US Media and Entertainment Digital Ad Spend to Pass $6 Billion in 2015 - eMarketer

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US Media and Entertainment Digital Ad Spend to Pass $6 Billion in 2015

Double-digit growth expected for both the media and entertainment industries this year

May 27, 2015

US digital ad spending by both the media and entertainment industries will see growth through eMarketer’s forecast period ending in 2019. Both industries will see double-digit year-over-year growth in digital ad spending, as well as share of total digital ad spending, in 2015, according to a new eMarketer report, “The US Media and Entertainment Industries 2015: Digital Ad Spending Forecast and Trends,” part of our new report series, “Digital Ad Spending Benchmarks by Industry.”

US Media Industry Digital Ad Spending, 2013-2019 (billions, % of total digital ad spending and % change)

Combined, the two industries are poised to spend $6.19 billion on digital advertising in 2015, up 18.8% from 2014, eMarketer forecasts. The media industry specifically will account for 5.8% of total US digital ad spending this year, while the entertainment industry will contribute 4.8% of the total. Both verticals—which are highly intertwined and difficult to analyze separately—are expected to gain share of US digital ad spending during eMarketer’s forecast period.

This puts media and entertainment toward the bottom of the list of industries in the US by this metric; only healthcare and pharma spends less on digital advertising.

One difference between the two industries is that entertainment industry digital ad spending is focused on branding (which accounts for 60% of spending this year), while more media industry digital ad dollars are geared toward direct response (55%). In the entertainment industry, one of few verticals with a focus on branding, promotions for video gaming and films are driving the branding spend. Games are heavily promoted as much as six months before their release as companies work fans up into a frenzy of anticipation. Heavy promotion of movies, via trailers, is another source of entertainment industry brand advertising.

US Entertainment Industry Digital Ad Spending, 2013-2019 (billions, % of total digital ad spending and % change)

Advertising on mobile devices will account for 53.5% of digital ad spending in the entertainment industry for 2015, eMarketer forecasts. Advertising served to desktops and laptops will be 46.5%. Media brands are also devoting a majority of their digital advertising spend to mobile: 51%, eMarketer estimates.

“Media and entertainment industries have been pretty aggressive with mobile,” said Chad Gallagher, director of mobile at AOL. “They’ve realized that consumers are on mobile devices more and more, especially at home.”

That’s less true of programmatic, which media and entertainment industry advertisers have been slow to adopt. Entertainment industry marketers are expected to spend $780 million, or 41%, of their digital display advertising budget programmatically in 2015, eMarketer forecasts. Marketers for media brands are expected to spend slightly less, about $620 million, or 38%, of their budget programmatically. As with digital advertising overall, media and entertainment firms spend less on programmatic digital display ads than any other industry but healthcare and pharma.

eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends and economic changes.

Download the executive summary of the report here.

eMarketer corporate subscription clients can view the full report here.


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