Television ad spending is expected to fall to its lowest amount in nearly a decade this year at $60.5 billion, but the health and pharma categories are bucking the trend.
In 2018, U.S. TV ad spending reached $64.8 billion, according to a report from marketing research organization WARC. It is expected to rise again in election year 2020 to $62.9 billion.
Most sectors are cutting TV advertising, including automotive, retail and media and publishing, but others are spending in larger amounts, such as healthcare and pharma, according to the report.
Pharma and healthcare ad spending is projected to hit nearly $11.3 billion this year and $12 billion in 2020, with TV making up the largest share, according to October data from WARC.
Other industries expected to increase TV spending include soft drinks, transportation and tourism, financial services and business and industrial. The other 14 product categories singled out by WARC are trimming their TV budgets, according to the report.
The data also projected that spending on online display advertising will overtake TV for the first time this year. Online display is expected to be $6.6 million higher than TV spend this year. By next year, online display will make up 29.4% of all advertising budgets, while TV will account for 26.4% of total ad spend across all industries.
TV spending has been declining each year since its peak in 2012, while online display has more than doubled in the same period, from below 10% in 2012 to 27.6% in 2019.
Time spent watching traditional TV is also falling. In 2019, consumers watched an average of two hours and 51 minutes of linear TV, while online TV and streaming crept higher, with an average of one hour and 22 minutes.
Cable TV is also continuing to drop among teenagers. In 2019, it made up only 12% of their daily video consumption against giants like Netflix and YouTube, which made up 35% and 37%, respectively.