Digital Ads to Surpass TV Ads in 2017

by | Dec 18, 2016 | Business Feature

The ad market is poised for a major shakeup in 2017, with digital ads expected to surpass TV ads. Based on statistics the digital ad market is set to surpass the TV ad market for the first time. According to eMarketer, TV ads will account for 35.8% of all media ad spending in 2017. This percentage equals to $72.01 billion being spent on TV ads. On the other hand, digital ads will account for 38.4% of total media ad spending. This is equivalent to $77.37 billion dollars. Price Waterhouse Coopers project that spending on digital ads will increase from $68.1 billion dollars to $75.3 billion dollars.

Causes of the Shift in Ad Spending

The milestone expected to be witnessed in the ad market in 2017 can be attributed to a number of factors. However, the main contributing factor is the fact that more people will have access to the internet than ever before. According to statistics, revenues accrued from internet access are expected to increase from $140.7 billion in 2016 to $181.7 billion in 2020. Additionally, improvements in the speeds of access will contribute to the growth of the digital ad market. Today, more people are able to enroll in online marketing degree programs with improved internet accessibility.

Digital Ad Growth in Different Regions

Different regions are expected to experience different growth rates. North America is expected to have the highest growth rate with the region’s digital ad market expected to grow by up to 6.7%. The North American region is followed by the central and eastern European markets. The latter markets are expected to grow by 6.0% in 2017. Based on projections, the highest growth rate in the digital ad sector will be witnessed in Egypt and Thailand. The two countries ad markets are projected to grow by 17%. This rise in digital ad sales will be witnessed in other parts of the world, including China and India.

What it Means

The expected shakeup set to rock the advertising and marketing industry in 2017 will be a reflection of changes in the consumption of content. The shift to digital advertising at the expense of TV advertising will usher the world into a new era. These changes have led to more people applying for accredited online marketing degree courses. Additionally, the future looks bleak for TV advertising and looks promising for digital advertising. Digital advertising is, therefore, becoming the dominant force of advertising and marketing.


Though projections show that spending on TV ads will greatly diminish in 2017, TV advertising will not be superseded entirely by digital ads. However, the long term growth of the TV advertising industry will decrease greatly. It is estimated that the market’s growth rate will be a steady 2% per year. This is compared to the digital ad’s growth rate of 15.4% per year. In conclusion, it is unlikely that TV advertising will be phased out completely. Thus, large brands and companies will continue using television as a medium of advertising. However, companies will inject smaller amounts of money into TV advertising as compared to digital advertising.

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