How Big is Retail Media? Soon Bigger Than Linear TV Advertising, According to One Forecast

March 21, 2023

Retail media is on a tear; ad buyers are planning greater spending on these networks, and forecasts are calling for this channel to be one of the fastest-growing in the years to come. Now eMarketer is predicting that “retail media ad spending is on track to surpass TV,” perhaps as soon as 2025.

According to eMarketer’s figures, digital retail media ad spending reached $37.4 billion last year and will grow by more than 20% both this year and next, reaching $55.35 billion in 2024, when it will account for 17.8% share of all digital ad spending. Though the forecast doesn’t go past 2024, a relatively conservative estimate of 15% growth in 2025 would put retail media ad spending at almost $64 billion.

By comparison, linear TV ad spend is expected to fall by 7.7% this year to $62.42 billion and essentially remain flat through 2026, when it is forecast to sit at $62.12 billion. As such, it’s possible, if not likely, that retail media ad spend could exceed linear TV ad spending in 2025.

These trends are interwoven, per eMarketer. That’s because linear TV is ceding share to connected TV (CTV) ad spending, which is predicted to grow from $26.92 billion this year to $43.59 billion in 2026. As the analysts write, “The migration of ad dollars from linear TV to retail media is happening mostly because some of the biggest retail media networks are muscling into the CTV space. Amazon is doing it organically through its ad-supported video content, including its exclusive license for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football franchise and its ad-supported Freevee streaming service. Other retailers are getting there through partnerships, notably Walmart with The Trade Desk and The Kroger Co. with Roku.”

The ad market is certainly changing…


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