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Forecast: Digital advertising pulling away from TV on global basis

March 26, 2018 / Greg Sterling

Forecaster Zenith has projected global TV ad spending will be $187 billion this year, while digital is slated to grow to $227 billion. Last year, according to the agency, digital overtook TV advertising for the first time. Assuming no recessions or economic downturns, driven by uncertainty or trade wars, Zenith argues that global ad expenditures will grow by $77 billion (between 2017 and 2020). That growth will be led by the US and China. Mobile will be the largest single contributor to ad revenue growth, with TV a distant second. During the forecast period, search will be the dominant channel, followed by social and video. In 2020, digital will represent 44.6 percent of total ad spending, followed by TV with 31.2 percent. Everything else is far behind. These numbers are derivative of a number of other estimates and so represent a kind of industry consensus. Undoubtedly, the specific figures are off, but they’re likely to be directionally correct.