Worldwide spending on advertising is expected to grow in 2016 and 2017, according to Carat, the global media network. Carat collected data from fifty-nine markets, including the Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific. Advertising spending will grow to more than $548 billion in 2016, buoyed by the Rio Olympics and the US presidential elections.
While advertising forecasts remain strong in North America, Latin America, Russia, and Asia Pacific, spending on print advertising is expected to decline. In contrast, spending on digital media advertising is expected to reach more than a 30 percent share of total spending on global media in 2017.
The high demand for mobile, social media, and online video is driving the move toward online ads. As interest in online advertising swells, print media shrinks in prominence.
Heading toward Digital Media
Given the way digital advertising works, it’s not surprising that print advertising is being left by the wayside. According to Pew Research, 72 percent of people say they sometimes read the news on mobile devices. Not only are mobile devices ubiquitous and handy, they can provide advertisers with targeted audiences in a way that print can’t possibly do.
Our media consumption is being tracked by cookies and satellites. Our devices have insight in our actions on an hourly basis. One digital expert explained that smartphones can accurately predict people’s blood alcohol levels, based on data they collect. Marketers have been jumping at the chance to access that data; today, the sole purpose of more than one hundred companies is to accrue and analyze personal data to sell to marketers.
Advertisers can and do serve up relevant, targeted advertisements, based on data they’ve accrued. For example, someone who has searched for a hotel in Greece will be served offers for Greek vacations and hotels. Print ads, even when placed in a niche publication, cannot give the level of specificity provided by mobile ads.
Future of Print
Yes, print media are shrinking, especially by advertising spending standards. One bright spot that stands out is the versatility of magazine and newspaper publishers. Many of these original print media have been able to morph to mobile sites. Publishers such as The Washington Post and Condé Nast have expanded their audiences through digital strategies. They fulfill reader’s quests for “real” content, instead of the fluff often found online.
As much as digital media and the Internet have integrated themselves into our lives, people are not yet ready to give up on printed books, magazines, and newspapers. Research shows that people appreciate the tactile experience of holding printed products in their hands.
The electronic media have amended our relationship with print, but they have not and will not put an end to the sensory experience of nondigital reading.