The Internet will replace TV as the biggest ad channel by 2018, predicts ZenithOptimedia

Television's dominance of the media mix will end in 2018 when it will be usurped by the Internet, according to new forecasts by ZenithOptimedia.

The media firm’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts predicts television to gobble up 38 per cent of total media spend in 2015, although it’s growing at a slower pace compared to new mediums. Indeed, researchers think TV’s share peaked in 2012 at 39.7 per cent and expect this to drop to 34.8 per cent by 2018, while simultaneously spend on search and display will pull online past It as the biggest media channel for advertisers.

TV’s status as the number one channel for brand awareness means that it will continue to pull in big budgets, with more direct online channels used to complement that reach. Taking internet classified ads and search out of the equation makes TV the principal display medium, with it accounting for 44.7 per cent of display expenditure in 2015, and 42.9 per cent in 2018.

"If we consider audiovisual advertising as a whole – television plus online video – we see that it is in fact gaining share of display advertising, claimed researchers, who estimate that audiovisual advertising will account for a record 48.4 per cent of display advertising in 2015, up from 44.1 per cent in 2010, while its share is tipped to reach 48.9 per cent in 2018.

Audiovisual advertising will become increasingly important for brand building in the next few years. Spotify has made moves into this area recently, offering audio and video inventory to advertisers via its PMP. The opportunity will allow advertisers to offer age and gender targeting generated by listening data, as well as its subscription data. It will also allow advertisers to target audiences based on the declared activity, such as 'Workout', etc., with the company expanding these opportunities to other mood sets.

"Television offers unparalleled capacity to build reach, while online video offers pinpoint targeting and the potential for personalisation of marketing messages. Both are powerful tools for establishing brand awareness and associations," added the researchers.

Mobile is the main driver of global ad growth, predicted to contribute 87 per cent of all additional ad spend between 2015 and 2018. In 2018 mobile advertising expenditure is expected to have more than doubled its current rate of $50bn, reaching around $114bn. The increase will see it overtake desktop, leaving it with 50.2 per cent of all internet advertising.

The forecasts also highlight the growing efficiency of programmatic advertising which is expected to account for 60 per cent of digital display by 2016. The growth in programmatic advertising has been huge, buying for the format has grown 76 per cent year-on-year, and is forecast to account for 80 per cent of all display spend by 2018, according to the IAB.

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