GroupM Sees Spending On TV Rising 4% in 2018

Advertiser spending on TV in the U.S. will increase 4% in 2018 to $81.9 billion, according to a new forecast by media agency GroupM.

GroupM says TV spending rose 2% in 2017 to $79.5 billion.

The 2018 spending will get a boost from Olympics and from election year campaign spending.

Related: Zenith Forecasts Drop in TV Ad Spending in the U.S.

The forecast was released in time with the 45th Annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York.

GroupM is one of the few forecasters that sees more spending on TV than digital.

GroupM expects digital to increase 12% in 2018 to $62.5 billion. GroupM expects digital spending to surpass TV in 2020.

In the U.S., programmatic budgets account for about 20% of digital spending, but programmatic growth is slowing because of concerns over supply chain integrity and brand safety.

U.S. unemployment is 4.4% and falling; real wages are growing 2.5% and rising; and consumer confidence is at a 17-year high, though consumer spending growth remains sober at 2.7% in 2017 and 2.3% predicted for 2018, says GroupM, pointing to some of the economic underpinnings for its forecast.

Related: Naional TV Ad Spending Seen Flat in 2018, Says Magna

“Growth is wide with more people working, but shallow with wages growing slowly. If the global economy sustains its rising demand for labor, it may reveal a widening skills gap. Then, competition should raise wages, spurring investment in productivity and helping inflation to finally surpass central bank targets,” said Adam Smith, Futures Director at GroupM.

On a global basis, GroupM sees advertising investments rising 4.3%, or $23 billion, in $558 billion in 2018, after a 3.1% increase in 2017.

GroupM see global gross domestic product increasing, but advertising share of GDP falling—a long-term trend. But GroupM says that share doesn’t account for ad money being spent on data and technology for consumer engagement.

“For every dollar that migrates from legacy to digital media, GroupM estimates 25 cents goes to technology and data. This is not counted in a now antiquated concept of working media investment,” said Smith. “We also know that in periods of low inflation, marketing money gets reallocated to promotion; this is a cyclical challenge, not a structural one.”

Global investment in TV advertising will grow 2.2% in 2018, compared to 0.4% growth in 2017, but TV lost a share point in 2017 and will lose another in 2018, hurt by trends in China, where TV is restricted by the government.

“Time spent with TV content remains healthy, but monetizing those hours gets harder as audiences diffuse across platforms more quickly than the industry can create measurement solutions,” GroupM says.

Digital investment is expected to grow 11.3% in 2018, following 11.5% growth in 2017.

GroupM believes Google and Facebook will account for 84% of all digital investment in 2017.

“2017 is a challenging year. Brands are operating in hyper-competitive and low growth markets, challenged to deliver in the near-term. Legacy media continue to be challenged by audience fragmentation and competition from the dominant digital players, and those giants have grappled with their own far-reaching success as consumers misuse their user-generated platforms,” said GroupM Global CEO Kelly Clark. “Sitting between strained clients and stressed media partners, agencies understandably also saw challenges in 2017, but it would have been much worse for our clients had they not had us to help navigate marketplace dynamics. We believe marketers have an enduring need for objective partners who can operate across the whole media landscape to develop the most integrated campaigns, as well as to help shape standards, measurement and integrity.”

(Photo via FamZoo Staff's Flickr. Photo was taken on August 10, 2010 using Creative Commons License 2.0. Photo was cropped to fit 16x9 aspect ratio)

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.