Digital media set to knock Television off its pedestal

The advertising industry is one that needs to rapidly change and develop to suit the needs of its audience. 20 years ago, television was king and social media was merely a blip on the radar. Now, we’ve reached a pivotal point where the two are about to cross over and digital advertising will take over a greater share of the global advertising spend by media.

Laptops, smartphones and tablets have fast become typical everyday technologies. Whilst they haven’t quite yet taken the place of the television, they brought about the rise of a phenomenon called “second screening”. Using a smartphone or other internet-of-things device to access social media, online shopping or other content whilst watching TV is somewhat of a second nature because our devices have become second nature to us too. According to Tubular Insights, 87% of millennials are never without their smartphone, and 92% of them browse on other devices while watching TV.

“Social media platforms have benefited from the rapid adoption of mobile technology, using it to embed themselves into their users’ daily lives. For many users, social media is the focal point of their social lives as well as their main source of news” ad agency Zenith said in its Advertising Expenditure Forecasts study.

In addition to this, a lot of millennials have shifted their television consumption to their devices. The convenience of watching something when and where it suits you far outweighs being forced to sit in the lounge room at a certain time and spend half of your viewing time being presented with ads.

Online video specifically has become one of the most powerful marketing tools and is universally loved by consumers with 78% of people reporting watching videos online every week, and 55% reporting they watch videos daily. In 2016, the Summer Olympics and the US Presidential debates saw more viewership online than on television.

Dentsu Aegis Network’s latest ad spend forecasts suggest that television will become the latest media to be overtaken by digital in terms of ad spend, following radio in 2007, magazines in 2009 and newspapers in 2012. Digital’s share of advertising spends in 2018 is forecast to exceed 50% in 8 out of the 59 markets analysed including New Zealand, Australia, China, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

This demonstrates a new age of social media marketing, where audience attention is spent mainly on social channels, meaning that brands need to spend most of their efforts there too.