You may have thought that this had already happened, but at long last, the digital slice of the US advertising market is set to become larger than print’s share in 2010.
2010 is therefore a watershed year for the entire digital economy, taking a proud place at the front of the advertising bus. In terms of total percentages, digital ads are expected to net 32.5% of the $368 billion dollar projected ad spend. This covers total US and B2B advertising.
Print is set to garner 30.3% of the total. In dollar terms, digital is set to be a little over $8 billion larger than print. While they are close, the trends up and down are quite clear.
Print media, especially in the newspaper sector, has been hemorrhaging advertising dollars through one thousand little cuts. Whether it was the proliferation of free online classified ads or merely the rise of massive blogging networks taking away ad dollars, it has been a rough decade for print media.
But even with that, the print sector was still given holdover-respect. After all, print has been around since the venerable Gutenberg and his press. The upstart digital teams since the rise of the internet could never match their scope, or so it was thought. People are always going to want to hold a paper and a coupon. Not so any more.
This is a slow revolution. This is merely one symbolic step until the printing presses stop. For now, we have this landmark changing of the guard. What is next? When mobile advertising completes the same feat. That will take some time however, mobile is expected to be smaller than 16% of the total ad spend in 2010. When will those lines cross? Only time will tell.