We’ve been headed here for a while. But this was the year it actually happened: Advertisers spent more on digital than traditional TV.
To be specific: Digital ad spending reached $209 billion worldwide — 41 percent of the market — in 2017, while TV brought in $178 billion — 35 percent of the market — in 2017. That’s according to Magna, the research arm of media buying firm IPG Mediabrands.
Bear in mind that this isn’t because TV ads are cratering — TV ad spending is still flat or slowly growing, depending on the year. And in most cases big TV advertisers have yet to move much of their budget over to digital, even though Facebook and Google are working hard to make that happen.
But you can expect that gap to keep growing: Next year, Magna expects digital ad spending to grow by 13 percent to $237 billion, while TV ads will grow 2.5 percent to $183 billion, thanks in part to one-off events like the Olympics and the U.S. mid-term elections.
By 2020, Magna expects digital ads to make up 50 percent of all ad spending.