Online Ad Spending to Pass TV Spots This Year, Consultant Says

Online advertising spending will exceed outlays for broadcast television spots this year, according to a report released Monday by FTI Consulting Inc.

So-called core online advertising, defined as money spent on search engines and digital sources not affiliated with traditional media, will climb 11 percent to $41.8 billion this year, Washington-based FTI said in a statement. Broadcast ad revenue will rise minimally to $38.9 billion.

Online ad spending has been growing at a double-digit pace, taking share from other media, FTI said. Companies from TV network operators such as Walt Disney Co. to publishers such as the New York Times Co. have been trying to capture more digital revenue while looking for ways to increase non-advertising sales.

“Our model suggests that digital substitution is the primary driver contributing to changes in the television ad ecosystem today,” Philip Schuman, senior managing director and co-leader of FTI’s media and entertainment team, said in the statement.

Viacom Inc., which reported a 5 percent drop in advertising at domestic networks such as MTV in the second quarter, has set a goal of increasing its revenue from newer media sources to 50 percent of the total from 30 percent over three years, executives said on an April 30 conference call.

A roast of singer Justin Bieber on Viacom’s Comedy Central network generated 26 million streams on the company’s websites and apps, as well as more than 7 billion impressions on social media, Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman said on the call.

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