Streaming platforms, podcasts and social videos may be making the headlines, but more traditional TV advertising is far from dead. There’s a reason, after all, that a Super Bowl spot costs at least $175,000 per second.
In this 2019 TV advertising recap, we look at which categories are spending the most on TV ads, who the top advertisers are and the new players (including DTC brands) entering the field.
Digital advertising revenue may have surpassed TV revenue, but TV advertising is still a $70+ Billion industry.
So what did TV advertising actually look like for 2019, especially compared to 2018?
The biggest categories in TV advertising
First up: which categories advertise the most with traditional TV? Retail and finance took the top spots in both 2018 and 2019, with tech and pharma not far behind.
Year-over-year, we see retailers accounting for a larger share of dollars spent on TV ads, becoming the industry spending the most on TV in 2019. The retail industry jumped from a 12.8% share of TV ad spend in 2018 to a 14.5% share in 2019.
Diving deeper into the category, it was eCommerce retailers like Amazon, Wayfair and even Etsy that helped push the category higher (DTC players, as we’ll see below, also played a part).
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At the tail end of the categories was the home furnishings category, which accounted for less than 3 percent of TV advertising spend (to be fair, retailers like Wayfair walk the line).
The biggest players in TV advertising
This year, the top 10 TV advertisers spent nearly $10 billion on television ads. That’s almost 15 percent of the entire market.
But we’ll be honest: there aren’t any surprises when it comes to the biggest spenders in TV advertising for 2019 when compared to 2018. Most of the big players remain the same year to year. Take a look.
Looking at the top 10 advertisers of the year, we see that 6 of them were also in the top 10 last year. The 4 who fell out of the top 10 this year (Verizon, Disney, Pfizer, Comcast) all still still make the top 15 spenders list in 2019.
It gets better: those new to the top 10 this year (Amazon, T-Mobile, Hyundai, and PepsiCo) were all in the top 20 last year.
The new players in TV advertising
Again, TV advertising is far from dead. Over 2,000 companies advertised on national TV for the first time this year — including DTC brands and those with a digital-first marketing focus.
These companies collectively spent over $1B — a far cry from the $10 billion spent by just the top 10 spenders this year.
Some notable examples of these new players include:
- Essentia Water