Broadcast leads media in sluggish advertising market


Money TreeTelevision was up 4.4% in the second quarter and radio was up 1.9%, according to a study from Kantar Media. The results are well ahead of the advertising business as a whole, up only 0.9% with drag provided by newspaper, magazine and internet categories.

Outdoor also did outperformed the industry as a whole with a 2.5% gain. Meanwhile, newspaper was down 3.1%, magazine was down 2.7% and internet (display advertising only) was down 5.4%.

The total spend on advertising for Q2 was $34.4B, and YTD the figure stands at $67.1B.
“Ad spending growth sputtered during the second quarter and was unable to sustain its early year momentum,” said Jon Swallen, Chief Research Officer at Kantar Media North America. “The advertising market is mirroring the tepid, slow growth performance of the general economy. Third quarter results will get a short-term boost from the Summer Olympics and political advertising but sustained long-term improvement will probably be linked to the health of consumer spending on the goods and services that marketers provide.”

Network TV and local spot TV are both up 3.5% for the first half, but they got there coming from different directions. Spot posted a 4.6% gain in Q2 to elevate its YTD figure, while network lost 0.4% to diminish its YTD total. Spanish TV had an excellent quarter, up 17.8%, and syndicators gained a nice round 10% during the quarter.

On the radio side, local was up a modest 0.6% and network lost 3% — but both categories were bolstered by a 20% gain in network radio results.

Here are Q2 results for a number of categories:

+4.4%: Television:
+4.2%: Cable TV
+0.4%: Network TV
+4.6%: Local spot TV
+17.8%: Spanish language
+10.0%: National syndication
-2.7%: Magazines
-2.6%: Consumer magazines
-2.6%: B-to-B magazines
-7.6%: Sunday magazines
-3.1% Newspaper
-1.9%: Local newspaper
-10.7%: National newspaper
-5.4% Internet (display only)
+1.9%: Radio
+0.6%: Local radio
-3.0%: National spot radio
+20.0%: Network radio
+2.5%: Outdoor
Source: Kantar Media

RBR-TVBR observation: The surprise here has to be the results on the internet side – which is on a downward trend. The Kantar measurements include display advertising only – no video or mobile formats – and they demonstrate that advertisers are starting to question the results they are getting from the new kid on the advertising block just as they were starting to invest money there. Clearly, it takes more than just splashing your name here and there on the internet to generate some ROI.

The bleeding on the newspaper and magazine side appears to be slowing, but it is still bleeding. It underscores the importance of the positive numbers posted by radio in particular – instead of going in a cycle of facing easy comps and still underperforming, or in other words, starting in a deep hole and digging deeper, the medium is finally turning the corner and gaining upside momentum.

TV is of course unique. Its roller-coaster pattern – up in election/Olympic years, down in off years – practically guaranteed a positive number, and it should be a lot bigger for Q3 when most of the political advertising will be place. Of course, some of the political will not represent growth but the displacement of traditional advertisers – guess you can’t have everything.