US communications spending to fall

05 August 2009

NEW YORK: Total communications spending will decline by 1%, to $882.6 billion (€613bn; £521bn), in the US this year, but will register an annual growth rate of 3.6% over the period to 2013, taking it to a value of more than $1 trillion by this date, Veronis Suhler Stevenson says.

According to VSS, the private equity firm, marketing services expenditure will increase by 3.4% a year from 2008 to 2013, although it also warns that "traditional advertising" will post a 3.3% drop off during the same timeframe.

Advertising spend fell by 2.9% last year, to $210bn, and will contract by a further 7.6% in 2009, and 1% in 2010, before returning to the black in 2011.

By category, newspaper revenues will tumble by 18.7%, to $35.5bn, this year, with consumer magazines down by 14.8%, to $11bn, radio by 11.7%, to $15.8bn, and broadcast television by 10.1%, to $43bn. 

In contrast, mobile adspend will record an uptick of 18.1%, to $1.3bn, and online revenues will reach $23.8bn, up by 9.2% year-on-year. 

Spending on "alternative media" is also projected to climb to $139.5bn in 2013, a 29.7% share of all advertising and marketing budgets, compared with 18.2% in 2008. 

"Alternative marketing services", a sector which includes branded entertainment and WOM, will improve by 12.6% each year from 2008–13.

Similarly, "alternative advertising", such as targeted and behaviourally-focused campaigns, will enjoy a growth rate of 12.3% over the next half-decade.

More specifically, branded entertainment will expand by 9.3%, with product placement up by 17.6%, email marketing and in-game advertising by 18.5%, non-SMS mobile ads by 33%, and ads in interactive TV games by 38.7%.

Mobile ads and cellphone content linked to broadcast TV will improve by 35.5%, with mobile gaming and advertising up 46.2%, and spending on web-based and mobile home video downloads by 34.4%.

Consumer media use totalled 3,545 hours per person last year, with consumption levels essentially static when measured against the previous 12 months.

However, John Suhler, president and general partner of VSS, argued "the way in which consumers are spending their time continues to evolve."

"No longer are newspaper and magazine subscription purchases and network prime-time viewing the norm."

"Instead, they are declining and consumers are spending more time with media which they support and pay for as opposed to ad-supported media," he said.

Data sourced from VSS/New York Times; additional content by WARC staff