The Biggest Trend in Advertising for 2014: Television

Advertising industry outlooks for 2014 are filled with buzzwords like programmatic buying (behavioral targeting, retargeting, etc), Facebook and social media, mobile advertising, digital video, and of course main-stay search marketing.   Emarketer, one of the leading market research sources on digital media estimates these and other digital channels will reach $47.6 billion dollars for the US in 2014.  That represents nearly 25% of all media spend for next year, $177.8 billion.

Receiving less attention is a different number: television advertising will reach $68.5 billion next year.  Radio is expected to reach almost $16 billion.  Combined, television and radio media spend in 2014 will be more than $36 billion or 75% higher than digital!   TV and radio account for almost 50% of all US media spend.   (Print and out of home accounting for the remaining 25%). 

WPP’s Group M has a slightly more aggressive forecast with US TV media spend of $78.8 billion (out of total media spend of $161 billion).  Industry forecasts show a 2.5% - 3% increase in television spend in 2014. 

Emarketer’s forecast for 2017 (the latest year available) still shows TV spend exceeding digital by $14 billion and year over year growth for every year through the end of their forecast. 

An interesting side note is the hottest growing trend in digital media: video!  Emarketer estimates digital video spend to increase almost 40% to $5.7 billion in 2014.  Within the growing field of digital media, the channel that is growing the most is in fact an offshoot of television.

While digital media is growing, television advertising continues to grow as well. And for the foreseeable future, media spend from television will far exceed the media spend from digital channels. That makes Television the biggest trend in advertising for 2014. 

Jeffrey Fine is Director of Analytics at A. Eicoff & Co., one of North America’s largest DRTV agencies.