U.S. TV Ad Spending To Rise By 4% in 2022, Zenith Forecasts

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Advertising spending on TV in the United States is expected to increase 4% to $65.151 billion in 2022 from pandemic lows, but growth will be limited and pale compared to digital video, according to a new forecast from media agency Zenith.

On a worldwide basis, Zenith sees social media spending eclipsing spending on TV in 2022.


(Image credit: Zenith)

Helped by a presidential election, U.S. TV ad spending will rise to $67.234 billion in 2024, but will still be short of its peak of $68.457 billion in 2017.

Zenith expects that after growing just 1% to $16.351 billion in 2022, network TV spending will be flat in 2023 and 2024. Similarly, the agency sees national cable and syndication basically flat from 2021 to 2004.

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Spot TV will climb 10% to $26.031 thanks to the midterms, fall back in 2023 and jump 18% to $28.113 in 2024.

While traditional TV stagnates, spending on internet video in the U.S. is taking off from $24.332 billion in 2020 to $34.219 billion in 2021 and $41.063 in 2022--up 69% over two years. By 2024, Zenith said spending on internet video will hit $52.899.

 Also GroupM Sees 23% CTV Growth, More Political Spending, Boosting TV 

“Brands need to make smart use of online video to mitigate television inflation,” Zenith said in its Advertising Expenditure Forecasts report.

“Television advertising remains the easiest route to mass audience brand awareness, despite years of audience losses to digital media. Brands’ reliance on television is fueling rapid media inflation, which will continue even after the comparison with 2020 has passed,” the report said. “We forecast the cost of television advertising to rise by 11% in 2022, compared to 4% for out-of-home, 3% for digital display, 2% for radio and zero for print. Brands will have to confront their dependence on a medium that consistently delivers smaller audiences for higher prices.”

Zenith forecasts that global ad spending will rise 9% in 2022 and hit $873 billion by 2004, with 48% of that growth coming from the U.S.

The biggest growth will come in social media at 15%, followed by online video at 14%.

Online video ad spend is expected to increase from $62 billion in 2021 to $91 billion in 2024, when it will exceed 50% of this size of television for the first time. Television ad spend will rise from $171 billion to $178 billion over the same period.

“COVID-19 setbacks have extended the period of heightened digital transformation,” Zenith said. “The pandemic has thoroughly disrupted shopping habits. Many consumers who would prefer to browse and purchase in person are shopping online by necessity. Businesses have responded by investing more than would otherwise have been justifiable in new technology, infrastructure, organizational change – and advertising. This includes brand advertising to promote ecommerce platforms, performance advertising to direct traffic to them, and advertising within these platforms (‘retailer media advertising’) to promote specific products, all of which have surged.”

Zenith expects the digital transformation to slow down, but not reverse, as the pandemic eases in 2022. Global spending on digital advertising is seen growing 14% in 2022.

Digital advertising as a whole will exceed 60% of global ad spending for the first time in 2022, reaching 61.5% of total expenditure, and will increase its share to 65.1% by 2024.

Zenith predicts social media will be the fastest-growing sector between 2021 and 2024, with an average annual growth rate of 14.8%. Social media ad spending will reach $177 billion in 2022, overtaking television at $174 billion, according to Zenith. Social media ad spending will rise to $225 billion by 2024, when it will account for 26.5% of all advertising.

“The platforms are also embracing commerce and developing new advanced interactions between brands and consumers. Brands can use self-serve tools to create Augmented Reality experiences and then distribute them through targeted advertising, which can powerfully lift awareness and intent to purchase,” Zenith’s report 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.