Online media viewing to surpass traditional television this year

television sets in shop

The amount of time people spend viewing online media is set to exceed the amount of time they spend watching the traditional television set. 

This is according to research carried out by GroupM, the media investment group of WPP, one of the world’s largest advertising and public relations companies. In its report, State of Digital, GroupM predicts time spent with online media will overtake time spent with linear TV for the first time globally in 2018.

Online will have a 38% share, TV 37%, and the balance spread primarily across print and radio. Increased time spent with online media supports ongoing e-commerce escalation.

Thirty-five countries supplied 2017 e-commerce data to GroupM revealing cumulative transactions worth more than $2.1 trillion, growth of 17% over the prior year. GroupM also predicts 15% growth in 2018 to $2.4 trillion or about 10% of all retail.

For the report, GroupM also examined programmatic, or automated, ad investment trends. On average across reporting countries, 44% of online display investment was transacted programmatically in 2017 versus 31% in 2016. This will rise to 47% in 2018.

For online video investment programmatic is smaller; 22% in 2017 versus 17% in 2016 and predicted to rise to 24% this year. Kelly Clark, CEO of GroupM Global, said: “Automation and talent are the big themes in advertising’s current revolution.

“One of the downsides of specialization is the increase in specialists who know more and more about less and less. We have to use automation to liberate brain-power, so talented people can look across the entire media ecosystem to help clients optimize short-term results and create long-term brand value.”

GroupM also highlighted technologies, trends and issues which it found to be most significant.

They include:

  • Blockchain
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Data
  • Digital video competition
  • Metrics and viewability
  • “In-housing”, or doing the work in-house
  • Price inflation
  • The Google-Facebook “duopoly”