A picture is allegedly worth a thousand words, though of course moving pictures with sound (aka TV) are worth even more.
Sadly we don’t have any TV to make our point here, so a picture will have to do. It shows what each medium’s share of total advertising has been since 1995, according to the official Advertising Association/WARC figures:
The most obvious story in this picture is the relationship between the internet sector’s spectacular growth (and we have forced ourselves not to split the internet into its component parts – see why we wouldn’t usually here) and print advertising’s decline – although print remains the biggest single media sector by a whisker and did register an increase in revenue last year.
A less obvious story, and the one that we want to make sure is not overlooked, is that boring green line running through the middle showing TV’s share over the last 17 years. There are a couple of points to make about it.
First the hard numbers: TV’s share of advertising peaked in 2000 but 2010 came within a cigarette paper of matching it. Last year TV advertising revenue (inc sponsorship but excluding online TV) grew by 16% to reach revenue of £4.3 billion gross. This was against a market average increase of 6.9%. This increase meant that TV’s share of the total UK adverting market reached 26.9%, up from 25.6% in 2009, and that it was the third year in succession that TV has increased its share of total advertising revenue in the UK.
But everyone already knows TV had a good 2010 – or at least I hope they do. However this has not stopped some still flogging the old ‘TV advertising is being subsumed by the internet’ story. An added irony is that one of the fastest growing parts within the internet number is online video, of which online TV represents the lion’s share of its £54m.
This graph makes it clear that linear TV and online are growing together and have been doing so for the last three years. TV’s growth is less eye-catching of course, but then it is a more mature market.
So I’m allowing myself to hope that this graph will help end the deluded notion that the internet is stealing TV’s lunch and will re-emphasise their happy co-existence and complementarity, though I tediously maintain they are really not equivalents.
For the record, the AA/WARC figures for 2010 break down as follows (the figures are gross):
* Print: £4.3 billion (26.9%, down from 30.2% in 2009)
* TV: £4.3 billion (26.9%, up from 25.6%)
* Internet: £4.1 (25.6%, up from 24.4%)
* Outdoor: £880 million (5.5%, up from 5.4%)
* Radio: £523 million (3.3%, down from 3.5%)
* Cinema: £182 million (1.1%, down from 1.2%)
(If you found that graph useful, there are some more here showing the trends in ad revenue.)