US ad spend was up 3.5% in Q2


Dollar SignTotal US ad spend finished the period at $35.8 billion, according to Kantar Media. Total spending for the first six months of the year grew 2.0% to $68.9 billion. Radio experienced mixed results. Spending in National Spot Radio rose 5.8% with strong demand from telecom, restaurants and retail segments. Local Radio fared less well as quarterly expenditures dropped 1.6%.

Television continued to headline the ad market in the quarter with overall growth of 6.4%, thanks in part to post-season basketball games. Cable TV spending jumped 14.9% due in part to a larger number of NBA playoff telecasts as well as higher primetime ad prices at leading networks. Network TV expenditures rose 4.9%, with comparisons helped by the extra revenue from a seven game NBA championship series (vs. five games in 2012). An additional benefit came from a timing shift that moved ad money for NCAA Final Four basketball games out of March and into April.

Spanish Language TV spending increased 6.1% in Q2 on higher budgets from direct response marketers, auto manufacturers and restaurants. Hispanic networks continue to see stronger results than local market Hispanic stations.

Spot TV declined 3.5% in the period. The reduced volume of political ad spending that regularly occurs in odd-numbered years is becoming more of a drag for local stations as the year progresses. Excluding the political category, Spot TV ad spending in Q2 was level versus a year ago.

Outdoor spend was up 7.4% in the second quarter, the thirteenth consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases, and were spurred by healthy gains from its core categories of restaurants, local retail and local service businesses. Outdoor media also continues to see gains due to the expansion of new digital formats.

Internet Display advertising increased 4.1% during the period. Spending totals, which do not include either video or mobile ad formats, got a significant lift from both financial service and telecom advertisers. Investments by travel and tourism advertisers also increased leading into the key summer vacation season.

Consumer Magazines registered an expenditure increase of 1.9% as calculated by rate card prices but this was tempered by a 2.1% reduction in the number of ad pages sold. Sunday Magazines had a similar pattern with expenditures up 4.1% but ad pages down 6.3%.

Newspaper continued to lose ground in the quarter. Local Newspaper ad spending declined 4.3% on weakening budgets from auto dealers, financial services and retailers. National Newspapers were down 0.5%. (Both Consumer Magazines and Newspaper media spend figures are based on print editions only.)

“Ad spend has now increased for six consecutive quarters and in reaching 3.5% growth for Q2, had its best performance in a non-Olympic period since the end of 2010,” said Jon Swallen, Chief Research Officer at Kantar Media North America. “However, the gain was boosted by two unusual phenomena. On one side, year ago spending was deflated by major advertisers who conserved budgets in advance of the Summer Olympics and this makes current year growth appear larger. On the other side, there were more NBA playoff games this year and it generated a sizable windfall of extra TV ad revenue. Without these factors, Q2 ad spend growth would have been lower by about one full percentage point.”