.
For industry watchers, there’s probably nothing surprising or new in these numbers, and perhaps they are unfair comparisons. Digital encompasses a wide range of channels, including online display, search marketing, social media ads, and other digital formats. TV is, well, TV. While today it’s a medium that’s more than simply broadcasting, including a variety of video on demand and DVR, the sheer variety of ad units on television is fairly limited when compared to digital media.
In fact, it’s quite possible that these financial figures are more reflective of a popular belief that TV is dead and digital has taken its place. A new report from Nielsen suggests that Millennials, often considered the pinnacle of digital media consumption, may actually prefer to watch television. The research examined the average minute audience among adults, ages 18-34; i.e. how large audiences are on average minute over minute. The study found that traditional television watching attracted more than 40 million viewers, while digital platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram barely passed 5 million each.
What this likely indicates is that digital platforms are used to consume media in shorter bursts, while television can still capture—and hold—viewers’ attention. So while marketers may be plowing money into reaching audiences through digital, it’s possible they’re actually over spending just to grab a smaller slice of their customers’ attention, while television is continues to deliver a more focused group.
The bottom line is a familiar point: TV is far from being dead, digital is only useful when it works, and your budget should reflect what drives the best ROI at all times.
If you need help determining if your ad spend could be delivering a better ROI, contact us. We’ll analyze your spend and recommend some creative ideas for increasing your brand presence—online and on air.