NEW YORK: Television is slowly slipping down the list of priority channels for US marketers as mobile and social attract more of their attention and spending, a new survey has shown.

Consulting firm Bain & Company polled more than 600 US marketers and found that while 57% today said TV featured in their top five channels for advertising expenditure, in three years' time only 50% would still hold that view, the Financial Times reported.

In the seven years it has been conducting this particular survey, this "marks the first time we have seen a decline in TV's appeal" according to Danny Hong, a partner at Bain's media practice.

In contrast, mobile is rapidly becoming an attractive option. Currently just 27% of marketers would classify it as one of their top five spending areas, but in three years' time the proportion jumps 20 percentage points to 47%.

Social is already in the top five for 60% of marketers but fully 75% will soon regard it as one of their top priority channels.

Online video too will grow in importance, with 23% seeing it as a vital channel in three years' time compared to 15% today.

Television will likely recoup some of the lost broadcast spending through networks' various digital properties but, as Hong pointed out, the price differentials involved do not work in their favour.

"For a 5% decrease in TV ad revenue, a company would have to do 25 times that in online video" to make up the difference, he said. In effect, "You would need to create an entire new Hulu".

The reach that television offers is no longer such a draw when marketers consider the targeting options that digital can offer, as well as its greater ability to measure ROI and to engage audiences.

An indication of the sea change taking place came in anecdotal evidence about how marketers are allocating their budgets.

"For the first time some of our clients were suggesting that they were not just using their incremental budgets for digital advertising but consciously moving some of their TV money into digital," Hong said.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff