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Advertisers Blend Digital and TV for Well-Rounded Campaigns

TV’s vast reach is part of appeal for digital advertisers

TV ad spending will grow at a fairly steady single-digit pace over the next several years. The growth rates are not exciting, but they are impressive given the sheer size of the market, according to a new eMarketer report, “US TV Ad Spending: Factors Shaping Today’s Television Market.”

TV will remain the dominant advertising channel, making up 38.1% of total media spending in 2014, and spending on the medium will continue to outweigh that of the nearest competitor—digital—through 2017, albeit with an increasingly narrower gap, until the balance tips to digital in 2018.

Numerous factors point to TV’s continued value to brand advertisers. These include TV’s sheer reach, the power and impact of big-screen advertising, and the predictability of TV’s audience.

Perhaps the clearest sign that digital and TV ad spending are not significantly cannibalizing each other is attitudinal: More and more marketers see the different channels as supplementing each other for a well-rounded campaign. For example, a September 2013 study from Forrester Consulting and Videology found that 52% of media companies, 68% of advertisers and 69% of ad agencies expected agencies to plan video ad campaigns holistically across all viewing platforms.

A September 2013 survey from Advertiser Perceptions suggested one reason for this approach. While 56% of TV ad buyers liked the idea of digital video ad convergence because it would give them a missing piece—digital’s better targeting and more robust metrics—54% of digital ad buyers looked to holistic advertising to gain more of TV’s core strength—vast reach.

TV scales for brand advertisers in ways that digital cannot (yet) match, giving them predictable results for their investments. Consistency on television can help it outstrip other media for gaining ad dollars.

Finally, TV ads tend to influence audiences more than ads in other media, providing impact along with reach and scale. The basic way to define such impact is the capacity to create a consumer or change consumer behavior.

Most audience members concur. In an August 2013 survey from AYTM Market Research, 83.7% of US internet users said TV commercials were the most effective form of advertising.


The full report, “US TV Ad Spending: Factors Shaping Today’s Television Market,” also answers these key questions:

  • Why is TV ad spending gaining more new dollars each year than digital video?
  • How has digital as a whole affected TV spend?
  • What are the key factors supporting TV advertising’s continued strength?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.


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