Online Ad Spending Pulling Ahead

PwC’s latest annual Entertainment & Media Outlook Report holds some encouraging signs for PR agencies that have added paid media to their wheelhouse and ramped up their online advertising efforts.

According to the report, online advertising spending will exceed $75 billion next year, surpassing the $74.7 billion projected for TV spots. Online advertising is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 9.4 percent from 2015 through 2020, compared to TV’s 3.2 percent rate.

The report features projections for online and offline media advertising markets for 2016 through 2020.

“Long-term” planning has become something of any oxymoron throughout the PR field, and four years is a downright eternity in the professional services arena.

In an ever-changing market, PR agency owners have to stay abreast of media-spending trends, of course, but they don’t want to get too far ahead of their customers and prospects and lock in budgets too far in advance.

Still, the PwC report provides PR and ad agency owners and their top deputies with a road map for where media dollars are headed and how to prepare accordingly when it comes to strategic planning.

A growing depository for those dollars will be mobile markets.

PwC says mobile’s share of online ad spend is expected to grow throughout the forecast period, increasing from a forecast 41 percent share this year to a predicted 49 percent share in 2020, buoyed by a 2015-2020 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5 percent.

Among mobile advertising types, display (including video) is expected to remain larger than search, rising from 58 percent share of mobile ad spend to 62 percent in 2020, PwC says.

Mobile video will be the fastest-growing segment, with its 2015-2020 CAGR of 30.3 percent, bringing it almost on par with other mobile display advertising formats by 2020.

PwC-US-Ad-Media-Market-Sizes-2016-v-2020Media and marketing mavens have predicted at least since 2008 that (fill in the blank) is the Year of Mobile, as if other media channels will suddenly wilt amidst the rise of mobile messaging.

But, for PR agency owners and managers, that’s the wrong approach. Mobile marketing and communications won’t eclipse other channels altogether, but, however gradually, start to command more of the overall marketing dollars available from clients.

A lot depends on where mobile marketing fits within the client’s overall messaging architecture.

TV advertising spending is projected to grow from $73 billion this year to $74.7 billion next year, at which point it will cede its status as the top media advertising market. Overall, TV will grow at a compound annual rate of 3.2 percent, from 2015 through 2020.

Yet depending upon the client—and the size of the brand’s or organizations marketing budget—TV advertising will continue to hold its appeal for brand marketers.

That’s because as the media environment continues to fragment, TV will be the last medium to concentrate the biggest number of eyeballs in one place. Despite declining ratings, TV still draws the biggest audiences when stacked up against the infinite number of niche audiences online.