An in-depth look at telecom ad buys


Just-released data shows that in 2011 Telecom advertising is up 7.5% YTD across all markets compared to the Top 12 markets’ bigger surge.  The hottest Telecom markets were almost all in the South.  This suggests that the population shifts, detailed in the 2010 Census and various other recent surveys, seemingly driven by states with business-friendly agendas, are being followed by shifts in Telecom spend.  The one exception is NYC, which was witness to a major triple-play spending brawl between Verizon and the top cable groups:


Miami  up 39.3%     Chicago down 15.3%
Houston up 36.3%   Detroit  down 13.1%
NYC  up 33.3%        D.C.  down   9.6%
Dallas  up 18.3%     S.F.  down   1.5%
Atlanta  up 11.8%

TOP 12 Markets
                                        2010 YTD     2011 YTD                YOY
TELECOM Revenue  $ 685.3 million  $ 757.2 million      Up 105%
TELECOM AD Spots  1,855,000 spots  1,943,000 spots  Up 4.7%

The Telecom ad revenue surge in 2011 YTD is a profitable combination of more ad spots sold at higher rates.  Local media detail, ranked by revenue, reveal that Telecom ads have repeatedly been placed in television, delivering both revenue and ad rate improvement YTD.  All three media saw their average telecom advertising rate increase in 2011 YTD:

                                                              2010 YTD     2011 YTD         YOY
TV Station Rev. [12 of 45 mkts.]      $462 million  $564 million   Up 22%
Avg. Spot Rate                                  $1,025 per    $1,133 per     Up 11%
Newspaper Rev. [12 of 48 mkts.]      $121 million  $97 million    Down 20%
Avg. Ad Rate                                    $33,100 per  $36,000 per   Up 9%
Radio Station Rev. [12 of 62 mkts.]  $102 million  $96 million    Down 6%
Avg. Spot Rate                                 $138 per       $144 per      Up 4%

Local data across many market shows that Telecom ads received the most exposure in Cable TV and in Radio so far in 2011, while in the Top 12 markets the figures look like this:

                                           2010 YTD     2011 YTD               YOY
Radio Station Spots      739,800 spots    777,400 spots   Up 5%          
Local Cable Net Spots    661,400 spots   664,900 spots   Up 1%       
Local TV Station Spots   450,500 spots   497,600 spots  Up 10%     
Local Newspaper Ads     3,700 ads         2,700 ads         Down 27%
The leading Telecom ad spend markets are also seeing the logical demographic and business shifts due to friendlier residential and business climates. 

                                                              2010 YTD – 2011 YTD
#1 Telecom Ad Revenue  NYC – $153 million NYC – $204 million
#2 Telecom Ad Revenue  LA    – $112 million LA    – $117 million
#3 Telecom Ad Revenue  CHI  –  $ 85 million CHI  – $72 million
#4 Telecom Ad Revenue  SF    –  $ 54 million SF     – $53 million
#5 Telecom Ad Revenue  DC   –  $ 51 million MIA –   $48 million
#6 Telecom Ad Revenue  PHI  –  $ 41 million DALLAS/DC tie – $46 million

Overall, Telecom marketing budgets for media was up substantially in the first five months this year. Despite a weakly recovering economy, Telecom marketers dramatically boosted ad spend, particularly on local TV stations.  

However, we have to note that not all was rosy in Q1 alone. According to Kantar Media, only two of the leading categories had declines overall. Telecom was one of them, and off 2.1% to $2,246.7 million as reductions by satellite and cable TV service providers dragged down results, the report said. In Q1 2010 it was at $2,294.2 million. So Q2 must be doing quite well, and/or the markets and spend measured above aren’t necessarily representing the full picture.

(source: Media Monitors)