US Traditional Media Ad Spend Dynamics in Q1

June 25, 2013

Kantar-percent-change-in-measured-ad-spend-Q1-2013-june13US ad spending in all media other than the internet (excluded due to measurement changes) was relatively flat year-over-year in Q1, down by 0.1% overall, per the latest figures from Kantar Media. Some overall trends were to be expected (outdoor advertising showing solid growth, and newspaper continuing to fall), but some were slightly more surprising, with radio spending down and magazine revenues showing a small uptick.

See here for a detailed outlook for traditional media advertising over the next 5 years.

  • TV

According to Kantar Media, TV media spending was a mixed bag in Q1, with total revenues inching up by 0.3%. Spending on cable networks rose by 5.2% as auto manufacturers and restaurants grew their expenditures, while network TV spending fell by 5.2% due to weakened primetime ratings.

Ad spending in Spanish Language TV continued its strong rise, up 13.5% for the quarter, the 7th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. But, another segment that had been showing healthy growth rates, syndication TV, saw a 1.1% decline in spend. Finally, spot TV spending was down 2.4%, but relatively flat if excluding political advertising.

  • Radio

While the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) pegged radio revenues as being flat in Q1, Kantar’s estimates have spending as down 1.7% from Q1 2012. Network radio (not covered in the RAB estimate) experienced the fastest decline, of 15.2%, while local radio was down 1%. National spot radio had a brighter quarter, with spending rising 5.7%.

  • Print

Like TV, print media spending was mixed – with magazines showing slight growth as newspapers continued their free fall. For the quarter, magazine media spending was up 0.6%, while newspaper expenditures fell by 4%.

Within magazine media, Sunday magazines and local magazines saw the largest declines (-5.7%), while B2B magazines (-4.1%) and Sunday magazines (-3.7%) also experienced decreases. Consumer magazines, though, enjoyed a 1.8% increase in spending.

Within newspaper media, national newspapers suffered almost a double-digit loss in revenues, down 9.2% from Q1. Local newspapers fared better, but were still down 3.3%.

The Spanish language market was the bright spot in the print sector: spending on Spanish language magazines jumped by 12%, while expenditures on Spanish language newspapers increased by 1.4%.

  • Outdoor, FSIs

While the above media as a whole generated imperceptible – if any – growth, outdoor ads and spending on free-standing inserts both saw healthy increases. Outdoor advertising in particular benefited from an increase in spending from local services, retail and restaurants, with revenues up 4.3% (the OAAA recently estimated the increase to be 4.5%). Q1’s growth was the 11th consecutive quarter of growth for the outdoor advertising sector.

Spending on free-standing inserts (which represents distribution costs only) was up by 3.8%.

About the Data: Kantar’s full explanation of its methodology can be found at the link above.

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