- Dentsu Aegis revised its 2018 ad spending growth forecasts and now predicts 3.6% growth to $589.5 billion worldwide, down from June 2017 estimates of 4.3% growth for this year, per MediaPost. The updated report said U.S. spending will grow at 3.2% to $216.9 billion, lower than previous estimates of 4% growth.
- Despite the downgrade for 2018, Dentsu Aegis still foresees stronger figures than 2017's growth of 3.1% globally and 2.5% in the U.S. Analysts said that the boost will be driven partly by the Winter Olympics, FIFA World Cup and the U.S. midterm elections.
- A separate analysis by the Winterberry Group predicts that marketers' spending on digital media will overtake offline media and marketing spend for the first time in 2018, MediaPost said. The analysis, titled "Outlook for Data-Driven Marketing 2018," forecasts measured media will reach $117.4 billion in 2018, with offline media and marketing reaching $97.8 billion and digital media reaching $100.8 billion.
Despite myriad issues raised with digital media last year — some of which led advertisers like Procter & Gamble and Unilever to slash their spending on the channel — the space continues to show strong performance, spurred by the strength of video, mobile and also newer technology areas like voice activation. Digital spending last year surpassed that of TV for the first time, and the Winterberry Group's findings indicate it will yet again push past a mainstay, this time for offline media and marketing.
Marketers generally had staid if not bleak outlooks on growth for 2017, but major, cyclical destination viewing events like the Winter Olympic Games and the World Cup should provide some bright spots this year, per Dentsu Aegis. They will also be areas to watch as advertisers and networks try to chase a growing number of cord-cutters that favor digital streaming services over TV.
Other figures drawn from the reports help roadmap how the ad world will shape up in 2018: Mobile, which includes display, search and email, will be the fastest-growing digital channel in 2018 at 22.2%, reaching $3.3 billion, according to the Winterberry Group. Social media is predicted to increase 20% to $1.8 billion. For 2018, search is projected to grow 11.5% to $40.7 billion globally; display is forecasted to increase 14.3% to $47.2 billion; and email is projected to increase 10.7% to $3.1 billion. Mobile ad spend for search display and email made up 70% of digital ad spend of $60 billion in 2017, and the report estimates it will reach $90 billion by 2020.
The Winterberry Group report also highlights Amazon’s continued disruption in digital advertising. Amazon, which was expected to generate $1.65 billion in ad revenue for 2017, is leading the pack in search share, with 55% more consumers beginning their product searches on the site. Amazon mobile search accounts for 44% of all mobile spend.
Another important takeaway from the Winterberry report is the continued fall of ad spend for traditional media, including TV, magazines and newspapers, suggesting a slim likelihood that these channels will rebound in any significant way. Magazines saw the biggest losses in 2017 with 14.8% to $12.7 billion. Newspapers declined 10.9% to $12.2 billion and television ad spend fell 0.85% to $69.7 billion. The declining ad revenue has led many legacy media companies to increase their digital offerings as a way to grow audiences and make money.