June 15, 2016 | Mobile Advertising | by Xavi Beumala

In 2017, the Internet Will Overtake Television in Ad Dollars, and that’s OK with Us

We’ve heard it for years now—this is the Age of the Internet. According to new insights from PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook Report, 2017 will be the year that the Internet truly arrives—at least in the world of advertising.

According to this report, next year will be the first time that Internet advertising will overtake the amount broadcast television makes in the United States. This marks a huge milestone in the growth of Internet advertising, which has been slowly chipping away at television for years. Much like television overtook print, the Internet is about to claim its rightful place at the top of the pack.

And the Internet won’t stop at simply breaking through. The gap by 2020 is expected to grow to approximately $12 billion. Television, which pulled in $69.9 billion last year, is projected to grow to $81.7 billion. That’s no small fraction of total advertising revenue, but Internet will grow to $93.5 billion, in contrast to only $59.6 billion in revenue in 2015.

We may live in the Age of the Internet, but over the past several years it has become, more specifically, the Age of Mobile. In fact, TIME published an article in August 2013, almost three years ago, titled “Welcome to the Golden Age of Mobile.”So what does PwC’s report have to say about the role mobile will play in this rise of Internet to the top?

Mobile in fact will be one of the biggest reasons for the Internet’s jump in the rankings. While it accounted for 34.7 percent of Internet advertising revenue in 2015, that number will balloon to 49.4 percent by 2020. Mobile will make up almost half of all revenue for online advertising. Breaking it down even more, mobile video Internet ad revenue will boom from $3.5 billion last year to $13.3 billion in 2020. The TIME writer made a good choice when he picked “golden” to describe this new age of mobile.

Christopher Vollmer, principal with Strategy&, PwC’s global strategy consulting firm, told Adweek, “We don’t see an abrupt switchover during the forecast period, but more of a continued evolution towards more multichannel viewing and more digitally enabled viewing.” This is an important distinction. We’ve been watching this change for years, but now we can see it coming to fruition. All the hard work that has gone into building such amazing tools for digital advertising will pay off in the near future in a big way.

Vollmer also talks about one significant advantage mobile has over traditional online advertising. While shifting from television to desktop required creating an entirely new budget for a new medium, funds can be transferred from online advertising budgets to more specifically target the mobile platform with relative ease. The transition from desktop to mobile shouldn’t be as jarring as the shift from television to desktop was.

This shift has been noticeable for a while, but now more and more money is being poured into Internet advertising, and a good portion of that is going to mobile. What makes this report so satisfying is that we no longer need to wonder when the Internet will become king of the advertising world. It’s motivating news for companies in the digital advertising space, because, after all, 2017 is right around the corner.