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TV ad spending finally fell in 2017

That’s the first drop since 2009.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Despite years of declining TV viewership, spending on TV ads continued to grow — until 2017.

Last year was the first time since 2009 — the recession — that spending on TV ads in the U.S. declined, according to new data from eMarketer.

Spending declined 1.5 percent in 2017 to $70.2 billion. It’s expected to decline another 0.5 percent this year and 1 percent in 2019 — for three straight years of TV ad-spending drops. Back in September, the data measurement company had predicted a modest increase of 0.5 percent for 2017, but has since had to revise that downward thanks to changes in the market.

This year, eMarketer expects TV ads to make up 32 percent of all U.S. ad spending, down from 34 percent in 2017 and 37 percent in 2016.

This article originally appeared on

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