TV advertising is slipping and it can't blame the economy this time

TV ad sales are expected to slide this year, the first time that’s happened since the height of the Great Recession.

According to a new report from the ad buying giant Magna Global, spending on TV ads by marketers will dip by 1% this year.

It would be the first time that’s happened since 2009. At that time, the economy was in freefall and unemployment was high, and the TV ad business naturally was feeling the impact.

Today the global economy, while far from exhibiting roaring growth, is relatively stable, and unemployment in places like the US is low. So TV advertising doesn’t have a great excuse. The medium clearly appears to be losing out to digital media, as live TV ratings decline, more people turn to time-shifted TV viewing, and marketers seek alternatives.

In the US linear national television advertising revenue is expected to decline by 3% this year to $US42.8 billion, reports Magna. Meanwhile, online advertising sales will grow by 14% this year, surpassing $US200 billion globally, driven by mobile ads.

Overall, global advertising revenue is predicted to grow by 3.7% in 2017, to $US505 billion. That’s slower than the 5.9% increase Magna tracked in 2016, which was buoyed by political ad spending and the Olympics.

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