No, the Whole Ad Industry Hasn’t Gone Digital

You might think that the majority of ad spend is pouring into the coffers of Google, Facebook and other digital channels – and in truth, they are reaping in the lion’s share of the digital side of things. Yet worldwide, only a third of the total ad spend in 2016 was used online, according to Melanie Whiting in Australian Printer.

“Around 66 per cent of current global advertising spend is used for offline mediums (print, TV, radio), according to top tech share market commentator Mark Mahaney,” Whiting notes.

“Despite the recent buzz surrounding the possibilities of social media advertising, Mahaney noted that offline still brought in a sizeable chunk of the ad pie at 66 per cent or $US400bn,” Whiting continues.

Of course, it wasn’t that long ago that digital had a zero share of ad budgets – you can’t advertise in a medium that doesn’t exist, and the digital ad industry is barely 20 years old. Yet it hasn’t taken long for advertisers to become seriously jaded, with rampant fraud, waste and consumer backlash toward digital advertising.

So 20 years later, yes, digital has certainly taken a share of the pie. But it’s far from proven itself as the ultimate destroyer of print.

As brand reevaluate their presence on digital media, including their ad spend, the pendulum continues to swing back to print, especially for brands that understand the importance of the reader experience.  Meanwhile, digital, just barely out of its teens, clearly has a lot to learn.