New Delhi: The online media time, for the first time, will overtake time spent on television globally in 2018, predicted a report from WPP’s media arm GroupM. Titled the ‘State of Digital’, the report said that consumers will spend an average 9.73 hours with media this year, up from 9.68 hours in 2017. Online media will have a 38% share of the total engagement against the 37% share of television.

The findings are based on consumers’ time spent with each media format, globally, and average time spent with media overall.

The increase in the online media time also supports the ongoing boom in the e-commerce transactions. GroupM stated that the online transactions will witness 15% growth in 2018 to touch $2.442 trillion up from $2.105 trillion transactions in 2017.

In line with the increase in time spent on various online platforms, the report further noted that tech giant Google and social media platform Facebook continue to aid the digital growth globally. While Google search is critical for brands, video streaming platform YouTube is increasingly becoming crucial for scaled premium video.

Meanwhile, GroupM said that the success of social media network Facebook can be partly attributed to the delivery of younger audiences through its photo-sharing app Instagram.

With increase in consumer engagement on digital, an increasing number of advertisers will switch to programmatic (automated) advertising. The report stated that 44% of online display investment was transacted programmatically in 2017 versus 31% in 2016. This will rise to 47% in 2018. For online video investment, programmatic is smaller; 22% in 2017 versus 17% in 2016 and predicted to rise to 24% this year. GroupM weighted its calculations by the size of the countries’ advertising economies.

“Automation and talent are the big themes in advertising’s current revolution," said Kelly Clark, chief executive, GroupM Global. “One of the downsides of specialization is the increase in specialists who know more and more about less and less. We have to use automation to liberate brain-power, so talented people can look across the entire media ecosystem to help clients optimize short-term results and create long-term brand value."

GroupM claims that it is responsible for more than $108 billion in annual media investment by some of the world’s largest advertisers. Globally, the media arm operates through multiple media agencies including Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker, Essence and programmatic audience company, Xaxis.

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