TV Ad Spending to Grow Through 2015

Will spending on traditional media formats ever return to the highs seen in the pre-​recession years? The quick answer to this question is – probably not. But not all media formats are created equal. Some traditional outlets, like TV, will fare better than others. And there are unique events that will spur marketer spending on traditional formats in the coming years.

Analysts at eMarketer predict that marketers will shell out about $126.1 billion in 2011 on the traditional media formats. That’s a 0.9% drop from 2010. For purposes of this analysis, eMarketer includes directories, magazines, TV, radio, newspapers and outdoor in its definition of traditional media.

Industry experts see a brighter picture for 2012, especially with respect to TV. That’s when national elections and the Summer Olympics will likely keep many consumers tuned to their favorite TV stations. Nicole Perin, eMarketer senior editor, believes that TV and radio will be able to maintain their audiences, and therefore, their advertising revenue. The outlook is not so positive for print-​based media formats like newspapers and magazines which are seeing their audiences migrate online.

As a result, TV ad spending should look something like the following in the next few years:

  • 2011 $60.5 billion (+2.5%)
  • 2012 $64.5 billion (+6.6%)
  • 2013 $65 billion (+0.8%)
  • 2014 $67 billion (+3.1%)
  • 2015 $68 billion (+1.5%)

For now, consumers still spend over 4 hours a day watching TV. This accounts for 40% of their total media time. Marketers have noticed. They’re allocating nearly 48% of their traditional media spending to TV. Next year, that amount will increase to 50%.

While the online formats are making inroads and consumers are watching some TV programming via PCs and mobile devices, the mass audience still turns to traditional TV for a large part of their media life.

[Source: Traditional Media Ad Spending Plateaus. Emarketer​.com. 20 May 2011. Web. 2 Jun. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.