‘Digital’ Poised To Overtake TV Ad Spending Earlier Than Expected

215529The shift in ad industry market share from so-called “analogue” media to “digital” media is accelerating, and the latter is now expected to surpass television’s historically dominant share of U.S. ad spending by the end of 2016 — months sooner than expected, according to the statsmasters at eMarketer.

Putting aside that television is a digital medium too, eMarketer’s estimates categorize it separately from things like online and mobile digital media and based on its calculations, the sum of those categories will reach $72.09 billion by year end — a smidgen higher than the U.S. TV ad marketplace’s projected $71.29 billion.

“That means digital will represent 36.8% of total U.S. media spending, while TV will represent 36.4%,” according to an eMarketer spokesperson, noting that the firm’s original projections — made in March — called for TV vs. digital’s market share tipping point not to happen until sometime next year.

What makes digital’s ascendance so remarkable is that it occurred during a so-called “quadrennial” year in which TV ad spending benefitted from incremental spending from both a Summer Olympics and a presidential political season.

The eMarketer report notes that TV is, in fact, continuing to expand — it’s just not growing as fast as digital ad spending.

“The strong performance of the digital ad market is being driven by several factors, including, not surprisingly, mobile and video,” eMarketer notes, adding: “Mobile ad spending will grow 45.0% this year to reach $45.95 billion. As it grows, it will represent an increasing share of overall ad spending. By 2019, mobile will represent more than a third of total media ad spending in the US. Google is the undisputed king of mobile and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Google will capture 32.0% of the mobile ad market — its closest rival Facebook capturing 22.1% this year.”