Can the US advertising market rebound after the COVID-19 decline?
Like so many industries across the country, COVID-19 brought the advertising world to a standstill in March. Media-buying went from a consistent flow of ad spending to a nearly nonexistent trickle across all outlets. In May, WARC predicted that the global ad market would drop by 8.1%, an industry loss of $49.6 billion. But for the first time since the pandemic began, the US marketplace is showing signs of advertising growth with a 5.9% increase in August, the first year-over-year expansion since March.
MediaPost analyzed the Standard Media Index’s U.S. Ad Market Tracker that indexes the volume of media-buying and spending by ad agencies, and determined the advertising growth was directly correlated to an increase in ad spending by the countries’ biggest ad agencies and brands. These industry heavyweights increased their media-buying across all the most popular advertising categories, with digital media quickly becoming the go-to medium with a 17.9% rise over August 2019.
The Rise of Digital Media
TV has always been the barometer for the economic health of the industry; however, the pandemic and consumer demand forced a shift in focus to digital. Digital is now the new platform of choice for consumers. Digital videos, platforms and streaming services have exploded in popularity thanks to the demand for real-time information and 24/7 accessible entertainment. But even with this surge in digital media spending, traditional media outlets like TV, radio and newspaper are still on the decline.
The Future of Advertising Growth Is Unknown
One thing’s for certain: How COVID-19 has altered the future of advertising remains to be seen. As stay-at-home protocols continue to ease and more businesses start to reopen, the comeback of consumer confidence has experts optimistic about a Q3 economic uptick. But with no crystal ball in reach, there’s no predicting how long this upward trajectory will last, or what Q4 and the new year will bring. All we ad lovers can do is maintain our creative momentum and make every campaign more memorable than the last.