When next year’s Super Bowl airs on CBS, online viewers will see the same ads as those glued to their living room sets. The network now requires advertisers to buy an online spot for each broadcast ad they purchase – a major change from previous years when TV-less viewers had to seek out the popular ads independently.
The move represents an effort by CBS to capitalize on the growing popularity of digital media. U.S. TV consumption has fallen from 42% in 2009 to 35% this year, while digital media has surged from 32% to 47%, according to L2’s Media Winners & Losers report. CBS charged $4.5 million last year for 30-second TV ads and plans to charge $4.7 million this year. But as viewers choose digital platforms over TV, those prices could decline.
Advertisers have followed viewers from TV to digital, albeit at a slower pace. In 2007, only 8% of ad spending went to digital platforms. Seven years later, that number had risen to 25%. Online advertising accounted for 98% of sector growth in Q2 2014, while broadcast advertising declined by 5%.
L2’s study shows that ad spending has yet to match the popularity of new digital platforms, especially mobile. Viewers now spend 23% of their time on mobile channels, yet advertisers only direct 8% of spending to mobile. In contrast, TV gets 41% of ad spending despite steadily declining viewership. As CBS and other broadcast networks pivot towards digital platforms, those numbers are likely to dramatically change.