Magna Sees TV Spending Down Post Olympics, Elections

Media agency Magna is predicting that ad spending on national TV will drop 3.1% in 2019 from $42.9 billion in 2018.

Some of that drop is because 2018 was an Olympic. World Cup and election year. Excluding those events, national TV is expected to drop 1.5%, Magna said.

Related: GroupM Forecasts Small Increase in U.S. TV Ads

Local TV is heading for an even bigger drop, the agency said, forecasting a 16.3% slide from $42.1 billion in 2018. Excluding Olympic and political spending, local TV will still be down 4.4%.

Offline media, including print, is expected to be down 4.1%, according to Magna.

On the other hand, total digital spending is expected to up 12.2% from 2018’s total of $107 billion The agency said digital grew 16.5% in 2018.

Spending on social media is expected to increase 21.9%, mobile is forecast to grow 21.2% and video is going up 19.5%, according to the report. Search will rise by 12.5% but desktop ads will be down 5.2%.

In total, Magna sees U.S. ad spending up 2.4% from a 2018 total of $208.1 billion, an all-time high. Excluding special events, the ad growth forecast would have been 5.3%, up from 4.5% in 2018.

The mid-term elections generated $5.1 billion in incremental advertising dollars, with more than $3.1 billion in political dollars going to local TV. Spending on the Olympics and World Cup was $850 million, down 2% from 2014 because the events were played in difficult time shows, the U.S. soccer team not making the World Cup and NHL stars skipping the Olympics. 

Big spenders in 2018 included advertisers in the finance, pharma, food & beverage and technology categories, which all boosted ad budgets by 10% in 2018.

On a global basis, Magna forecasts that ad spending will increase for the tenth consecutive year to $578 billion The growth rate will slow to $4.7% due to the absence of the Olympics and World Cup.

Digital media in 2018 represented 47% of total advertising sales, a figure that is expected to grow to 49% in 2019.

Linear TV was up 3.4% to $184 billion globally thanks to the Olympics and World Cup. Ratings continue to decline but CPM inflation rose to 8% from 6% in 2017.

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.