Major Media Buyers Still Favor TV

March 11, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Agency Business | Broadcast & Cable | Television

SMI-TV-Media-Ad-Spending-in-2012-Mar2013Agencies may be seeing a changing media mix, but a new report confirms that TV still commands the lion’s share of advertising dollars. According to the data, provided to MediadailyNews by Standard Media Index (SMI), the major agency holding companies spent 62.4% of their advertising dollars on TV in 2012. The data comes from the processing systems of 4 of the 6 major holding companies, lending it an authority not seen in other survey-based research.

The data also reveals that TV advertising spend growth is keeping pace with overall advertising spend growth. In 2012, buyers increased their TV budgets by 6.5%, almost on par with their 6.9% increase in total outlay. That tracks with data showing that despite the increasing amount of video viewing options available to consumers, the amount of time people spend watching TV (even youth) is holding fairly steady.

The SMI data finds that broadcast TV spending grew by 10% year-over-year in 2012. However, that was mostly attributable to NBC’s Olympics-based 51% increase, with the results for other major networks CBS (flat), ABC (-1%) and Fox (-5%) not as healthy. Univision, though, saw a 10% rise in spend, as advertisers continued to target the growing Hispanic market with Spanish-language media dollars.

Over the course of the year, cable TV saw a higher share of total ad dollars (25.8%) than broadcast networks (22.9%); Nielsen previously reported them to be on par in 2011.

Other Findings:

  • Spending on syndicated TV dropped by 12.7% year-over-year, in contrast to previous reports finding it to be a fast-growing segment. The MediaDailyNews article attributes that decline to the “Oprah Winfrey Show” going off the air late in the year.
  • TV’s share of ad dollars was smaller late in the year: it was at 57.4% in December and 59.5% in Q4.
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