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U.S. Digital Media Ad Spend Predicted To Surpass Traditional Media Ad Spend This Year

February 26, 2019 Kathy Bryan

This year will be the first year digital ad spend surpasses traditional ad spend in the U.S., according to the most recent prediction from eMarketer.

In 2019, digital ad spend in the U.S. will rise 19.1% to reach $129.34 billion and 54.2% of all U.S. ad spending. Meanwhile, traditional ad spend will slip 4.7% to $109.48 billion. Overall ad spending is predicted to climb 6.9% this year.

eMarketer also predicts continued growth in digital media ad spend. By 2021, overall U.S. ad spend will be $276.61 billion, with digital media achieving a 62.3% share.

digital ad spending

The Google/Facebook Duopoly Continues In 2019

According to eMarketer estimates, Google and Facebook will retain their duopoly status this year, despite a small decline in Google’s market share. Facebook spending will increase slightly, and Amazon advertising budgets will rise more dramatically this year (from 6.8% in 2018 to 8.8% of U.S. digital ad spend in 2019).

Print Suffers The Deepest Ad Spend Decline In 2019

The stories are mixed for traditional media channels. While the overall traditional media bucket is declining, most traditional channels are predicted to keep their ad spend relatively flat in 2019. Radio ad spend (excluding off-air and digital) is estimated to be down 1.8%, and TV (excluding digital) will be down 2.2%. Conversely, out-of-home ad spend is projected to grow 1.0% this year.

However, the outlook is grim for print publications. Print advertising spend is expected to be down 17.8% in 2019, and directories are facing a deeper decline of 19.0% this year.

Click here to see the outlooks for mobile, social and video ad revenue, as predicted by IAB in late 2018.

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About the Author

Kathy Bryan

Kathy Bryan is the Chief Marketing Officer at Digital Media Solutions (DMS). In this role, Kathy is responsible for all aspects of marketing and communications for DMS, the leading global martech company leveraging innovative, performance-driven brand and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers.

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