However, the television landscape is undergoing rapid changes. As media consumption is evolving in many parts of the world, viewers are spending less time watching traditional forms of television and much more time online. This shift is highly visible in the distribution of global advertising expenditure; in 2018, digital spending accounted for almost 40 percent of total global ad expenditures, marking the first year in which online advertisers outspent TV advertisers.
For over two decades, North America has been the world’s largest market for TV advertising, seeing annual ad spend of almost 70 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. According to the most recently available data, this amount of expenditure is forecast to decrease in the years to come – a downward trend that is almost exclusive to the area. Looking at the United States as the single largest spender and birthplace of the first TV commercial, advertising revenue is projected to see modest growth in the future.
One other market that has recorded substantial ad expenditure in recent years is the Asia-Pacific region, which saw spending of approximately 57.49 billion U.S. dollars on TV advertising in 2019. But while spending is expected to increase in the future, revenue is forecast to drop for many of the region’s primary drivers of growth. In China, for example, annual TV advertising revenue has fallen from 111.93 billion yuan in 2013 to just over 91 billion yuan in 2019.
Given the quick pace in which consumers adopt new forms of media entertainment such as online television and other digital streaming technologies, advertisers are likely to enhance investments into these platforms in the future. But even with younger generations seemingly cutting the cord on traditional television formats, the medium is not going to disappear overnight – and neither will its ads.