May 2011: TV Ad Spending Largely Unaffected by Growth Online

US spending on major media will continue its slow recovery from the recession this year, with dollars inching up by just 1%, eMarketer projects. Overall ad spending won’t reach 2007 levels again within the forecast period, but television is making a better-than-average comeback and will surpass 2007 spending levels by 2012.

2010 brought a major recovery in TV spending as the economic downturn eased up, with 9.7% growth. This year growth will slow to just 2.5%, bringing spending to $60.5 billion.

“TV advertising is on course to return to prerecession levels,” said eMarketer CEO and co-founder Geoff Ramsey. “While the growth of online advertising has been robust, it hasn’t stopped brand advertisers from keeping the bulk of their budgets flowing through TV sets.”

US Major Media Ad Spending, by Media, 2009-2015

Television retains the greatest share of US major media ad spending, at 39.1% this year. It has recovered share since 2009 and will keep a steady hold at around 39% of the ad market. This suggests that the increases in online ad spending—set to grow from 15.4% of the total in 2009 to 25.6% by 2015—will not come at the expense of television, but of other traditional media like print and directories.

US Major Media Ad Spending Share, by Media, 2009-2015

eMarketer, which created its forecast through a meta-analysis of data aggregated from research firms and other organizations that track advertising spending, estimates that print, including newspapers and magazines, will lose an aggregate 9.3 percentage points of market share between 2009 and 2015 as spending, like consumption, shifts to the internet. Directories will see their share of all ad dollars more than halved over the same period.

Online already represents the second-biggest advertising medium after television, after surpassing print newspaper ad spending in 2010. By 2013, online ad spending will be greater than print spending on both magazines and newspapers combined.

To find out more about eMarketer’s coverage of media ad spending and the new report “US Major Media Ad Spending Forecast,” visit eMarketer.