GroupM Sees U.S. TV Ad Spending at $79.4B in 2019

Advertising spending on TV is expected to rise 0.5% to $79.448 billion, according to a new forecast from media buyer GroupM.

GroupM sees TV spending hitting $79.092 billion in 2018, up 2.5% from $77.163 billion in 2017.

Overall GroupM expects total ad spending in the U.S. to be up 3.7% to $188 billion, a figure that will lag nominal GDP growth of 5.3%.

“Marketers continue to study their investments in traditional media, and have increased their scrutiny of all phases of digital, with a continued emphasis on verification and value,” the GroupM report said.

Spending on digital advertising is forecast to hit $79.750 billion in 2019, up 9% from $73,400 in 2019.

Worldwide 2017 advertising investment growth came in at 3.5% to a total of $541.7 billion, ahead of GroupM’s 3.1% December forecast. The agency sees ad spending up 4.5% in 2018, up a bit from its previous forecast, and in its first look at 2019, it sees a 3.9% gain.

“The outlook for the global economy remains on balance benign, qualified by some permutation of protectionism, equity correction, excessive debt, dollar appreciation and higher inflation,” GroupM says.

The main change in these forecasts is to raise digital’s share of ad investment and lower traditional TV’s, according to the agency.

“The line between these two media types grows ever less distinct, so the caveat bears repeating that nearly everywhere, ‘digital’ includes ad revenue flowing to the IP delivered services of broadcast TV brands. This amount is rarely itemized, but surely growing,” GroupM says.

“We predicted traditional TV would be almost flat in 2017. It fell 1%, but we think it will accelerate to 2% in the sports-assisted ‘mini-quadrennial’ of 2018, the report says. “Its young audience, never abundant, is growing scarcer on the main screen.”

GroupM says several countries report double-digit CPM inflation for these audience groups, but those price hikes rarely translate into absolute revenue or share growth.

Digital grew 15% in 2017 compared to the 12% previously forecast.

“We expect some error given our limited exposure to digital’s big host of small advertisers, but among the larger advertisers we do see, we probably underestimated the ‘Facebook surge,’ which in our estimation helped double the Facebook companies’ share of their addressable market in 2016–2017,” the report said.

“Digital price inflation also played its part. Programmatic does not necessarily mean cheaper, especially when there is enhanced emphasis on, say, the bottom of funnel, or on safer or more viewable inventory. Going programmatic-first also excludes inventory that does not comply with standards required for automation,” GroupM said.

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.