Thursday 21 March 2019 12:01 am

TV advertising revenue stalls as viewers switch to streaming

TV advertising revenue growth stalled last year as traditional broadcasters continue to lose ground to streaming services.

Overall revenue totalled £5.11bn in 2018, equal to the amount invested during the previous year, according to figures from industry body Thinkbox.

Read more: Advertising outlook clouds picture at ITV

The stagnating figures highlight the challenge faced by commercial broadcasters, which are contending with the surging popularity of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.

Research released earlier this year by marketing consultancy firm Ebiquity forecast a decline in TV ad viewing among adults of 15 of 20 per cent by 2022.

ITV, which has teamed up with BBC to launch a new competitor to Netflix called Britbox, last month warned of sliding advertising revenues.

But the industry-wide investment in ad campaigns is an improvement on 2017, when revenues fell 3.2 per cent year-on-year.

Thinkbox chief executive Lindsey Clay said: “TV advertising put in a strong performance in 2018 given the challenging economic environment.

“TV is a trusted, high quality environment for brands, and we are seeing signs of money moving back to TV from lower quality online environments which can’t guarantee a safe environment for brands.”

Online businesses remain the largest investors in TV advertising, contributing £760m last year, according to the figures, and in a vote of confidence in the sector, tech giant Amazon ramped up its TV ad spend by 21 per cent last year.

Read more: TV advertising ‘at the tipping point’, report find

Nic Pietersma, business director at Ebiquity, said: “TV still offers the highest return on investment among brand building media because it provides cost-effective reach in a quality environment.

“However, as our latest report pointed out, we expect to see headwinds over the next five years as changing viewer habits impact both ad delivery and reach.”