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Digital platforms lead communications spending higher

October 2, 2012

Driven by continued growth in digital platforms and services, overall spending in the U.S. communications industry will increase by 5.2 percent in 2012 to $1.189 trillion, says a new forecast from the private investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

According to the VSS Communications Industry Forecast 2012-16, the expected growth will be almost double the rate of the last five years, as businesses and consumers increasingly embrace digital technology and return to spending levels not seen since before the worldwide economic downturn began in 2008.

Spending on traditional marketing is forecast to grow by 4.2 percent in 2012 to $75.91 billion, buoyed by political campaign spending, including on public relations and word-of-mouth marketing. Traditional communications companies that relied on print products continue to make the transition to digital, and those that fully embrace digital technologies are most likely to remain relevant to their audiences, the report found.

By 2016, expenditures related to digital communications are forecast to reach 39.3 percent of total U.S. communications industry spending, compared to 16.7 percent in 2006. Robust long-term growth is expected for targeted media — which includes branded entertainment marketing, business-to-business media, direct marketing, outsourced custom content, and pure-play consumer Internet and mobile services.

VSS defines communications spending as dollars invested by advertisers, marketers, consumer end-users and institutional end-users in ad-based communications and marketing services, as well as entertainment, information, business and education content, subscriptions, access and services. The definition does not include spending on hardware. — Greg Beaubien 


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