For the first time in U.S. history, marketers are projected to spend more on online advertising than on advertising in print magazines and newspapers.
According to a study released Thursday by eMarketer, online advertising is expected to generate $39.5 billion in sales this year — a 23.3% increase from 2011 — compared to a sum of $33.8 billion on print.
2011 also witnessed a 23% jump in online ad spending, according to eMarketer’s calculations. Online ad revenues should continue to grow over the next half-decade, may be at a more modest rate. Total online ad investment is projected to hit $62 billion by that time.
The forecast for print is foreboding. Marketers are expected to continue cutting their print advertising budgets for the next half-decade, spending $32.3 billion in 2016, 10% less than what they invested in print ads in 2011.
Spending on TV promises to be largely unaffected by growing online ad budgets, although the gap between the two is set to narrow significantly. U.S. marketers are expected to spend $72 billion in TV advertising in 2016, up 18.6% from 2011.