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Online Ad Will Overtake TV

  • Forrester Research in a new report says Online Ad Spend will leave behind TV Adv by 2016, reaching 35% of overall ad spending

A new report just released by Forrester Research makes a forecast of Marketing Spend in US in the next five years. Results give 2011-2016 scenario, where TV advertising it’s going to be eclipsed by online ads. Forrester says that, by 2016, advertisers will spend almost $77 billion online, embracing 35% of overall ad spending.

According to Forrester, also within online advertising lots of changes are ahead:

  • Mobile ads will overtake social ads and email marketing already this year. Mobile ads will hit $8.2 billion in revenues by 2016, as advertisers will want to reach people not just when they are at their desk.
  • Search ads’ market share will fall. Although Search Advertising will remain the largest segment, growing to $33 billion, its share of online ads will fall from today’s 55% to 44% by 2016.
  • Display ads will rise anew. Mostly thanks to rich media, display ads will hit nearly $28 billion and 37% market share of online ads by 2016. Advertisers will want to reach people wherever they are online, not just while they’re searching on Google. That’s the reason why the attention to social media sites is growing.
  • Daily deals will decline. “Consumers will grow so conditioned to micro-impulse offers that they’ll lose practice at considered decisions — in all walks of life, not just when buying spa treatments”, writes study author Shar VanBoskirk. “Look out  Groupon, LivingSocial et. al., consumers may soon grow weary of your come-ons, if they’re not already”.
  • Social media will grow relatively slowly. Surprisingly, while stating that social medias are growing in the period considered, Forrester foresees that marketers’ spending on social media will hit only $4.4 billion (7% of online ad spend) by 2016. The first reason given is that setting up and ongoing costs of social media activities are relatively low. Seen these data not from a PR point of view, but from an online advertising one, it can be also said that Facebook, Twitter and other social sites don’t offer much in the way of ad formats yet. 


This is an interesting scenario, in particular if compared to the situation in Italy, where, accordingly to Nielsen report released in May 2011, TV is still the most popular mean in the communication mix (56% of overall ad spending) versus a 18% online investment.

It can be said on the other hand that this is an evolving scenario, as TV advertising decreased by -2,3% in the last year, while online spend is continuously growing in Italy,  by +15,6%  in the same period (data source; FCP- Assolnternet).

On these basis, it would be possible that the scenario outlined by Forrester in the US could be applicable also in Italy, maybe just some years later.

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