Traditional Media Spending Faces Stagnation

eMarketer projects that non-digital ad spending has essentially peaked

The flight of ad dollars away from traditional media is set to continue, according to a new forecast from eMarketer.

After a recovery from the recession—during which U.S. spending on traditional media (directories, magazines, newspapers, outdoor, radio, and TV) fell by 18.5 percent—eMarketer estimates that spending increased by 2.1 percent in 2010 and projects growth of just under 1 percent this year. From 2012 to 2015, total traditional media spending is predicted to hover around an annual total of $129 billion, barely up from a projected $126 billion this year.

The one exception is spending on TV advertising (which includes network, syndication, and spot broadcast TV as well as cable TV). eMarketer estimates that this grew by nearly 10 percent in 2010, as the economy recovered to reach a total of $59 billion. By 2015, U.S. spending on TV advertising is forecast to total $68 billion.

The firm's last forecast for U.S. online ad spending put the total at $26 billion in 2010 and projected that it would reach $40.5 billion by 2014.


US Ad Spending, $ billions Traditional Media of Which TV
2010 127.2 59.0
2011 126.1 60.5
2012 128.9 64.5
2013 128.2 65.0
2014 129.3 67.0
2015 129.1 68.0
SOURCE: eMarketer, May 2011