U.S. Media Spending Grew in ’08

(Feb. 23, 2009) NEW YORK: Media spending in the United States increased last year by 2.3 percent, according to equity researcher Veronis Suhler Stevenson. A decline of 0.4 percent is expected this year across the sector, which includes advertising and marketing. VSS issued the figures in a new mid-term forecast updating five-year projections it laid out last year. A year-to-year decline in overall media spending would represent a first in VSS’s 30 years of measurement, the company said.

Newspapers will take the hardest hit in ’09, contracting by more than 16 percent, VSS predicts. Spending on broadcast TV is expected to slide by 9 percent, compared to less than half-a-percent last year. Magazine will register a decline of nearly 9 percent; broadcast and satellite radio will dip around 7 percent.

“Generally, the communications industry segments that will decline in 2009 are traditional media segments that have seen an increase in competitive alternatives which offer stronger proof-of-performance and ROI metrics at lower price points,” VSS said.

VSS says ad spending will drop more than 7 percent in 2009, “the first two-year decline in 75 years as it also declined in 2008.”

The segments that will stay strong in the coming months include those “supported by institutional and consumer end-users seeking necessary data and information for business or learning, or digital access, content and entertainment,” VSS said.

Internet and mobile continue to grow, although more slowly than expected. VSS now puts ’09 segment growth at 9 percent instead of the nearly 16 percent previously predicted. Mobile content appears to hold great promise for 2009, at a projected 34 percent growth.