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SMI Launches NZ’s First Monthly Digital AD Format Data

Now Providing Actual Spend Detail for Online Video, Native, Display

STANDARD Media Index and its NZ media Agency partners have today launched the first monthly view of Online Video, Display and Native ad spend for the NZ advertising market, providing valuable new insights into this significant media.

SMI’s subscribers will now have the first monthly access to ad spending on Online Video advertising, for example, with that total able to be shown across each Digital sector (such as Programmatic, Social and Content Sites) and all 96 Product Categories.

The release of the Digital Ad Format data follows an 18-month collaboration with SMI’s NZ’s media Agency partners to firstly agree the definitions for each ad format and then to upgrade the payment system so this detail can be specified by the media Agencies when Digital advertising is paid.

Other Ad Formats for which data will now be published each month include Search and Audio with the former mostly representing advertising expenditure on podcasts. And as the data comes directly from the media Agencies’ payment system, it represents actual spend rather than the old-fashioned ad spend estimates of the past.

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Ractliffe said the data provides a new level of visibility for Digital media, enabling media companies to track the evolution of key markets such as online video advertising for the first time, while also providing a valuable benchmark for advertisers.

“Advertisers will for the first time be able to know if they are under or overspending on key media such as online video advertising relative to their immediate competitors. We can now see in the month of February, for example, that the categories spending the most on Video advertising were the Banks, followed by Automotive Brand advertisers and then Retail advertisers,’’ she said.

“At the same time SMI’s Agency partners have the detail they need to better inform their Digital media plans by gaining the first insight into video, audio and native advertising expenditure across all Digital sectors.’’

The new data shows that in NZ the highest proportion of video advertising dollars are traded through the Programmatic market, followed by the Video Sites market and then more general News/Content websites.

“February is the first month that we have been able to release the Digital Ad Format detail but it will become part of our core package as we continue to track the evolution of the Digital media using media Agency payment data,’’ Ractliffe said.

NZ is the third country in which SMI has successfully worked with its media Agency partners to deliver reliable Digital Ad Format ad spend data, with the Australian and US markets also featuring the same detail.

As part of this project, NZ’s media Agencies have also agreed to specify the Outdoor Ad Formats of Digital and Static when paying for Outdoor advertising inventory, and SMI hopes to release that detail within two months.

“SMI exists to fill the market’s ad spend data gaps so our subscribers and Agency partners have the best possible detail to make informed decisions on media allocation based on reliable data rather than intuition,’’ Ractliffe said.

Examples of the new Digital Ad Format detail are provided below.

NZ Digital Ad Format Bookings and Shares: Feb 2019

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

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SMI’s 2018 Entertainment Marketplace Summary 2018

Please see SMI’s 2018 Entertainment Marketplace Update to see an aggregate and detailed review of entertainment programming during 2018.  Subscribing clients to the Report can view the whole report while others will download the summary page.

Please enter your details below to download your document.

Please see SMI’s 2018 News Marketplace Update to see an aggregate and detailed review of news programming during 2018.  Subscribing clients to the Report can view the...

Mar 14, 2019

SMI’s 2018 News Marketplace Summary 2018

Please see SMI’s 2018 News Marketplace Update to see an aggregate and detailed review of news programming during 2018.  Subscribing clients to the Report can view the whole report while others will download the summary page.

Please enter your details below to download your document.

SMI’s Sports Marketplace Summary 2018

Please see SMI’s 2018 Sports Marketplace Update to see an aggregate and detailed review of sports during 2018.  Subscribing clients to the Report can view the whole report while others will download the summary page.

Please enter your details below to download your document.

2017’s summer Olympic games made for an interesting year-over-year comparison when looking at how TV performed in Q3 2017.

Feb 25, 2019

Q3 2017 National TV Index

2017’s summer Olympic games made for an interesting year-over-year comparison when looking at how TV performed in Q3 2017.

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Standard Media Index (SMI), is the advertising intelligence company bringing transparency to the ad industry. Download this guide to how to use our data.

Feb 22, 2019

SMI Press Guide to Data Sharing

Standard Media Index (SMI), is the advertising intelligence company bringing transparency to the ad industry. Download this guide to how to use our data.

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Media Mix Modeling: Why Marketer Type Makes a Huge Difference

What is the right media mix? It’s a question that marketers are constantly asking themselves and their agencies. It appears simple enough, but complexities arise early in the process. What’s the budget? What are the objectives? These are only a couple of questions that complicate these decisions.

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Navigating the upfronts can be a difficult business — especially with limited or inaccurate information. Simply fill in your details below and we’ll send you a free...

Jan 23, 2019

Guide to the Upfronts 2017

Navigating the upfronts can be a difficult business — especially with limited or inaccurate information. Simply fill in your details below and we’ll send you a free Guide to the Upfronts so you can have the data you need to place your ad spend with more confidence.

Please enter your details below to download your document.

National Advertising Market Gains 7% in October

Standard Media Index, the most trusted source of ad pricing and revenue data, announced that the national advertising marketplace grew 7% in October year-over-year (YoY).

Looking across platforms, Digital was the strongest performer this month, growing 17%. That was followed by Out-of-Home (OOH) at 10%, Radio at 7%, Television flat, and Print at -27%.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

National Television Results

National Television was flat in October with Broadcast down -7% and Cable up 5%.  Broadcast revenue tumbled as NFL games dropped the ball this year.  Broadcast networks did trend positively in News and in Primetime Original Entertainment verticals.  Additionally, Broadcast networks increased their amount of 30-second commercial spots by 5% YoY.  Among those, the percentage of spots that were unpaid – also known as makegoods or ADUs – fell by six percentage points. Nevertheless, these adjustments weren’t enough to make up for the losses in NFL revenue.

Meanwhile, Cable networks increased revenue by 5% YoY, even as commercial spots remained flat.  Cable News has held steadfast for the year, and it remained the fastest-growing vertical this month.

The Upfront market grew 2% in October.  Meanwhile, the Scatter market fell -4% year-over-year as marketers moved to Upfront buys to avoid Scatter premiums.

“The linear television season has started sluggishly as expectations of robust demand haven’t yet materialized in the market,” said James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index.  “Demand from marketers continues to outpace audience erosion even if that is due to more limited digital video advertising options due to ad-free delivery.”

Entertainment

Primetime Original Programming revenue increased 3% YoY in October, as the 2018-19 season began to heat up. SMI defines original programming as non-syndicated, new episodes for comedy, drama, and reality subgenres.  Among primetime originals, dramas grew the most in October at 7% YoY.  Several freshman dramas were among the highest grossing this month, namely ABC’s A Million Little Things, FOX’s 9-1-1, and NBC’s Manifest and New Amsterdam.

When including the last week in September, during which many shows began the season, the average price for a 30-second commercial spot during a primetime original entertainment program remained flat from last year.  It’s noteworthy, however, that the average price paid during regular season episodes rose 6%, while the average prices during premiere episodes fell -1%.  Still, advertisers paid an average premium of 158% to advertise during a season premiere.

Looking at market share for all Entertainment programming except Kids, Comcast Corp. was the largest TV network group by Entertainment revenue in October at 18%.  That’s followed by Discovery at 14%, Viacom at 11%, The Walt Disney Co. at 10%, CBS Corp. at 8%, Time Warner at 8%, 21st Century FOX at 6%, A&E Television Networks at 5%, and AMC Networks at 4%.  It’s a highly consolidated market where the top eight media owners account for 86% of Entertainment ad revenue.  The top 12 media owners account for 94% of ad revenue.

News

Cable News continued to be National TV’s leading genre in ad revenue in October.  The six cable news networks – FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, HLN, and FOX Business – grew a combined 14% YoY during the month.  Among the networks, MSNBC was the top performer, growing 30% YoY.

Additionally, Broadcast News was positive in October, rising 2%.  ABC grew the most among English-language networks, rising 13% YoY.  On the Spanish-language side, Univision and Telemundo increased ad revenue in their News divisions by 25% and 31% respectively.

Sports

October was a tough month for live sporting events, as the NFL fumbled its television revenue. Part of the decline resulted from 27 games in October this year compared to 31 games this month last year.  Combining September and October, the NFL aired 51 games in both 2017 and 2018.  In the two-month period, NFL revenue fell -19%, as the number of 30-second commercial spots fell -6%.

“The effects of the lower audiences last year are spilling into this season, as NFL revenue is down,” said Fennessy.  “Nevertheless, as the market reports improving viewership, we will see how these trends change over the remaining months of the season.”

On the other hand, the 2018 World Series hit it out of the park. The series, which aired on FOX, increased paid unit rates by 15% YoY.  Altogether, FOX caught $121.6 Million in ad revenue.  With 5 games this year, compared to 7 games in 2017, the average revenue per game was up 27%.

 

Advertisers by Category

Across National TV, the Auto industry spent the most on advertising this month, although that spend is down -9% YoY.  Rounding out the top five were: Entertainment (-7%), Prescription Drugs (1%), Insurance (9%), and Quick Serve Restaurants (-3%).

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Looking at advertiser categories across all platforms – including TV, Digital, Radio, Out-of-Home, and Print – Autos remain the largest spender of the month, although only decreasing -1% YoY.  That is followed by Telecom (-3%), Prescription Drugs (14%), Insurance (1%), and QSR (12%).

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

About Standard Media Index 

Standard Media Index is the most trusted source of advertising pricing and spend data in the marketplace. SMI accesses actual invoices from the world’s largest media buying groups, as well as leading independents, and then organizes that data to create a clear, granular, and easy-to-use database for our clients and agency partners. By aggregating this data, which accounts for 70%+ of all agency spend, SMI offers detailed ad intelligence across all media types, including Television, Digital, Out-of-Home, Print, and Radio. Data can be broken down by ad types, publishers, product categories, and other dimensions.  Our data supports insights covering 32 countries around the world. For more information and resources visit www.standardmediaindex.com.

Methodology

SMI sources our data from the raw invoices from the media agency holding groups to see the actual dollar amounts spent on each ad buy.  We work with 5 of the 7 major media holding groups and leading independents – making up 70% of the National TV market.  Using SMI real prices paid on spots and combining that with occurrence data from Nielsen Ad Intel, SMI models out the full 100% of the spots in the TV marketplace within Nielsen’s coverage.  Market share percentages are comprised of the approximately 130 national TV networks we measure.

National Television Maintained YoY Revenue for 2017-18 Broadcast Season

SMI Releases Full Season Data Using Enhanced AccuTV Powered By Nielsen Ad Intel

Standard Media Index, the most trusted source of ad pricing and revenue data, unveiled national television figures for the 2017-18 Broadcast Season.

This month marks start of our updated version of our AccuTV product.  With this advancement, we are expanding coverage and improving accuracy through a new relationship with Nielsen Ad Intel.  Using SMI’s real prices paid on spots and combining with Nielsen Ad Intel occurrence data, SMI models out 100% of spots in the TV marketplace across 125+ networks. This development brings the addition of 50 networks, the inclusion and breakout of Promo/PSA ads, and enhanced pricing methodology at the telecast level.

SMI and Nielsen are thrilled to combine forces for this.  Kelly Abcarian, SVP, Product Leadership at Nielsen has said “By fostering this relationship, SMI will now be one of the most comprehensive and complete sources of advertising intelligence available in the market and will be able to unlock the power of these insights across the broad media landscape in an accurate and unprecedented fashion as a way to drive client value.”

Data from the new and improved AccuTV shows that during the full 2017-18 Broadcast Season, excluding the quadrennial Winter Olympics and World Cup, National TV maintained revenue of $45.5 Billion.  This is the same as the prior year, despite declining audiences and continued pressure from Digital.

“As the industry faces chord cutting in record numbers, much of the discussion has been around TV Networks’ new Digital offerings; nevertheless, the continued value of linear cannot be ignored,” said James Fennessy, SMI CEO.  “This is especially true for Cable networks, which are growing in revenue.”

Broadcast vs Cable

The 2017-18 season was better for Cable networks, which grew revenue 3%, while Broadcast fell -4%, when excluding the Winter Olympics and World Cup.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Interestingly, ad loads – or the number of 30-second equivalized spots – increased this season, despite several networks recently announcing plans to reduce ad time.  Overall, ad loads grew 4%, with an 3% increase from Cable and an 8% increase from Broadcast. By the same token, the overall number of unpaid spots – also known as ADUs or makegoods – declined -1% from the 2016-17 season.

Primetime Original Programming

Among Primetime Original Entertainment, Comedies are laughing their way to the way to the bank.  Primetime Original Comedies saw 3% growth this year. This genre got a lift as high-profile reboots and spinoffs commanded higher prices than other sitcoms.  Specifically, Roseanne on ABC, Will & Grace on NBC, and Young Sheldon on CBS were all among the top 5 most expensive primetime original comedies during the season.

Meanwhile, revenue from Primetime Original Dramas slipped -1% this season.  However, despite the decline, original dramas brought in more than three times the total revenue of original comedies.

Primetime Reality Shows also saw a bump of 2% this year, especially during the broadcast month of September.  That month included the finales of American Ninja Warrior, So You Think You Can Dance, Bachelor in Paradise, and America’s Got Talent, as well as the premiers of Dancing with the Stars and The Voice.  Altogether, Primetime Reality Shows grew 30% YoY in September.

SMI defines original programming as non-syndicated, new episodes for comedy, drama, and reality subgenres.

Live Sporting Events

Live sporting events dominated television during the 2017-18 season, thanks to the addition of the World Cup and Winter Olympics.  The two events brought in linear television revenue of $234 Million and $748 Million, respectively.  With the insertion of nearly a billion dollars into the marketplace, Sports saw an overall increase of 7% this season.  Excluding those two events, live sports games earned $7.9 Billion, down -3% YoY.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Market Share

Comcast Corporation takes the lead in market share this season with 21%, well ahead of number two, The Walt Disney Company at 15%.  Comcast had a terrific year, with NBCUniversal properties airing both the Olympics and the Super Bowl.

Discovery Inc., which formed during this Broadcast season after the merger of Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks Interactive, has become the second largest TV Network Group in the Entertainment vertical, comprising 15% of the market.

Advertisers by Category

Within National, the Auto industry spent the most on advertising in this season, although that figure declined by -2% YoY. The next largest spenders were Prescription Pharmaceuticals (8%), Entertainment (-6%), Food -7%, and Insurance (19%).

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

About Standard Media Index

Standard Media Index is the most trusted source of advertising pricing and spend data in the marketplace. SMI accesses actual invoices from the world’s largest media buying groups, as well as leading independents, and then organizes that data to create a clear, granular, and easy-to-use database for our clients and agency partners. By aggregating this data, which accounts for 70%+ of all agency spend, SMI offers detailed ad intelligence across all media types, including Television, Digital, Out-of-Home, Print, and Radio. Data can be broken down by ad types, publishers, product categories, and other dimensions.  Our data supports insights covering 32 countries around the world. For more information and resources visit www.standardmediaindex.com.

Methodology

SMI sources our data from the raw invoices from the media agency holding groups to see the actual dollar amounts spent on each ad buy.  We work with 5 of the 7 major media holding groups and leading independents – making up 70% of the National TV market.  Using SMI real prices paid on spots and combining that with occurrence data from Nielsen Ad Intel, SMI models out the full 100% of the spots in the TV marketplace within Nielsen’s coverage.  Market share percentages are comprised of the approximately 130 national TV networks we measure.

Standard Media Index (SMI), the most trusted data company in media pricing, is becoming even more accurate thanks to a new agreement with Nielsen.

Oct 15, 2018

Standard Media Index and Nielsen Establish New Relationship to fuel SMI’s AccuTV with Nielsen Ad Intel Data

Standard Media Index (SMI), the most trusted data company in media pricing, is becoming even more accurate thanks to a new agreement with Nielsen.  SMI sources its data from the invoicing systems from media agency holding groups to see the real dollars spent on each ad buy across all media types.  SMI works with 5 of the 7 major media holding groups and many leading independents – making up 70% of the national TV market and 60% of premium digital.

SMI’s flagship national television product, AccuTVTM, models out the remaining 30% of spend using occurrence data. Beginning on October 23, 2018, SMI will leverage Nielsen Ad Intel’s occurrence level data as the underlying source of spots for this national TV product. This enhancement has many benefits. Firstly, the number of networks that SMI measures will increase by nearly two-thirds to more than 130 channels.  Secondly, this new agreement will allow SMI to provide deeper insights around new and emerging ad types.

“SMI’s AccuTVTM has already been delivering 95%+ accuracy against the networks internal revenue numbers. This enhancement will only improve this accuracy and provide near full market coverage. Senior network executives are excited about the different data applications our enhanced insights will be able to fuel,” said James Fennessy, SMI CEO. “Our agency partners are also thrilled about our expanded coverage which will help them better size the market, optimize delivery, and help gauge sales gaps more accurately.”

“We’re thrilled to work with SMI and help power their client and agency initiatives,” said Kelly Abcarian, SVP, Product Leadership, Nielsen. “By fostering this relationship, SMI will now be one of the most comprehensive and complete sources of advertising intelligence available in the market and will be able to unlock the power of these insights across the broad media landscape in an accurate and unprecedented fashion as a way to drive client value.”

The updated SMI AccuTVTM product will be available on October 23, 2018.  The entire AccuTVTM dataset, going back to 2014, will be updated to reflect the changes and to keep all data aligned for accurate YOY comparisons.

About Standard Media Index

Standard Media Index is a leading advertising intelligence company helping media companies, investment managers and brands understand advertising spend trends, pricing and planning models, and competitive benchmark analysis.  SMI sources data directly from agency invoicing systems for the most accurate and granular view into the media ecosystem. SMI’s data is fueled by comprehensive insertion level booking data so clients can tackle high-stakes decisions with confidence. Headquartered in New York, with offices in Sydney, Madrid and London, companies across the world turn to SMI to reveal hidden opportunities and help drive better results. For more information and resources visit www.standardmediaindex.com or join the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

National Advertising Market Gains 10% in July

Standard Media Index, the only advertising intelligence firm to source detailed and complete data directly from the major agency holding groups, unveiled national advertising revenue figures for July 2018.  The National Advertising market gained 10% YoY, when factoring out the World Cup.

Looking across platforms, Digital was the strongest performer this quarter, growing 17%. That was followed by National TV at 3% (excluding the World Cup), Out-of-Home at 1%, Radio flat, and Print at -18%.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

NATIONAL TELEVISION RESULTS

National Television increased in July, thanks to Cable programming, which rose 5% YoY, while Broadcast fell -1%, when excluding the World Cup from both.

The 3% rise in revenue coincided with an 2% increase in the number of 30-second spots.  While paid unit costs dipped, that was offset by a -16% reduction in the number of unpaid spots – also known as makegoods or ADUs.

“The decline in ADUs is a positive sign for the industry, indicating that programs are delivering the expected audience figures this month,” said James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index. “National TV declined in the previous three months (April – June), and it’s encouraging to see this trend reverse towards growth.”

In July, the Upfront market grew 5%, while the Scatter market grew 1%.

ENTERTAINMENT

Entertainment Television revenue increased 3% YoY in July with Primetime Original Programming up 8%. MI defines original programming as non-syndicated, new episodes for comedy, drama, and reality subgenres.  Three of the major broadcast networks gained revenue from Primetime Original Programming this month: NBC at 8%, ABC at 18%, and CBS at 21%.  FOX, which aired the World Cup Tournament through much of July, saw a decline in revenue from Primetime Originals that coincided with a decline in spots for this programming.

Two-thirds of the revenue from Primetime Originals in July was from the Reality subgrenre.  Primetime Original Reality shows grew 3%, as revenue from ABC’s “The Bachelorette” and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” increased 35% and 42% respectively.

Looking at market share for all Entertainment programming except Kids, Comcast Corp. was the largest TV network group by Entertainment revenue in July at 19%.  That’s followed by Discovery, Inc (including Scripps Network Interactive, which it acquired in March) at 17%, Viacom, Inc at 14%, Time Warner, Inc at 11%, CBS Corp. at 8%, The Walt Disney Co. at 8%, A&E Television Networks at 7%, and 21st Century Fox at 5%.  It’s a highly consolidated market where the top eight media owners, all with at least 5% market share, account for 88% of ad revenue.  The top 12 media owners account for 98% of ad revenue.

NEWS

Cable News continues to be a boon for National TV in July.  The five cable news networks – FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and HLN – grew a combined 18% YoY for the month.  Among the networks, MSNBC has been a powerhouse, growing 44% YoY. Nevertheless, FOX News continues to charge the highest prices for spots during new episodes

Meanwhile, Broadcast News was positive in July, marking the first month of YoY gains in 2018 for the genre. Combined, ABC, NBC, and CBS grew revenue from news programming by 8% in July

Among TV Network Groups, Comcast has 35% share in news, followed by 21st Century FOX at 16%, The Walt Disney Co. at 16%, Time Warner at 16%, and CBS at 8%.

SPORTS

Revenue from Sports increased 20% in July YoY, although that is entirely due to the World Cup.  When excluding the tournament, Sports revenue is down -6%.

Looking at the full World Cup Tournament, which ran from June 14 to July 15, in-game revenue is down -29% from the 2014 games.  Breaking that down, the English-language version, which aired FOX and FS1, is down -18% despite an 85% increase in the number of 30-second spots.  Meanwhile, the Spanish-language version, which aired on Telemundo, is down -36% as the number of spots fell -26%.

Among TV Network Groups, The Walt Disney Co. has 33% share in sports, followed by Comcast at 33%, 21st Century FOX at 23% and CBS at 3%.

ADVERTISERS BY CATEGORY

Across National TV, the Prescription Pharmaceutical industry spent the most on advertising this month, growing 26% YoY.  Rounding out the top five were: Auto (5%), Food, Produce & Dairy (-10%), Insurance (12%), and Quick Serve Restaurants (19%)

The retail industry was uncharacteristically spending on advertising in July. While July is considered “off-season” for retail, all three retail subcategories – department stores, specialty retailers, and other (online & convenience) retailers – overspent historical norms. This is a partial response to favorable economic conditions allowing retailers to open their open their wallets to attract more customers. Altogether, the combined retail category increased spend compared to last July by 16%.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Looking at advertiser categories across all platforms – including TV, Digital, Radio, Out-of-Home, and Print – the top four categories increased spend compared to July last year.  The Telecommunications industry was the largest spender in July, increasing 5% year-over-year.  That is followed by Auto (22%), Prescription Pharmaceuticals (37%), Quick Serve Restaurants (51%), and Food, Produce & Dairy (-2%).

ABOUT STANDARD MEDIA INDEX

Standard Media Index is an advertising intelligence company helping media companies and investment managers determine ad revenue streams, pricing and planning models, and competitive benchmark analysis.  SMI provides the actual ad spend and unit costs so clients can tackle high-stakes decisions with confidence. SMI sources data directly from agency invoicing systems for the most accurate and granular view into the media ecosystem. Headquartered in New York, with offices in Sydney, Madrid and London, companies across the world turn to SMI to reveal hidden opportunities and help drive better results. For more information and resources visit www.standardmediaindex.com or join the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

METHODOLOGY

SMI sources our data from the raw invoices from the media agency holding groups to see the actual dollar amounts spent on each ad buy.  We work with 5 of the 7 major media holding groups – making up 70% of the national TV market – and model out the remaining 30% using occurrence data. Market share percentages only include TV networks within our Pool of data.

For more information or questions about the data, please contact:

Jennifer Rose, Senior PR Manager

jrose@standardmediaindex.com, +1 (646) 432-9447

National Advertising Market Gains 5% in Q2

Standard Media Index, the only advertising intelligence firm to source detailed and complete data directly from the major agency holding groups, unveiled national advertising revenue figures for the second quarter of the year (April – June).  The National Advertising market gained 5% in Q2, despite a modest decline in National TV when factoring out the World Cup.

Looking across platforms, Digital was the strongest performer this quarter, growing 12%. That was followed Out-of-Home at 9%, National TV at -1%, Radio at -1%, and Print at -22%.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Q2 NATIONAL TELEVISION RESULTS

National Television revenue declined in Q2 as the average paid unit cost for 30-second commercial fell -3.4%.  That is partially offset by a 2.5% increase in the number of 30-second spots to 3.4 Million and a -4% reduction in the number of unpaid spots – also known as makegoods or ADUs.

“As Upfront Season comes to a close, the industry now needs to quickly move its attention to the Scatter market,” says James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index. “In Q2, revenue from the Scatter market grew by 11% YoY while revenue from Upfronts fell -4% and Direct Response advertising remained flat.”

This quarter, eight TV Network groups had market share of 5% or higher by revenue.  Among them, 21stCentury FOX grew the most, gaining 9% revenue. That’s followed by Time Warner, Inc at 8% revenue growth and Comcast at 6%.

ENTERTAINMENT

Entertainment Television revenue was flat in Q2 at -0.4% but grew in Primetime Original Programming. Specifically, Dramas were up 0.9%, Reality shows were up 2.5%, and Comedies were up 19.5%.  SMI defines original programming as non-syndicated, new episodes for those three subgenres.  All four major broadcast networks gained revenue from Primetime Original Programming this quarter: CBS at 22%, ABC at 7%, NBC at 2%, and FOX at 2%.

Among Primetime Originals, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” charged the most for a 30-second commercial at $331,691 in Q2. That’s followed by FOX’s “Empire” at $322,659, and CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” at $295,138.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

The weather wasn’t the only thing heating up this May and June.  Q2 also marked the start of the summer season, and with that, the premieres of several talent competition programs.  Along with the new season of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” came NBC’s “World of Dance,” FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance?” and FOX’s “The Four: Battle for Stardom.” In June alone, new episodes of those four shows earned a combined $76.9 Million.

Looking at market share, Comcast Corp. was the largest TV network group by Entertainment revenue in Q2 at 19%.  That’s followed by Discovery, Inc (including Scripps Network Interactive, which it acquired in March) at 15%, Viacom, Inc at 14%, Time Warner, Inc at 10%, CBS Corp. at 9%, The Walt Disney Co. at 9%, A&E Television Networks at 7%, and 21st Century Fox at 6%.  It’s a highly consolidated market where the top eight media owners, all with greater than 5% market share, account for 88% of ad revenue.  The top 12 media owners account for 98% of ad revenue.

NEWS

Cable News continues to be a boon for National TV in Q2.  The five cable news networks – FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and HLN – grew a combined 16% YoY for the quarter.  Among the networks, MSNBC has been a powerhouse, growing 70% YoY.

Meanwhile, Broadcast News is down -6% in Q2.  In fact, the genre has lost revenue every month so far in 2018.  Among the Big Four Broadcast Networks, only CBS and ABC increased news revenue in Q2 by 4% and 2% respectively.

Among TV Network Groups, Comcast has 35% share in news, followed by 21st Century FOX at 17%, The Walt Disney Co. at 16%, Time Warner at 15%, and CBS at 10%.

SPORTS

Revenue from Sports fell -6.6% in Q2 YoY when excluding the World Cup. Sports revenue saw significant losses from changes in basketball schedules – both at the professional and college level.  This year’s NBA Finals only lasted four games compared to five last year, causing the series to earn -12% less revenue YoY.  However, when looking at average revenue per game, this year was up 10%, having brought in $45.7 Million per game for ABC.

Similarly, NCAA Basketball earned less than half of what it did last year in Q2 due to the March Madness schedule.  In 2017, the two Final Four Semifinal games took place in April; meanwhile, those two same games took place in March of this year.  When equivalizing for both the NCAA Basketball games, as well as the World Cup, Sports is only down -1% in Q2.

Looking at World Cup revenue for June only, English-language live games were broadcast by both FOX and FOX Sports 1 (FS1).  The total revenue for June on the combined FOX stations was $58.2 Million, which is a 31% decline from the 2014 games that aired on ABC-owned networks.  Among Spanish-language broadcasts, the 2018 World Cup earned $90.3 Million in June for NBCUniversal’s Telemundo compared to $135.5 Million for Univision in 2014.  However, it is important to note that four additional games took place in June 2014 than they did this year.

“The growth in average revenue per-game for the NBA Finals highlights the opportunity for highly-anticipated sports events to drive revenue,” says Fennessy.  “By the same token, the declines for the World Cup, without the US in the tournament, illustrates the risk that TV Networks take when it comes to punting on expensive sports rights.”

Among TV Network Groups, The Walt Disney Co. has 41% share in sports, followed by Comcast at 21%, Time Warner at 17%, 21st Century FOX at 13% and CBS at 2%.

ADVERTISERS BY CATEGORY

Across National TV, the Prescription Pharmaceutical industry spent the most on advertising this quarter, growing 19% YoY.  The industry increased spend in Entertainment by 25% and News by 14% while decreasing on Sports by 28%.  Rounding out the top five were: Autos (-12%), Food, Produce & Dairy (-5%), Quick Serve Restaurants (3%), and Insurance (9%).

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Looking at advertiser categories across all platforms, each of the top five categories increased spend compared to last year.  The Telecommunications industry was the largest spender in Q2, increasing 2% year-over-year.  That is followed by Autos (10%), Prescription Pharmaceuticals (17%), Quick Serve Restaurants (23%), and Specialty Retailers (1%).

ABOUT STANDARD MEDIA INDEX

Standard Media Index is an advertising intelligence company helping media companies and investment managers determine ad revenue streams, pricing and planning models, and competitive benchmark analysis.  SMI provides the actual ad spend and unit costs so clients can tackle high-stakes decisions with confidence. SMI sources data directly from agency invoicing systems for the most accurate and granular view into the media ecosystem. Headquartered in New York, with offices in Sydney, Madrid and London, companies across the world turn to SMI to reveal hidden opportunities and help drive better results. For more information and resources visit www.standardmediaindex.com or join the conversation on Twitterand LinkedIn.

METHODOLOGY

SMI sources our data from the raw invoices from the media agency holding groups to see the actual dollar amounts spent on each ad buy.  We work with 5 of the 7 major media holding groups – making up 70% of the national TV market – and model out the remaining 30% using occurrence data. Market share percentages only include TV networks within our Pool of data.

National TV Jumps 4% in April

SPORTS, PRIMETIME ORIGINAL ENTERTAINMENT, AND CABLE NEWS SPUR GROWTH

Standard Media Index, the only advertising intelligence firm to source detailed and complete data directly from the major agency holding groups, unveiled national advertising revenue figures for April.  National TV increased ad revenue 4% in April YOY, with Cable up 6% and Broadcast flat. These figures exclude the NCAA Basketball Final Four Semifinals, which took place in April last year and in March this year.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

GROWTH IN CABLE

Within Cable Television, News saw the largest growth at 21%, followed by Sports at 16%, excluding the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  Cable Entertainment grew 4% in April YoY with ad revenue from syndicated shows increasing 15%.  This rise in Cable Entertainment revenue is attributed to a 6% increase in the amount of 30-second equivalized spots; meanwhile, Paid Unit Costs dropped -5%.

PRIMETIME

Primetime Television revenue lifted 5% this month YoY, as advertisers paid more in the Scatter market, driving TV networks’ revenue from Scatter buys up 14%. Within Primetime, CBS grew the most of the Big Four Broadcast networks, rising 14%. This was followed by ABC up 9%, FOX up 3% and NBC up 2%.  These figures exclude the NCAA Basketball tournament.

PRIMETIME ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING

Primetime Original Programming revenue grew 11% this month, as the amount of 30-second commercial spots increased 9%. This includes new episodes of original comedy, drama, and reality shows across both Cable and Broadcast.  Singing competition shows – specifically NBC’s “The Voice” and ABC’s “American Idol” – brought in the most revenue at $60 Million and $48 Million respectively. This was followed by FOX’s “Empire” at $18 Million, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” at $17 Million, and ABC’s final season of “Scandal” earning $15 Million. The most expensive show in April was FOX’s “Empire,” which charged an average $316,737 for a 30-second spot.

While each of the Big Four grew revenue from Primetime Original Comedies, FOX nearly doubled its revenue in the subgenre, rising 91% in April YoY.  “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” was the largest comedy earner for the network this month, growing 41% YoY, followed by “The Simpsons,” which tripled its income for the network.

RISE OF THE REBOOT

National TV has ushered in a resurgence of familiar programming.  Networks have not only revived decades-old programs, but they have also created spinoffs and prequels of current shows.  From an ad perspective, this strategy is working when it comes to comedy.  The four most expensive comedy programs this month were: CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” charging $267,267 for a 30-second spot, followed by NBC’s revival of “Will & Grace” at $205,829, then CBS’ prequel “Young Sheldon” at $183,408, and ABC’s revival “Roseanne” at $167,159. Despite “Roseanne” being ABC’s #1 original comedy this month, the network decided to cancel the show on May 29th after racist tweets from the show’s titular star.

Beyond that, several programs returned to the small screen after getting picked up by a new network.  For example, “American Idol,” which aired its final season on FOX in 2016, returned to ABC this March with a new cast of judges. While the show was a revenue heavyweight for ABC this month, the paid unit cost for a 30-second commercial on “Idol” in April 2018 was $119,200, which is 39% lower than it was in April 2016.

SPORTS

Television Sports revenue is up 9% this month, when factoring out the NCAA Basketball Final Four Semifinals, which took place in April last year and in March this year.  The NBA brought in the most TV revenue in April within the Sports genre, up 6% YoY.  When looking at the NBA’s entire regular season, which ran from October 17 to April 11, revenue was flat YoY.  Meanwhile, the NCAA Basketball March Madness Tournament concluded in April, bringing in $546 Million for the entire tournament – a 3% decline from last year.

The MLB opened its current season on March 29th, and TV revenue is up 25% YoY from Opening Day through the end of April.  This comes from an increase in the number of 30-second commercial spots as the average paid unit cost fell -5% YoY.

CABLE NEWS

The Big Three Cable News networks – FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC – have maintained the strong growth they have seen this year, earning 24% more ad revenue than April last year. CNN earned more revenue this month than FOX News for first time since December 2017.  MSNBC grew the most, gaining a momentous 71%.

Looking at weekday primetime programming, the paid costs for a 30-second spot increased significantly for the quarter at each of the Big Three networks. FOX News grew 34%, CNN increased 57%, and MSNBC jumped 95% YoY.  FOX News has upheld the highest prices for weekday primetime shows.

ADVERTISERS BY CATEGORY

Looking at advertiser categories across National TV, the Auto industry was the largest spender this quarter, growing +5% YoY.  That is followed by Prescription Pharmaceuticals (+4%), Food, Produce & Dairy (-3%), Quick Serve Restaurants (+8%), and Insurance (+6%).

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Looking at advertiser categories across all platforms, each of the top five categories increased spend compared to last year.  The Telecommunications industry was the largest spender in Q1, increasing +10% year-over-year.  That is followed by Autos (+14%), Prescription Pharmaceuticals (+12%), Quick Serve Restaurants (+40%), and Insurance (+21%).

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

ABOUT STANDARD MEDIA INDEX

Standard Media Index is an advertising intelligence company helping media companies and investment managers determine ad revenue streams, pricing and planning models, and competitive benchmark analysis.  SMI provides the actual ad spend and unit costs so clients can tackle high-stakes decisions with confidence. SMI sources data directly from agency invoicing systems for the most accurate and granular view into the media ecosystem. Headquartered in New York, with offices in Sydney, Madrid and London, companies across the world turn to SMI to reveal hidden opportunities and help drive better results. For more information and resources visit www.standardmediaindex.com or join the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

SMI Australia Launches World First Outdoor Ad Format Data

AUSTRALIA’S media Agency market has scored another world first, with Standard Media Index today releasing the first ad spend for Outdoor Ad Format (Static v Digital) ad spend data.

This data is hugely significant as it provides the first view of ad spend shown by Static and Digital Ad Formats for all Outdoor sectors and 126 Product Categories.

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Ractliffe said the Outdoor media was Australia’s fastest growing media so far in 2018 (ad spend up 15.2% on Q1 2017) and most of that growth was due to the digitisation of the industry’s inventory.

And now the industry can see where that growth is concentrated.

“It’s another example of a great collaboration with our Agency partners as we can now track the Outdoor sectors benefitting the most from the industry’s Digital transformation and also see which Product Categories are driving that growth,” she said.

SMI’s subscribers can also easily compare the amounts being spent on the Outdoor media’s Digital assets to the amounts spent on Internet advertising or on Static Ad Format inventory, as shown below:

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

National Ad Market Jumps 8% in February, Excluding Olympics

National TV Up 7.6% with Sports & Cable News Delivering All Gains

Standard Media Index, the only advertising intelligence firm to source detailed and complete data directly from the major agency holding groups, today unveiled national advertising revenue figures for February 2018. Excluding the Olympics, the total US national ad market grew by 8% in February 2018 compared to February 2017, driven by strong gains in National Television, Digital, and Radio. February year-to-date, the market is also up +8% when excluding the Olympics.

In February 2018, year-over-year (YoY) advertising revenue in National TV grew +12.0%, with an even +12% growth in Cable and +12% growth in Broadcast. Digital grew +18%, Radio increased +15%, Out-of-Home (OOH) grew +9%, and Print dropped -26%.

The National TV market in February is affected by the schedules of several major events, namely the Olympics, The Grammy Awards, and The Oscars. The Olympics increased February spend YoY, while those two award shows lowered the comparable spend. Both award shows took place in February 2017, while this year’s Grammy Awards took place in January and The Oscars took place in March. By taking out the Olympics, Oscars, and Grammys, the underlying YoY growth in February for National TV is +7.6%.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

“February was a terrific month for National TV, even putting the success of Olympics to the side. The underlying jump of 7.6% was all down to the power of live Sports as the major broadcasters had big YoY falls in entertainment as they didn’t want to compete with NBC’s Olympics coverage.” says James Fennessy, SMI’s CEO. “We saw ESPN’s revenue jump significantly with big increases in the NBA, College Basketball and Sportscenter. FS1 also saw big gains in NASCAR and College Basketball and, to top it off, NBC’s Super Bowl slammed on $20 million more than last year’s event.”

Super Bowl

Super Bowl LII, which aired on NBC on February 4 th, generated in-game television revenue of $337 million, which was +3.4% higher than the game last year. Incorporating both linear TV and Digital, ad revenue for all Super Bowl programming was over $400 million. Meanwhile, the special airing of “This Is Us” after the Super Bowl generated more than $12 million dollars in television revenue – the highest amount that a single episode of the show has ever earned. Altogether, NBC earned more than $450 million for all TV programming and digital placements taking place on Super Bowl Sunday.

“The ability of live Sports to attract national advertisers was further reinforced with the great results NBC delivered in Super Bowl LII. While ratings fell 7%, revenue was up significantly and an average 30-second spot rose 3.8%. The move to run This Is Us following the Super Bowl was a masterstroke that achieved an extraordinary unit rate of almost $900k for a 30-second spot, which is more than double its already stellar rate,” says Fennessy.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang were a boon to NBC, bringing in $903 million of revenue across Television and Digital platforms, which is approximately +10% higher than the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. This accounts for all ad revenue from February 8 thto the 25 th, since NBCUniversal aired pre-Olympic coverage including skiing and figure skating before the Opening Ceremony.

The bulk of the 2018 Olympic television programming took place on NBC and NBC Sports Network (NBCSN). NBCSN significantly increased the amount of coverage it aired, and as such, grew television Olympic ad revenue by more than 150% compared to the 2014 Games. The average paid cost of 30-second spot during the Olympics on NBC grew by +4% compared to the 2014 Winter Games, while the Paid Unit Cost on NBCSN grew +28%.

A smaller percentage of Olympic programming also aired on CNBC and USA Network. MSNBC did not air Olympic coverage this year as it had in the past.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Cable News

Cable News – which includes all programming across FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and HLN – continued its strong growth into February, with its ad revenue increasing by +13% year-over-year. MSNBC grew the most, rising +44%. CNBC also grew significantly at +39% year-over-year; however, that does include some Olympic programming. Ad revenue at the Big Three Cable News networks – FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC – increased +9.4% year-over-year.

Looking at weekday primetime programming, the paid costs for 30-second spot grew by double digits at each of the Big Three networks. FOX News grew +16%, CNN grew +19%, and MSNBC grew +37% YoY.

Upfront vs Scatter

The scatter market grew +13% compared to last February YoY. However, the share of dollars between Upfront and Scatter buys remains flat, with Scatter making up 27% of the gross revenue of all National Television in February. The gains in the Scatter market this month are attributed to the Olympics.

Digital

In February 2018, Digital increased +18% year-over-year. Digital platforms have grown ad revenue on a year-over-year basis in every month since Standard Media Index began tracking the data. Digital’s rate of growth slowed in the second half of 2017 and has remained steady in the low double digits since October. Spend on Digital now makes up 36% of the total national advertising market.

Social Media networks saw the largest growth in February at +47%. Pinterest increased ad revenue the most at +88%, followed by Facebook at +65%. Snapchat grew advertising revenue by +21%.

Digital Content Creators grew by +23% in February. Amazon earned the most advertising revenue, gaining +28%. Meanwhile, Complex Media more than doubled its revenue, increasing +115%.

February was a very strong month for digital advertising on TV Networks, with digital revenue increasing +44% YoY. NBCUniversal’s digital revenue, which included the Olympics, nearly tripled compared to February last year. Other big gainers were ESPN at +13% YoY and Viacom at +40%.

Internet Radio grew by +18% in February YoY. Pandora brought in the most advertising revenue, growing +5% compared to last February. Spotify, which is preparing for an IPO in the beginning of April, saw revenues grow by +63%. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia, which filed for bankruptcy on March 15, lost -5% of its revenue in February.

Advertisers by Category

Looking at advertiser categories across National TV, each of the top five categories increased spend compared to last year. The Auto industry was once again the largest spender this month, growing +21%. That is followed by Entertainment which grew +34%, Food, Produce & Dairy (+1%), Prescription Pharmaceuticals (+9%), and Telcom (+9%).

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Looking at advertiser categories across all platforms, each of the top five categories increased spend compared to last year. The Telecommunications industry was the largest spender in February, increasing +5% year-over-year. That is followed by Autos, which gained +5%, then Prescription Pharmaceuticals (+19%), Food, Produce & Dairy (+8%). Rounding out the top five largest categories is Consumer Electronics, which doubled its advertising spend in February 2018 YoY., US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

US Ad Market Roars into 2018 by Jumping 10.8% in January

Standard Media Index, the only advertising intelligence firm to source detailed and complete data directly from the major media holding companies, today unveiled national advertising revenue figures for January 2018. The total US ad market grew by 10.8% in January 2018 compared to January 2017, driven by significant gains in National Television and Digital platforms.

In January 2018, year-over-year (YoY) advertising revenue in National TV grew +7.1%, with +11.1% growth in Cable and +2.7% in Broadcast. Digital grew +16.8%, radio declined -6.1%, out-of-home (OOH) declined -2.1%, and print dropped -3%.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

“January has been a stellar month for National TV. Scatter volume is up 50% on 2017 as a host of advertisers have stormed back into the market. Some of this growth has been driven by the move of several big college football games and the Grammy’s into January, but even so underlying growth is still an impressive 5.3%. Based on these results, and our view into forward bookings, we predict National TV to grow 1.6% in Q1, excluding the Winter Games.” Says James Fennessy, SMI’s CEO.

Awards Shows

Entertainment programming saw a resurgence in January 2018 with +12% growth compared to January of last year. Part of the reason for this was the 60th Annual Grammy Awards took place on Jan. 28; however, the show took place in February last year. The Grammys, excluding red carpet coverage, earned $61 Million in ad revenue for CBS, a +3.8% increase from last year. The paid unit cost for an equivalized 30-second commercial spot rose +11.8%, despite losing 24% of total viewers from last year. That said, CBS reported a 40% increase in unique viewers of the show’s live stream from last year.

The 75th Annual Golden Globes, which aired on NBC on Jan. 7, brought in more than $32 Million in ad revenue, a +7.1% increase from last year. Despite viewership dropping 5% from last year, the average cost of an equivalized 30-second commercial spot also increased by 5%. This year’s Golden Globes focused on the #MeToo movement and featured the introduction of #TimesUp. With much of the discussion taking place during the pre-show interviews, the 2018 Golden Globes Arrivals Special increased ad revenue by 8%.

The 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, which aired on TBS and TNT on Jan. 21, saw ad revenue increase nearly 25% from last year. 2018 was the first time the awards show had a host, Kristen Bell, who jokingly referred to herself as the “First Lady” of this awards show.

“Again, we see that even though audiences are falling, pricing for these major events continues to increase,” said Fennessy. “We expect to see this trend continue, as our research shows an impressive return for advertisers that support live programming. Premium video continues to be the power house of ROAS and, given the fragmentation of audiences and safety issues on other mediums, this won’t change anytime soon.”

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

NFL Post Season

Although the regular season NFL games saw a decline in 2017, ad revenue during the post-season increased by +5.3% year-over-year. These figures include the wild card, divisional round and conference championships – the games that took place in January.

News

Cable News continued to show strong growth in January at 25% year-over-year. MSNBC, which also reported record viewership this month, earned a whopping 62% more ad revenue than January of last year. CNN increased +32% and FOX News increased +17%.

Looking at weekday primetime programming, CNN grew nearly 50% in January year-over-year. FOX News is the most expensive Cable News network for weekday primetime, charging an average $13,600 for an equivalized 30-second spot.

Digital

In January 2018, Digital increased +16.8% year-over-year. Digital platforms have grown ad revenue on a year-over-year basis in every month since Standard Media Index began tracking the data. Digital’s rate of growth slowed in the second half of 2017 and has been steady around 12% since October.

Social Media networks saw the largest growth in January at 42%. Facebook saw the strongest growth at 55%, and Twitter increased its ad revenue 30%. After some early losses last year, Twitter has been growing on a year-over-year basis for the last several months. Video Sites grew 10% in January, with large gains from premium video providers. Hulu increased 20% and Vevo nearly doubled its revenue.

Advertisers by Category

Looking at advertiser categories across National TV, the Auto industry was the largest spender in January, although that amount declined by 3% compared to last year. Meanwhile, the Insurance industry was the second biggest advertiser, increasing spend by 22%. Prescription Pharmaceuticals (+4%), Quick Service Restaurants (+10%), Food and Food, Produce & Dairy (-10%) had the largest spend in 2017.

Looking at advertiser categories across all platforms, the Telecommunications industry was the largest spender in January, increasing 8.3% year-over-year. Autos, which were the second largest category, remained flat. Prescription Pharmaceuticals (+16.9%), Insurance (+25.9%), and QSR (+6.3%) make up the top five. IT & Software grew the most YoY, more than doubling its spend.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

NFL Ad Spend Declined -1.2% in 2017 Regular Season

Advertising revenue during in-game NFL programming declined -1.2% during the 2017 regular season, earning a total $2.42 Billion dollars, according to Standard Media Index, the only advertising intelligence firm to source detailed and complete data directly from the major media holding companies. This is based on total ad spend figures for the 2017 NFL regular season from Sept. 7 to Dec. 31 for NBC, CBS, FOX, and ESPN broadcasts.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

“For the first time since we have been tracking the market we saw a slight drop of in-game dollars. Despite a fairly significant fall in ratings, CPM’s were strong and demand continued to be high.” said Standard Media Index CEO James Fennessy. “This again demonstrates that the NFL remains the powerhouse of national TV ROI. Advertisers understand the exceptional return they get as a result of the large, engaged and guaranteed audiences enjoying a full screen experience in this unique environment.”

Commercial Load, Rates and ADUs

Commercial loads during NFL games remained flat. Paid Unit rates (excluding ADUs) grew +1.2% from $499,000 to $505,000 per 30-second spot. However, delivery of ADUs – or makegoods – grew from 21% to 23% of the units due to lower ratings.

Advertising Categories

The Auto industry was the top advertiser in the NFL and spent nearly 50% more than Consumer Electronics, which was the next largest advertiser category. These categories both declined in 2017 with Autos down -5.4% and Consumer Electronics down -3%. Meanwhile, Insurance (+30%), Alcoholic Beverages (+16%), and Quick Serve Restaurants (+6.4%) each increased their NFL advertising this year.

US Ad Market Grows by 3.7% in 2017 – Ad Spend on National TV Drops, While Digital, OOH, and Radio Grow

US Ad Market Grows by 3.7% in 2017

Ad Spend on National TV Drops, While Digital, OOH, and Radio Grow

Standard Media Index, the only advertising intelligence firm to source detailed and complete data directly from the major media holding companies, today unveiled updated advertising revenue figures for December 2017, Q4 2017, and the full 2017 calendar year.

“Heading into 2018, ad spend in National Television is trending positively while Digital’s growth continues to slow.” said Standard Media Index CEO James Fennessy. “National Television declined in 2017, but that is almost entirely due to the Olympics in ‘16. We see national brand advertisers paying really high CPM’s for quality drama, and sports programming, despite falling audiences. This speaks to the power of TV to reach audiences with their brand message via a full screen experience with no fraud.”

December 2017

In December 2017, the total advertising market was flat. Digital rose +6% in the month compared to December 2016. Social Media and Digital Content sites saw the largest increases at +23% and +12% respectively. Additionally, December saw a +16% increase in out-of-home (OOH) with a decline of -9% in Radio.

National Television ad spending rose +1.1% year-over-year in December 2017 with a +1.9% increase in Cable and +0.1% increase in Broadcast. Cable news saw a sharp increase of +27.2% overall, with growth of +23.4% at FOX News, +35.6% at CNN, and +56.9% at MSNBC. This rise is largely due to spend increases on news talk shows, including Tucker Carlson Tonight and The Ingraham Angle on FOX News and AC 360⁰ on CNN. Meanwhile, news programming on Broadcast declined -1.0%. NBC News programming lost -2.8% in December, which comes on the heels of the firing of Matt Lauer. NBC’s TODAY, whichLauer hosted,**declined -24% in December compared to last year.

NFL Football remained the largest source of TV ad spend in December, although that amount dropped -3.0% compared to December of last year. While sports as a whole have declined -3.4% this month, four out of the five largest sources of TV ad spend were sports programs.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Q4 2017

Throughout Q4 2017 (Oct. – Dec.), the overall ad market continued its positive trend, rising +4.4% compared to Q4 2016. National Television fell -0.1% with a -0.4% decrease in Cable and a +0.5% increase from Broadcast. NBC was the Primetime Entertainment leader for the quarter, growing +5.6%. These gains are largely due to This Is Us, which earned the highest spend of all Primetime dramas in Q4.

In Q4, Digital and OOH carried the overall market, each with a +10% increase year-over-year. Radio is up +1.0%. Digital, Search, Content, and Social have all seen double digit growth. TV Network Digital is close behind at +9% growth for Q4 compared to last year.

Ad spend on Internet Radio continues to grow, with a +5% increase in Q4 2017 versus Q4 2016.

2017 Calendar Year

Through the entirety of 2017 (Jan. – Dec.), the advertising market grew +3.7%. Digital led the growth with an +11.9% increase. Cable TV dropped -2.4% while Broadcast declined -3.9%. CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and ESPN were the top five networks, bringing in a combined 42.4% of the television ad dollars in national. CBS declined -4.2% YoY, mostly due to the loss of the Super Bowl. The latter went to FOX, which posted +14.2% YoY growth. ABC dropped -2.3% and NBC declined -15.5%, which is entirely attributed to the impact of Olympics in 2016. Excluding the Olympics, NBC would have been +4% for the year, and the overall National TV market would only have declined -1%.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

In 2017, across all platforms, News media saw +4.1% more spend, Entertainment programs were flat at -0.8%, and Sports declined by -12.0%. Excluding the Olympics, Sports declined -1.3% YoY. On the other hand, despite the end of the election cycle last year, Cable News has continued to grow in 2017. FOX News increased by +11.2%, CNN by +13.6% and MSNBC by +17.8%. Ad spend at the Big Three Cable Networks has grown YoY in 10 out of the 12 months of 2017.

With the only exception of Twitter (-11.8%), all the major social network sites delivered growth in 2017. Facebook (including Instagram) posted +40.5% growth in US ad revenue within the SMI Pool of agencies, with Snapchat closing the year at +51% growth after tremendous growth in the first two quarters of the year and a marked deceleration in Q3 and Q4.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Advertisers by Category

Looking at advertiser categories across National TV, the Auto industry (-13%), Prescription Pharmaceuticals (+8%), and Food, Produce & Dairy (-4%) had the largest spend in 2017. The Travel industry (+16%) and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (+10%) led the market growth YoY. Meanwhile, the top declines were from Entertainment (-16%), Autos (-13%), and Telecom (-12%).

US Ad Market Has a Strong November – Digital, National TV, OOH and Radio All See Growth

Standard Media Index (SMI), the advertising intelligence company bringing clarity to the ad industry, today unveiled updated advertising revenue figures for November 2017. In November 2017, the total advertising market was up +5%. Digital continues to increase with +9% more spend in the month. A +14% increase in out-of-home, and +2% increases in both National TV and Radio, contributed to the overall positive ad market as well. With just one month left in the year, we looked at overall ad market growth year-to-date (Jan – Nov) which continues to trend positive at +4%. While Digital is carrying the overall market with a +12% increase year-to-date, out-of-home is also up +3%. This includes both traditional out-of-home, and digital out-of-home components.

NATIONAL TELEVISION BY THE NUMBERS

In November 2017, the National TV market was up +2% with Cable seeing a +3% increase and Broadcast, registering a +1% increase. The year-to-date market continues to hover at around -3% with Cable down -2 and Broadcast down -4%.

Across the National Television market in November 2017 Entertainment programs saw +1% more advertising spend, Sports saw +5% and News continues to grow at +1%. Looking at the same breakdown year-to-date, or Jan-Nov, Entertainment programming is currently down -1%, compared to the same period in 2016, and Sports is down -11% – this is mostly due to the Olympics in 2016. The shining star of 2017 has been, and continues to be, News, which is currently up +8% year-to-date.

CABLE NEWS ONE YEAR AFTER THE ELECTION

The overall +8% year-to-date growth on news programming increases to +14% when you look at news programs on the three big cable networks, FOX News, CNN and MSNBC. That then increases to a +15% more spend when you look at the twelve-month period on those networks since the November 2016 election (Dec. 16 – Nov. 17 vs. Dec.15 – Nov.16). While you expect a double digit increase during an election year, seeing Cable News continue to grow was certainly unexpected.

By network, FOX News has increased revenue +12% looking at that same twelve-month period in comparison to that timeframe in 15/16. CNN similarly saw +15% and MSNBC has seen an astounding +26% increase during that period. It must be noted however, that MSNBC had the farthest to climb, since by volume it is still lower than its competitors.

Looking at the same time period, the average cost of a :30 second spot during Prime Time (7 pm – 10:59 PM) has grown for each network. FOX News now sees $8,286 compared to $7,843 before the election. CNN went from $5,122 to $5,467 and MSNBC, saw the biggest growth going from $2,553 to $3,139. This jump in unit cost, also illustrates why MSNBC’s growth seems more profound over the past year.

Looking specifically at November 2017, year-over-year, across the big three networks – cable news increased +3%. FOX News carried the bunch at +9% across news programming. CNN is up +1%, while MSNBC is down for the second month in a row at -8%. As we noted last month, while MSNBC is down, it also had the starkest increases during the election.

NFL CONTINUES TO SEE REVENUE INCREASES

Since the NFL kicked off on Sept. 7, 2017 through the end of November, 2017 – the networks that air nationally televised NFL games have seen a +2% increase in advertising revenue. This is mostly due to the schedule, as during that period in 2017, there has been one additional nationally aired linear TV game compared to the same time period in 2016.

Interestingly, the percent of ADUs, or makegoods, has decreased slightly through the first three months of the 2017 season, compared to 2016. In 2016 22% all spots were ADUs, while only 21% have been ADUs in 2017. This represents percentage of ADUs across all networks that air games. Similarly, the average cost of a :30 second spot across all networks has increased slightly from $468,434 in 2016 to $473,775 in 2017.

Breaking down spend in the first three months of the season by advertiser categories, we see that Auto has decreased its spend on NFL games by -4%, Telecommunications has decreased by -8% and Financial Services has decreased by -6%. But, many large advertiser categories have also increased spend. Consumer Electronics added +4%, Quick Serve Restaurants increased its spend by +11%, Insurance has added an incredible 41% more spend to the market, and Alcoholic beverage is not far behind with a +23% increase.

All of the above represents in-game advertising, and does not include pre, or post, game spend.

BREAKING DOWN BROADCAST IN NOVEMBER

The +1% increase on Broadcast stems directly from Sports, which registered a +5% increase in Nov 2017, year-over-year. Entertainment and News genres both saw decreases, -2% and – 3%, respectively. Across the big four networks NBC saw a +16% increase, CBS saw a +1% increase, ABC decreased -5% and FOX saw a -13% decrease in spend, mostly around its entertainment programs.

The increase on Sports comes from additional spend on NCAA Football, and NFL. NCAA specifically grew +23% on broadcast, mostly due to a much more robust schedule on FOX, which nearly doubled the number of nationally aired games in 2017 compared to 2016. The NFL also saw one extra Thursday night game in November 2017, due to an extra Thursday in the month.

On the Entertainment front, while the total market declined, NBC had a fantastic November 2017. Its entertainment programming increased nearly +12%. Not only did This Is Us see a double digit increase in revenue, but so did the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and The National Dog Show, giving the network a big bump. The other major broadcast networks all saw a decrease in spend around their entertainment programming.

CATEGORIZING CABLE

In November 2017, Cable again saw increases across all three major programming genres. By network, ESPN continues to be the largest network in terms of spend by volume, and saw a +3% increase in November, year-over-year. TBS and HGTV both saw a +7% increase in spend, Nickelodeon increased by +4% and AMC increased by +7%. Of the top ten cable networks by volume, the only network to see a decrease in ad spend was TNT.

NOVEMBER TELEVISION BY CATEGORY

Looking at advertiser categories across National TV, both the Auto industry and Pharma-Prescription were flat. Insurance, on the other hand, increased spend by +18%, Telecommunications increased spend by +9% and Food, Produce and Dairy increased by +1%. Traditionally strong November advertisers like Specialty Retailers, Consumer Electronics and Toys & Video Games decreased advertising spend – -4%, -9% and -1%, respectively.

Australia’s Four Pillar Banks Gain Digital Ad Spend Transparency

Standard Media Index (SMI), the advertising intelligence company bringing clarity to advertising expenditure, today announced it has created the first bespoke industry database for Australia’s Four Pillar Banks, delivering the transparency they require on Digital media advertising expenditure.

SMI, which usually delivers real advertising expenditure data sourced from media Agency payment systems, this time worked with the four big banks – ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac – to create a world- first database that shows the aggregate Digital ad spend of these banks for the first time.

As a result the banks now have their industry’s full Digital media ad spend history for all Digital sectors – such as Search, Social Media, Programmatic, Content Sites and Video Sites – as far back as 2008, and can also split each sector’s ad spend further into key Ad Formats, such as Display and Online Video.

This data showed, for example, that while the four banks grew their combined ad spend on Digital media by 5.8% in CY2016, by the first quarter of 2017 the demand reduced significantly with the Q1 2017 total back 9.0% from the same quarter in 2016.

The Banks’ actual spend data shows this was mostly due to a large 33% quarter-on-quarter fall in ad bookings to the Search market (resulting in its share of Bank ad spend falling to 20.2%), with the only growth in the quarter coming from the smaller Ad Exchanges and Social Sites Digital sectors.

Interestingly, the biggest area of growth in the Digital media for the banks is Affiliate marketing (mostly comparison websites) with that sector growing to 14.1% of the Banks’ Digital ad spend in that year, up from 11.7% in CY2015. And in the first quarter of 2017 its market size grew as spending remained stable while expenditure to other sectors fell.

SMI also worked with the Banks to segment their ad spend into their own Industry Categories: Brand/Sponsorship, Consumer Banking, Business Banking and Institutional Banking.

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Schulze said the lack of Digital transparency was a large issue for the banks given half their advertising budgets are now allocated to Digital media.

“As there was no alternative, the banks were relying on highly inaccurate estimates of their Digital ad spend. But as anyone in the industry knows, it’s almost impossible to gain any level of accuracy when estimating Digital ad spend as you just don’t know from which pipe the advertising came, nor the costs involved,’’ she said.

“But by collating the Banks’ actual data in a highly secure fashion, we were able to deliver an interactive database which shows them exactly where the industry has been spending its Digital ad dollars, and to show that split further across key marketing divisions.”

Ms Schulze said this private database, which is only accessible by the Banks and their media Agencies, creates a foundation for further data development as SMI could now further split the data by product- based campaigns, such as credit cards or home loans.

This is the second non-Agency database created by SMI, as the company already operates a similar ad spend database for the news media industry called News Media Index. But this is the first created for an advertiser category.

“Many high value industries grapple with a lack of transparency in the media market, and SMI has committed itself to solving this issue in myriad ways,” Ms Schulze said.

Some of the banks are now also keen to see the industry’s actual ad spend for all major media (total TV, total Radio, total Outdoor etc) and SMI is now also working to deliver that detail to the Banks.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

US Ad Market Grows +7% in October 2017, Increases from Digital, Radio and National TV

Standard Media Index (SMI), the advertising intelligence company bringing clarity to the ad industry, today unveiled updated advertising revenue figures for October 2017. In October 2017, the total advertising market was up +7%, thanks to continued investment in Digital which saw a +11% more spend, a +16% spike in Radio and a small +1% increase in National Television. Looking at the ad market year-to-date (Jan. – Oct. 2017), the overall advertising industry is still trending positive with +4% more spend than Jan. – Oct. 2016.

Out-of-Home, Magazines, and Newspapers, all saw their ad revenue decline — -3%, -19% and -3%, respectively.

DOUBLE-DIGIT INCREASE IN TERRESTRIAL RADIO

With advertising conversations mainly on Digital and Television, Radio often doesn’t get discussed. Advertisers, however, have not forgotten about it with a +16% increase YoY. This is the 5 thmonth in a row that Radio has seen a YoY increase in spend, but year-to-date that medium is still down around -1%. Historically, November and December have been where advertisers spend the most on Radio. If that trend continues, Radio would end the year on a positive note. Telecommunications, Auto and Financial Insurance all contributed double-digit increases to help radio see such positive growth in October 2017.

NATIONAL TELEVISION BY THE NUMBERS

In October 2017, the National TV market was up +1%, with Cable seeing a +3% increase. Broadcast, on the other hand, declined by -2%. As we get closer to the end of the year, we also looked at the market year-to-date or Jan-October. The National TV market is down -3% from the same time period in 2016. Cable is registering a -2.5% decline, while Broadcast is seeing a -5% decline.

BREAKING DOWN BROADCAST IN OCTOBER

The decline in advertising on Broadcast stems from a decrease in Sports and News programing, -3% and -18%, respectively. Entertainment programming saw a +3% increase. The decline in Sports mostly stems from less spend on College Football. This does not, however, reflect less interest in the sport, it has to do with the way the calendar fell. In October 2016 there were five Saturdays – the day most College Football games on broadcast are played. In October 2017, there was only four.

It’s quite expected to finally see a drop in spending around news. When you look at October 2016 versus October 2017, last year we were in the height of the election and Americans were glued to their TV. CBS, interestingly, is the only network to see an increase in spending around News programming with a +6% increase. This is mostly due to more spend on CBS Sunday Morning and Face the Nation.

INCREASES ACROSS BROADCAST ENTERTAINMENT SHOWS

Looking at Entertainment shows across the four big broadcast networks three of them saw increases – NBC registered the largest YoY jump at +14%, CBS saw a +2% increase and ABC was up just +1%, across all Entertainment programs across all dayparts. FOX, however, saw a decline of -6%. This decrease comes from lower unit costs across key shows like Empire, Lethal Weapon and Lucifer, and one less showing of Gotham, compared to the previous year. The network also lost revenue it had in October 2016 that came from the special Rocky Horror Picture Show it aired. Combining the big four together – Entertainment programs across all dayparts saw a +4% increase, YoY in October 2017.

NBC’s colossal increase comes from its Tuesday Night Lineup of The Voice, This Is Us, and Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders. This is partially because all three shows are doing well but, it’s also because their best night of TV, happened to have one extra night to shine in October 2017 compared to October 2016, with one extra Tuesday in the month versus last October. Because of this, and other scheduling changes, This Is Us had 5 episodes in October 2017, compared to 3 in October 2016.

Both ABC and CBS benefitted from the extra Tuesday as well, but to a much lesser degree. For ABC, its Thursday Night Lineup continues to be its strongest – having Scandal in the mix, which did not air in October 2016, has helped the network see a slight increase. For CBS, NCIS and NCIS alumni are the shining stars with NCIS, Bull and NCIS: New Orleans taking the top three spots in terms of revenue earning shows for the network. While the extra Tuesday helped propel these three into the top spots, outside of The Big Bang Theory, NCSI and Bull, also have some of the highest unit costs on the network.

Speaking of unit costs, the average unit cost on an Entertainment Prime Time show across the big four networks decreased -4% from $116,600 in October 2016 to $111,700 in October 2017.

CATEGORIZING CABLE

Cable’s increase comes from an uptick in spend across all three major genres. News saw the largest increase with +6%, followed by Sports which grew +5%, and Entertainment which grew by +3%.

Looking at growth by network – ESPN was flat, TBS saw a small -2% decrease, HGTV grew by +6% with revenue increases from Fixer Upper, House Hunters and Love it or Leave it, and USA Network grew by +4% thanks to an increase around WWE Smackdown, as well overall increases on its syndicated programs. AMC also saw a +20% bump YoY thanks to The Walking Dead. While ratings have been slipping the network had three “specials” ahead of this year’s premiere helping to increase revenue overall

OCTOBER TELEVISION BY CATEGORY

The Auto industry continued to decrease advertising in October 2017 with -8% less spend on National Television advertising than in October 2017. All of this decline comes from Broadcast, which saw -12% less spend. Auto spend on Cable was flat seeing a marginal +0.3% increase. Much of Auto’s decline on Broadcast comes around College Football, which saw less spend overall, as mentioned above. Other industries to see a decline in advertising spend include Entertainment which saw -14% and Telecommunications which saw -10%.

Pharma-Prescriptions continued to increase spend on National Television with +4% more spend than in October 2017. Insurance saw a +20% increase, and Food, Produce and Dairy increased advertising spend by +9%.

Check out the product categories for SMI's data in Australia and New Zealand.

Nov 08, 2017

Data to Drive Sales Strategies: New Product Category Ad Spend Data in Australia and New Zealand

When we started SMI in 2009 the goal was to provide structure and clarity to an industry that was historically opaque. And we’ve been lucky to forge relationships with others in the industry, not just in Australia and New Zealand, but across the world, that want to help us provide that transparency.

But as the industry evolves, we’ve realized that there is still more that can be done to shed light on what’s happening in the advertising industry. And clearly the next area of the advertising market requiring improvement was that of Product Category advertising expenditure.

It was an area of constant frustration for both advertisers and media owners as it was actually impossible to know how much any Product Category was spending on any type of media. Instead, people responsible for marketing budgets worth many millions of dollars were relying on ad spend estimates. Yes, that’s right. In this highly data-driven and increasingly sophisticated media industry, media plans are marketing strategies are being shaped with not much more than guesswork.

And this issue became even more problematic with the growth in the Digital media, as the old-fashioned method of estimating ad spend is even more unreliable in a world where advertising payments are often determined by the number of clicks, landings or views.

So SMI has again sought to provide transparency into this key niche of the advertising market. Working with our media Agency partners we have slowly been able to release ad spend data for more Product Categories. Initially we released it by Major Media (total TV, Total Digital etc) but then realised we could do the same for key media sectors (Broadcast TV, Subscription TV, Social Media, Search etc).

And an even more valuable step was to make the Categories themselves more granular, and now that’s also happened!

In Australia, users can now see ad spend across 126 Product Categories each month shown by:

  • Seven major media (TV, Digital, Radio, Outdoor, Newspapers, Magazines, Cinema)
  • Competitive Media types (traditional media plus the associated digital revenues ie Broadcast TV PLUS streaming sites)
  • Four Digital Ad Formats (Video, Display, Mobile, Search) and Digital and Static Outdoor Ad Formats
  • Direct and Third Party Digital Buy Types
  • Agency Market (state bought out of i.e. Sydney Agency ad spend, Melbourne Agency ad spend)

And the same work is also happening in NZ, where we’ve just published ad spend data for 107 Product Categories for the Digital media. Similarly, users who subscribe to this premium service can breakout the monthly ad spend of all NZ Product Categories across all Digital data points (Search, Social Media, Programmatic etc) to determine category movement and understand data at a level that was never possible before.

We believe that seeing real ad spend data by category is not just a nice to have, but a game changer to the current market of unwieldy estimates. Estimates, even if at the brand level, will ultimately cause more problems than good. As an advertiser, you can’t compare your own spend to competitive estimates. It’s simply not apples to apples, and can cause false security, or mayhem, with your own campaigns.

SMI’s Product Category data, which provides transparency across Digital sectors that have previously been immeasurable like Search, Social and Programmatic will create the clarity the marketplace is requiring.

Check out a glimpse of the Product Categories for which we now report ad spend in the Australian and New Zealand markets below.

SAMPLE OF NEW AUSTRALIA PRODUCT CATEGORIES:

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

SAMPLE OF NEW, NEW ZEALAND PRODUCT CATEGORIES:

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Not to be left out, in our US market, you can also dig into 108 linear National TV ad categories in our aptly named, AccuTV product.

We know how powerful real ad spend is to understanding market trends. With this new granularity, you no longer have to rely on estimates to understand share-of-voice. Our real spend, provides real clarity on your competitive set by category – it’s time to get rid of the estimates.

Get in touch to learn more about our ad categories in any market.

US Ad Market is Flat for Second Quarter in a Row, Market Through First Three Quarters of the Year Still up +2.3%

Standard Media Index (SMI), the advertising intelligence company bringing clarity to the ad industry, today unveiled updated advertising revenue figures for Q3 and September 2017. In Q3 2017, the total advertising market was up nominally at +0.6%. September, similarly saw incremental growth up +1%, compared to September 2016. However, when you look at the market calendar year-to-date (Q1 – Q3 16 vs. Q1 – Q3 17), the ad market grew +2.3%.

The Q3 and September increases in revenue can be attributed mostly to Digital, which saw an +11% increase in Q3 2017, and +5% more spend in September 2017. On the quarter, Out-of-Home advertising and Radio also saw marginal increases with +0.5% and +2%, respectively. Looking at year-over-year growth in September, Out-of-Home saw the largest percentage increase of any media type with +9%. Radio, on the other hand, declined in September with -3% year-over-year.

National TV was down -11% on the quarter, due to the dominance of the 2016 Olympics in the previous year. In September, the media type saw less of a decline with just -3%, year-over-year. Print declined -12% in Q3 2017, and -15% in September 2017. Newspapers were down -11% in Q3, and -12% in September. Magazines saw an even deeper decline with -12% in Q3 and -16% in September.

NATIONAL TELEVISION BY THE NUMBERS

In Q3, the Broadcast market was down -24%, as it is still seeing the effects from the 2016 Olympics; Cable was down just -2% on the quarter. In September, Broadcast was down -5% compared to the previous year, while Cable stayed consistent with the quarter down -2%. Through the first three quarters of the year, Broadcast is down -4.6% and Cable is down -2.4%.

BREAKING DOWN BROADCAST IN SEPTEMBER

Much of the decline in September’s Broadcast market stem from Entertainment programming which saw a -15% decrease across all networks compared to September 2016. Looking at just the Prime-Time daypart, across the big four networks, that decrease goes to nearly -18%. This is due to changes in premiere schedules across all four networks. In 2016, premiere week started in the third week of September. This year, premieres started in the fourth week of September. This means that nearly a whole week of new, Prime-Time shows did not air in 2017.

When you look at the networks overall (all program genres + dayparts), we see ABC is most affected by this change in programming with -20% YoY decline. It also lost revenue it had in 2016 from the Emmys, which aired on CBS in 2017. CBS, consequently, was the only network of the four to increase Entertainment spend with a +5% increase YoY. However, looking across daypart and genres, the network lost -7%, as it aired two less NFL games in September 2017, compared to September 2016. NBC and FOX, saw increases in their revenue from NFL games, that have helped make up the deficit from Entertainment programs, putting the networks at +4% and +5%, for the month.

Across all genres and dayparts on the networks, ADUs or makegoods were flat, with just +0.5% more than in September 2016.

“The big story for September is the pricing and revenue strength of the NFL in the face of soft ratings and PR challenges. The league continues to demonstrate that large, engaged and real audiences are still the number one priority for brands and they are willing to pay a premium for this, “said James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index. “Shifts in programming across months and between networks makes comparisons difficult for the entertainment networks in September but we are seeing that a number of major drama originals are really suffering from steep average unit pricing declines off the back of ratings challenges.”

CLASSIFYING CABLE IN SEPTEMBER

Cables -2% decrease can be attributed to both Entertainment and News programming. Sports, on the other hand, saw an +8% increase compared to the previous year.

Much of that increase can be attributed to NFL Network which saw +96% more ad revenue from national, in-game ads, after picking up an additional game compared to September 2016. Revenue around NCAA Football also increased by +3%. FOX Sports 1 saw the bulk of that increase with +33% more revenue. ESPN also saw an increase with +2% more spend.

This is the first time we’ve seen a decrease in Cable news since the 2016 election. Across all Cable News Programs, revenue fell -7% compared to September 2016. If you were to look at Q3, news programs would still be up by +2%, but this does show we’re starting to get to the heavy months of 2016.

FOX News has taken the biggest hit with -17% less spend on news programming in September 2017 compared to September 2016. CNN also saw a small decrease of -1%, while MSNBC continued to grow, though marginally compared to other months, with +2% increase.

While many of FOX News Prime-Time shows still have the highest unit costs on Cable News including FOX News Tonight going for approximately $15,200 a spot, Tucker Carlson Tonight with $12,200 a spot and Hannity at $8,500 a spot, in September 2017, they do pale in comparison to the $31,300 average spot cost it brought in around the September 2016 presidential debate. This, compounded with average unit costs around non-Prime-Time shows falling slightly, and -1% less commercial load than in Sept. 2016, is what’s affecting revenue on the network.

MSNBC’s line-up of shows continues to see increased unit costs, even as we are now looking at year-over-year changes to key election months. The Rachel Maddow Show has an average unit cost of $4,600 compared to $3,800. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell went from $3,100 in September 2016 to $3,700 in September 2017, and All in with Chris Hayes increased to $3,300 from $2,700.

SEPTEMBER TELEVISION BY CATEGORY

Across Broadcast, the Auto category continued to decrease its spend in the marketplace with

-12% less in September 2017, than 2017. Telecommunications also decreased spend by -13% and the Entertainment category decreased by -20%. On the positive side, Pharma – Prescription increased spend by +4%, Insurance increased by +3% and Consumer Electronics grew by +8%.

Looking at all Cable networks, the Auto category decreased it’s spend by -5%, Entertainment was down -27% and Telecommunications was down – 11%. On the positive side, QSR advertising saw a +7% increase in spend, Beauty saw +4% increase, and Travel, Hospitality and Tourism, saw a huge increase of +47%. That increase spans all 3 major program genres – with spend around Entertainment programs seeing the biggest jump of +50%.

Today, we’re extremely excited to share our new Ad Earnings Model with everyone. In short, it’s a new, predictive data point that helps investors understand the fundamental...

Oct 25, 2017

Introducing Predictive Ad Earnings Forecasts for FB and GOOGL

Today, we’re extremely excited to share our new Ad Earnings Model with everyone. In short, it’s a new, predictive data point that helps investors understand the fundamental performance of key media companies, such as Google and Facebook, to assess near and long-term potential upside.

It works by taking the real ad spend in our Core and AccuTV products, and combines it with proprietary ad market knowledge and unpublished information, to model out 100% of the expected reported advertising revenue for select media companies. While we’ve always been known for our real-time, accurate ad spend data, this is the first time we’ve developed a predictive product. Our analysts have built a model using machine learning algorithms that get even more accurate with every iteration.

Here’s what our CEO James Fennessy had to say about why we developed the model, and why we feel it’s so important:

“The Ad Earnings Model marks a significant moment for us. While we’ve always focused on helping our clients use our data to find the right insights in as timely a manner as possible, this is the first time we’ve expanded our product offering to include predictions and forward-looking analysis. We believe that data is the new ‘expert networks,’ and saw an opportunity to give investors an even smarter data point by evolving what’s been one of the most trusted sources of advertising expenditures for years.”

We know that the importance of accurate and reliable data points to manage risk in the ever-changing media investment industry cannot be taken lightly. If you’re already using our Core and AccuTV products, adding our Ad Earnings Models to your plate, creates a powerful trifecta. We believe that for investors who want more conviction around their own market models, and the ability to better gauge potential upsides over the next six to 12 months, there’s no better information out there. The Investors who have tested the model, continue to subscribe due to the consistency, and correlation of the numbers to reported earnings.

The Ad Earnings Model is currently available for a select universe of stocks which includes Facebook and Google. If you want to learn more about how it works, or to see a demo get in touch here.

When the NFL season kicked off in September, after a somewhat tumultuous 2016-2017 NFL season in terms of ratings and player scandals, there was much discussion around...

Oct 23, 2017

NFL Sees +2% YoY Growth in Ad Revenue Across Televised Games in September

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

When the NFL season kicked off in September, after a somewhat tumultuous 2016-2017 NFL season in terms of ratings and player scandals, there was much discussion around how advertiser participation would stack up in the new 2017-2018 season.

Analysis of our September data, gives us an answer that question – advertisers have stuck around, but not many have joined the field. At least in terms of revenue volume.

In September 2017, compared to September 2016, advertising spend across games on television networks increased by +2% – from $504M to $513M. This reflects in-game advertising, and does not include any revenue from pre – or post-game shows. Across all televised NFL games, commercial load grew by +2%. Meaning if a viewer watched every nationally aired football game, they saw around 15 more minutes of commercials than in Sept. 2016.

While revenue did increase slightly, we did see an increase in ADU allocation, or makegoods, across all TV networks that air NFL games. In Sept. 2016, ADUs made up 13% of all spots, while in Sept. 2017, ADUs accounted for 20% of all spots. While ADU allocation was higher – when you combine the increase in overall spots, with higher unit rates (which we’ll dive into next), you get the 2% increase in revenue that we’re seeing.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

UNIT RATES

Across all networks, the average unit rate saw a +7% increase going from $482K in Sept. 2016, to $515K in Sept. 2017. We’ve broken down the average unit rate by network below. This includes all new, national games, and takes into account only spots that were paid for.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

REVENUE BY NETWORK

The last piece of the puzzle is looking at revenue by network to see how each NFL partner network, fits into the overall increase. As we do that, one thing we’d like to note, is that while there were the same number of nationally televised NFL football games, with a shuffle in schedules, some networks lost games in Sept. 2016 it had in Sept. 2017, meaning others gained some. We point this out because it’s an important part of understanding the ebb and flow of NFL advertising revenue.

  • The NFL Network saw a +96% increase in revenue going from $12M to $23M in Sept. 17, with the airing of one additional game, compared to Sept 2016.
  • CBS aired 2 less games in Sept. 17 than in Sept. 16 costing the network a -23% decrease in ad spend. This decrease is only due to the 2 fewer games, as unit costs increased across the network.
  • NBC saw a +12% increase in revenue going from $155M in Sept. 2016, to $174M in Sept. 2017. This is due to a slightly greater commercial load and, overall higher unit rates per game.
  • FOX saw its revenue from NFL games grow by +8% compared to Sept. 2016. The network aired one more National game in 2017 than 2016, contributing to this increase.
  • ESPN also increased its revenue by +4% compared to Sept. 2016. While the network saw a decreased unit cost, it increased its commercial load.

As the NFL season continues, lower ratings are prompting even more conversations, and many are asking when, or if, it will affect the advertising rates. As for September games, we saw business as usual, but will continue to monitor how the season unfolds.

We're excited to announce the addition of Meg Meurer Brossy to our management team, who will serve as our first-ever Senior Vice President of Client Solutions. Brossy...

Oct 19, 2017

Standard Media Index Taps TV, Media, and Analytics Veteran Meg Meurer Brossy to Lead Client Solutions

Standard Media Index (SMI), the advertising intelligence company bringing clarity to the ad industry, recently announced the addition of Meg Meurer Brossy to its management team, who will serve as its first-ever Senior Vice President of Client Solutions. Brossy brings more than two decades of developing, and leading, technology, analytics and media companies, building dynamic solutions for Fortune 100 brand advertisers, and helping companies understand the power of data and technology to advance their business objectives.

Brossy will be responsible for developing customized solutions for clients across the television, digital, and sports media landscapes. She will also lead SMI’s client-centric sales strategy, and work directly with CEO James Fennessy to expand SMI’s footprint throughout the media industry.

“Meg has a terrific track record in business development with a number of the most respected companies in the media sector. Her reputation precedes her as someone with tenacity, drive and the ability to propel market transformation and growth,” said Fennessy. “Meg’s knowledge of advanced data sets and media analytics, along with her relationships across all sectors of the media, make her the ideal person to help SMI expand its client base, and bring new digital and advanced TV insights to the market. We are delighted Meg has chosen to join SMI, and we are fortunate to have her expertise as we bring a raft of new products and solutions to the market as we head into 2018.”

“Data has proven to be one of the most powerful tools in today’s advertising and marketing landscape, and is transforming the way brands, content owners, rights holders and media companies do business. SMI’s unique dataset provides companies with the true competitive intelligence needed in today’s marketplace and gives them the knowledge to avoid negotiating “in the blind” without actual advertising spend data,” said Brossy. “Many companies are operating at a deficiency by using advertising data that rely on guesses or estimates. Today, accuracy is critical, especially when you are considering the $72 billion dollars being spent annually in the advertising ecosystem. The importance of not only internal, but competitive data, is essential to understand attribution and the optimal investment and allocation of media dollars needed to move the sales meter. I’m excited to be joining SMI, and am thrilled to be working alongside James, and the Rockstar team he’s assembled.”

Brossy’s appointment comes at a time of great expansion for SMI. Last fall, the company launched SMI AccuTV, which has become an industry standard for a clear view of advertising across the full National TV market. Since then, the company has also produced the most accurate program cost data, expanded custom attribution products and key partnerships with leading market research companies, and is gearing up to debut two new products – a new digital offering, creating the most granular view of competitive digital spend across platforms, and a predictive forecast of ad revenue from key media companies.

Prior to joining SMI, Brossy was VP Sales at Simulmedia, where she led sales efforts to general market advertisers. Before Simulmedia, she served as VP Client Solutions at Neustar Marketshare, and oversaw key relationships with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Turner, Bloomberg and Discovery. Brossy also previously led new business development for BrightlineiTV Partners, a leader in the OTT space. Earlier in her career, Brossy was the CMO at 24/7 Media, now Xaxis, a part of WPP. Prior to the digital age, she spent 15 years in the sports marketing industry.

Brossy currently serves as an advisory board member at BWG Strategy, is a board member at the Connecticut Alliance for Tennis and Education, and is a contributing writer for Huffington Post on behalf of Advertising Week. She earned a B.S. in Education from Tulane University, and holds an Executive MBA certificate from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

The Four Biggest Upside Advertising Attribution Opportunities in 2018

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Here at SMI, we believe that the most important conversation in the advertising industry is around advertising effectiveness, and ROI attribution. As the need to justify marketing and advertising budgets becomes critical – the need to truly understand how effective specific ads and media mixes are, becomes even more critical.

With technological advances and attribution solutions being heralded from some of the biggest, and best, companies in the world, it seems like a question we as an industry should have already been able to answer quite concretely. Of course, finding real attribution is easier said than done. The consumer herself is exposed to hundreds of stimuli each day and has no idea which ones lead to which buying decisions. What we are attempting to measure has its roots in undiscovered parts of human psychology. But, we are making real advancements, many of which SMI is proud to be leading.

From moving the conversation away from just one method, albeit one that helped move the branding part of the industry into ROI in the first place, marketing mix modelling, to expanding models into Multi-Touch Attribution and hybrid methods, way beyond only measuring CPG companies, and a re-focus on single-source that started with TRA, the attribution community is at an interesting crossroads.

To get an even better sense of the advancements in attribution we’ve made in 2017, and the upside opportunities moving into 2018, we sat down with SMI advisor, founder of TRA, and creator of the first automated MMM system back in the 20th Century, Bill Harvey, who shared his top four attribution advancements he’s most excited about.

1) REAL COST AND SPEND DATA

As Bill notes, even the most sophisticated models are going to give bad results without the actual data. The best estimates are going to give you inflated, or deflated numbers and distorted relationships. And, can get you going in the wrong direction. Precision is important within attribution – a few percentage points here, or there, can make all the difference from finding what’s working. This is one is of course close to SMI’s heart – we believe actual spend data is not only important, but the only way to come up with accurate information. With the ability to now input real costs into attribution models, we’re seeing more in-depth information and clear-cut, accurate and actionable results.

2) SYNDICATED REPORTS

When folks like David Poltrack made a stand, and demanded the industry make marketing mix modelling transparent, and clean up the media data used, many companies responded. However, at the time, MMM was based on manual, analyst led decisions. Out of many models with equal statistical goodness the analyst would pick the one he or she felt to be the most likely. Bill notes that this worked for a long time, providing an ROI framework for advertisers to use in making the decisions about the largest chunks of budget going into specific media types. However as the process has matured the next opportunity is to be able to syndicate continuous fully-automated reports minimized the use of analyst subjective judgement, on all brands that compete against one another, rather than the periodic slow, and narrow, one-off views of just one’s own brand.

3) COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS – DIGITAL AND LINEAR

Some might argue that you can do some of the above already – and you’d be partially right if you were talking about just looking at your own data. Companies have their own spend data, and know enough about their company, to set up automated reporting. But, as Bill argues, what good is that if you can’t benchmark that against your competitors. If your studies are showing an increase in sales based on advertising efforts, you might want to stop there – it seems things are working. But, what if your competitors have increased sales 50% more than you have, based on a different advertising mix. That’s something you need to know. With a view into what your competitors are doing and how it is working – against your own brand – you can learn from the mistakes and the successes of your competitors, not just your own. This is another point in which we believe strongly. Our mission is to bring clarity to the advertising industry – and we’ve been working hard, in partnership with other best-in-class data providers, to develop competitive attribution capabilities. We believe, it’s one of the key movements that needs to happen within attribution. And of course, it’s vital to do this across both digital and traditional media.

4) ADVANCES IN UNDERSTANDING DECAY CURVE PHENOMENA

Bill shares that one of the least discussed, but most important, issues in current attribution models are assumptions made about the decay curve in time related effects. For example, some models use a curve which says after 48 hours most of the effect of an ad has worn off. In reality, Bill says, this is likely not true for all ads in all media, and needs more empirical studies and methodology behind it. By now everyone knows that last-touch attribution is naïve, yet the attribution of credit toward making a sale is still most distributed based on the proximity to the purchase event, even though the very first ad the person saw may have set their foot on the path to that purchase of that brand with more impact than any subsequent exposure. This is one area where Bill believes were on the cusp of a breakthrough, and close to identifying a more accurate decay curve, that could change how we look at attribution models. He sees this as a key opportunity as we move into 2018.


These are just a few of the significant changes happening as conversations around attribution only heat up. And, it will continue to be an evolving industry, but Bill, as well as all of us at SMI, believe we’re in the middle of some exciting discoveries, and are thrilled to be a part of what’s next. To join the discussion, and learn even more about what SMI is doing with partners like Analytic Partners and Alphonso, come join in with us at the Attribution Accelerator conference on Thursday, October 12.

2017 August Ad Market Sees Effects of Last Year’s Olympics, But CYTD Market Still up 2.4%

Standard Media Index (SMI), the advertising intelligence company bringing clarity to the ad industry, today unveiled updated advertising revenue figures for August 2017. The total advertising market was down -7% compared to August 2016, due to the extensive loss of dollars that the Rio Olympics added to the market last year, putting National TV -27% down. Even though Digital did play a strong role in the Olympics, it is not taking a hit this month with a solid gain of +12%. While Radio saw incredible growth in July 2017, the medium saw a -5% decline in August. Newspapers saw a decline of -5%, but it must be noted that this is the first time in many months the decline has only been in the single digits. Magazines and Out-Of-Home saw declines, with -12% and -4%, respectively.

With the Olympics dominating most of August’s numbers, we also looked at CYTD growth, to determine how much the influx of Olympics dollars in 2016, was influencing the whole year. The US market CYTD (Jan – Aug 2017) is still positive with +2.4% more ad dollars in the market, than the same period in 2016. That said, the growth is entirely due to Digital’s +11% CYTD growth, as every other medium saw CYTD declines – National TV is down -4%, Radio is down -5%, Out-of-Home is down -1%, Magazines are down -13% and Newspaper are down -18%.

DIGITAL KEEPS AD MARKET GOING
The beginning of 2017 told a story of digital saturation. It seemed the growth rate was beginning to flatten. And while we aren’t seeing 20-25% growth, the +11% CYTD, and +12% August 2017 growth, is keeping the ad market afloat. The increase is spearhead by Google, who saw +16% growth (not including subsidiaries like YouTube) and Facebook, which saw +45% growth in August alone. Pandora also saw strong growth in August with +37% more spend than the previous year. Snapchat, on the other hand, saw its first slight decline with a decrease in direct ad spend by -2%. All the numbers above reflect direct ad spend made by our agency partners.

THE OLYMPIC EFFECT ON NATIONAL TV
In August 2017, Broadcast TV saw a year-over-year loss of -54%, while Cable only lost -1%. While NBC’s cable properties had plenty of Olympics coverage, when you look at the breakdown of ad spend, 92% of all Olympic spend went to Broadcast, with only 8% going to Cable.

“The Olympics in August 2016 make meaningful year on year comparisons tricky, but our data did show some insights that are worth focusing on. The overall market is up +2.4% on a year-to-date basis, with only a -4% year-to-date loss on TV, which shows that a lot of Olympics dollars had been redirected into the Games from existing budgets, said James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index. “And, while the digital market has started to recover from the brand safety concerns earlier this year there is no doubt that growth has been impacted and publishers like YouTube are looking at more modest growth in the 10% region for the current quarter. We are also seeing the growth rates of cable news start to flatten out with the big three of CNN, MSNBC and Fox reporting a more modest jump of +6% on the same period last year, as audiences start to become comparable on a year on year basis”

DETAILS BY NETWORK
It should come as no surprise that NBC saw the biggest advertising loss with -82% less ad revenue compared to the year before. With the start of Preseason NFL games, and no Olympics to compete with, both CBS and FOX saw ad revenue increases to the tune of +17% and +14%, respectively. ABC was down just -1% year-over-year decline. Univision saw an increase in spend of +3%, while Telemundo declined at -7%, similarly due to no Olympic events.

“We saw a couple of standout entertainment programs on Broadcast deliver strongly for ABC and NBC in August,” Fennessy noted. “The finale of the Bachelorette saw an average spot jump +50% to $131,000 compared to 2016 and brought in almost 80% more revenue, and NBC should be delighted with the summer run of Saturday Night Live which delivered an average of $124,000 for each paid spot.”

In terms of Cable networks, ESPN saw a big +27% increase compared to August 2016. The increase can be attributed to Preseason NFL games, more of the U.S. Open taking place in August in 2017, than in 2016, higher unit rates around MLB games, and presumably less Olympic competition.

Other key networks include TBS with a +5% increase in revenue, HGTV which grew by +1.5%, Food Network with a +10% increase, and Discovery Channel with a +16% increase in spend.

TRUMP EFFECT ON NEWS SHOWS FIRST SIGNS OF LEVELING OUT
Cable news programming continues to see year-over-year growth, but, that rate of growth was much lower in August 2017, compared to August 2016, than in recent months with just +2% increase in spend, year-over-year. Looking at the big three networks (CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News), that number grows to +6%. While overall there is still growth, this is the first month we’ve seen any loss across these networks with FOX News earning -2.5% less revenue on all news programming. CNN saw a +8% increase, and MSNBC continues to see the highest percentage of growth with a +26% increase across its news programs. These numbers reflect only the programs considered news.

When you look at a CYTD comparison (Jan – Aug) of 2017 compared to the same time in 2016, these networks have received +19% more ad revenue. FOX News is at +15%, CNN at +18% and MSNBC at +41%. MSNBC started the year with the lowest average unit rates among the three networks, so it had a steeper hill to climb to reach its competitors.

Bite-sized Advertising Isn’t Just for Digital Anymore…

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Originally published on Fierce Cable.

What can you do in six seconds? Thanks to Vine (rest in peace) we’ve had the opportunity to explore this already. You can remove a stripped screw, tie a Windsor knot, and learn how to grill a steak. But, is it enough time to change the channel? Advertisers are betting that it isn’t.

Six-second ads are typically found in video platforms like Snapchat and YouTube, not during your favorite primetime sitcom or sporting events. FOX wants to turn that notion on its head. In a recent announcement Fox shared it will be offering 6-second ads in addition to the traditional 15- and 30-second ads, across marquee events like NFL games, the World Series and award shows.

The logic behind this makes sense for networks, advertisers and viewers. With premium placements for the shorter spots close to that of a 15-second spot, networks can earn the same amount of revenue, while cutting advertising minutes. And, advertisers win by keeping the viewer’s attention. With most reports putting the average attention span for basic tasks between 8 and 12 seconds, the 6-second ad even gives you some wiggle room. Viewers are also less likely to change the channel for a full commercial break, if they know that even with five commercials, it’s just 30 seconds of total time. Lastly, for viewers, they have more show time, and less commercials. It’s a win-win-win.

The new format may also lead to additional opportunities. For example, in the World Series, Fox may put the 6-second ads in during game breaks that wouldn’t normally be long enough for a commercial. During the 30 seconds a coach or manager has to talk to a player on the field, Fox can add a box adjacent to players, so you see the ad while the team talks. This also comes with an added benefit of less Joe Buck commentary filling in those gaps. The company feels that these ads, placed in unique positions, have the potential to gain even more attention than traditional units.

While the strategy has risen out of necessity as traditional broadcast and cable networks figure out how to compete against expectations produced by ad-free viewing on Netflix, Amazon Prime and DVRs, it seems like it could be a win for the right type of advertiser.

While many creative agencies have been developing shorter ads for online consumption for years, it is often a truncated version of a full 30-second TV ad. If this format becomes more popular across TV, it does pose some challenges for creative agencies and advertisers who need to be informative and story heavy, like pharma or movie releases.

This conversation got us here at SMI thinking—what does the current breakdown of ad length look-like? How are different advertiser categories working with different TV ad lengths?

What we found is that advertisers have been using shorter ads more than we expected. The industry often talks about the average “30-second spot”— based on our review of the three-year period from 2014 to 2016, the most popular spot is actually 15 seconds. Nearly 50% of the nearly 40 million spots that ran during that time frame were 15 seconds, while only 44% were 30 seconds.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Breaking down the growth by spot length over the same period, we see that the 15-second ad has grown in popularity, but so has the 90-second spot. Assuming the best candidates for the shorter 6-second spots come from the 15-second spot (which was first introduced in the mid-1980s) then there is a significant base for advertisers to target.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

The advertiser categories that utilized the 15-second spots most are CPG (food, product & dairy, beauty, grooming & personal care) followed by quick-serve restaurants, household supplies (another CPG segment) and OTC pharmaceuticals. These categories tend to have more established brands and may find the 15-second spot offers them the right balance of time to craft their message.

The longer 90-second spots are predominantly from prescription-pharmaceutical (DTC) with 62% of the spots from this category. This is not surprising as this category must reveal side effects and refer consumers to their website or long-form print ads. In the past few years, the DTC pharmaceutical category has seen tremendous growth (+38%) as the pharma companies have started to advertise around disease states that were not previously advertised (irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, chemo treatment for cancer patients.) While changes have been proposed that would allow companies to reduce side effects mentioned in these ads, ultimately decreasing spot time, it seems unlikely that the pharma industry will ever be able to take advantage of shorter inventory.

Actual ad length is one of the only things that hasn’t evolved about network television in recent years, so it makes sense that it’s time for that to be disrupted as well. The 15-second ad has clearly been a success over the last 30 years; it stands to reason that the 6-second ad will similarly become a standard unit in TV media buying, but only time will be the judge of that. We’ll certainly be watching.

Christine Hayes serves as the director of market intelligence at Standard Media Index. Prior to joining SMI, she spent nearly a decade with the NBCU Ad Sales team, where she led market intelligence activities and focused on keying in on new business opportunities. Earlier in her career, Christine led Go-to-Market strategies at Nokia and managed strategic marketing and planning at GE Commercial Finance.

Olympics, Census Provide Tough Hurdle in August But Market Remains Flat (ex Govt) this CYTD

AUSTRALIA’S media Agency market has started experienced another tough month in August but this time the softer demand was primarily due to the Rio Olympics and Census providing abnormal bookings last year, resulting in demand for August 2017 so far being back 12.1% to $526.5 million.

But when late Digital bookings are added at month end the market is likely to finish down at the single digit level.

Nonetheless SMI’s August 2017 results are so far showing lower bookings for every major media.

Television was the most affected by last year’s Olympics broadcast and as a result is now down 6.8% before Digital bookings are included; Outdoor is back 5.8% and Radio (ex Digital) bookings are 13.7% lower, at least in part due to an extra week commencing period falling in August last year abnormally inflating August 2016 ad spend.

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Schulze said the market continues to struggle against the high hurdles created by one-off events last year.

“The 2017 year was always going to be tough given the large significant events occurring last year such as the Federal election, Rio Olympics and Census”, she said.

“As a result we’ve only had two months in 2017 in which we’ve reported year-on-year growth (January and March) but we’re hoping a period of more normal comparative periods is now ahead of us.”

In terms of the August SMI results, within the Category data the strongest growth seen in August was in the Restaurants Category (mostly fast food restaurants) where total Agency ad spend grew for the second consecutive month, this time lifting 5.3% with money again coming out of Digital and being reinvested in Television and Outdoor media.

But the two largest categories of Automotive Brand and Retail again reported lower spend, down 3.6% and 11.9% respectively year-on-year.

For more detail contact Jane Schulze on 0401 704 348

Do Critics’ Choices Equal Advertising Dollars? Breaking down Emmy Nominated Shows

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

While all eyes were on the glitz and glam of the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards last night, we started thinking about the show in a different way – and wondered, do these critics’ choices equal advertising dollars? We decided to look at how Emmy nominated shows fared in terms of advertising cost, and try to answer that key question.

The answer in many cases is no, simply because there isn’t advertising on them. Much of what we, and the Television Academy, considers great content is often coming from premium cable channels or streaming services, and no longer on traditional networks these days. When you look at the list of winners – this becomes even more clear.

Of the shows nominated for the Emmy awards – across all categories included in Hollywood Reporter’s list (which includes some top creative Emmy categories), with each show only counted once regardless of number of categories it was nominated in – only 22% were from traditional Broadcast stations. 36% were from ad-support cable networks, 3% aired on PBS, and 38% aired on a premium cable network or streaming service.

For now, we’re going to skip over the broader conversation of the changing TV landscape, and the future of linear television. It’s a big topic and we have strong thoughts on it, but we’ll leave it for another post. Today, we’re talking about dollars. Reasoning would say that great content should also create big ad revenue. But, as we’ve seen with the Academy Awards, where many movies who win are not blockbusters, this is not always true.

So – let’s put that to the test with a few key shows.

Select Broadcast Shows:

  • This Is Us – there is no denying that This Is Us was a huge success in its first season. It was the highest rated new show in the 2016-2017 season, and saw 11 Emmy nomination in its freshman year. In terms of advertising revenue, the show garnered approximately $90.1M over the course of its first season, and had one of the highest average :30 second unit costs among broadcast dramas at around $261K. This one is definitely in the yes column.
  • Black-ish – for the second year in a row, Black-ish stars Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, were both nominated for Outstanding Actor/Actress in a Comedy Series, along with the show wide nomination of Outstanding Comedy Series. During the 2016 – 2017 season, of which recent Emmy nominations are based, the show saw an average :30 second ad go for approximately $145K. That’s compared to last year’s season, which was nominally higher at $150K.
  • Modern Family – to give some context to the above, let’s look at Modern Family, who not only runs the same night and network as Black-ish, but is also in the running for Outstanding Comedy Series. The show’s average :30 second unit went for approximately $186K in its 8th season (16-17). Both Modern Family and Black-ish are doing fine. But, when you compare both to The Big Bang Theory, which continues to sit atop not only comedy ratings lists but even rivals some NFL games, there is really is no comparison. The show comes in at $299K for an average :30 second spot during the most recent season. The Big Bang Theory, however, did not receive any major Emmy nominations this year. So, we must say that in the case of broadcast comedies, it seems the critics’ choices do not equal top advertising dollars this year.
  • Amazing Race – the Outstanding Reality-Competition category is one of the few categories that is made up of all linear TV shows, which makes it an interesting one to look at. The Amazing Race, specifically, has been nominated nearly every year it’s been in existence and has won 10 times. The show brought in around $108K for every average :30 second spot. This is quite similar to category rival American Ninja Warrior which saw an average unit cost for of around $110K, for the season it is nominated for. The Voice, however, does come in well ahead of both shows with an average spot registering at $200K. With The Voice also airing two new episodes a week, during most of its season, the revenue the show brings in is also much higher than any other show in the Reality-Competition category.

Select Ad-Supported Cable Shows:

  • Feud: Bette & Joan – this was one of the most anticipated limited series of the past year – it had great acting, directing and the glam of Hollywood. But, after debuting to strong ratings, the numbers slipped as the series continued. In terms of advertising, in this case, critics’ choices don’t equal advertising dollars. The show saw an average unit cost of $26K. While you certainly can’t compare any cable show to advertising costs on broadcast, we can compare it to The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which saw an average unit cost of $38K when it aired, with the final episodes bringing in close to $67K for an average spot.
  • Batter Call Saul – of the seven shows nominated for Outstanding Drama Series there are only two on linear TV, Better Call Saul and This Is Us. The Breaking Bad spinoff garnered on average $77K per :30 second spot, which, does put it toward the top of ad supported cable earnings.
  • Born This Way – this is a show I’ll put my personal stamp of approval on. If you haven’t watched it before, I recommend it. But, neither advertisers now the Television Academy care too much about what I think. So, let’s look at the numbers. During the season which the 2017 Emmy Awards cover, Born This Way saw an average :30 second spot on its show go for $10K. It’s difficult to compare this to other shows we’ve talked about, but it’s a mid-range price for A+E shows.
  • Genius – a scripted show that aired on National Geographic, is not always one you expect to end up as Emmy nominated, but Genius caught the attention of the Academy. The show registered the lowest average unit cost across all shows we’ve looked at in this article with $9K for an average spot.

Based on the shows analyzed, critically acclaimed does not always result in the highest advertising dollars. But, there are certainly areas in which the two overlap This Is Us, The Voice and Better Call Saul, are all at the top of their game. There is also a lot more analysis to be done on this topic to come to a conclusive answer – much more than our blog post can handle.

If you’re interested in more on how Emmy nominated shows are performing, or how advertising revenue across media is changing, get in touch. We’d love to take you through what Standard Media Index can do.

SMI on the Market – How the Advertising Industry Changed in August

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Here at SMI, we’re known for our data, and our relationships with top media buying agencies, giving us the ability to access spend directly from their invoice systems. What people don’t always get to see, is that we don’t just stop at the data we aggregate from media agencies – we make it our job to have our fingers on the pulse of advertising activity across the world.

A big part of that is monitoring what major media companies are doing. From financial performance to new ad strategies to new products to changes in key programming, we closely follow industry news and moves, to ensure when we give clients insights we’re not only sharing our data expertise, but our expertise as media analysts as well.

Our team wants to ensure that you’re not missing any key information either. We know how hard it is to stay on top of everything (and it’s our job to do it!). So, this is our first installment of SMI on the Market. Following the end of each month, we’ll share a list of what we believe to be the top moves and activities in the industry that happened, and what to keep your eye out for in the months to come.

Let’s get right into it.

DIGITAL IS BECOMING TV AND TV IS BECOMING DIGITAL – LET’S JUST CALL IT ALL MEDIA

FIGHTING “FAKE”

Facebook and Google are focused on improving advertiser concerns on fake content. A look at SMI data indicates that YouTube is seeing the impact of these concerns as their ad spend fluctuated in the past few months compared to last year. Google is trying to make good by refunding advertisers whose ads ran on fake sites and has quietly been running tests to detect fake ads. Facebook, on the other hand, has been ramping up efforts by preventing pages that repeatedly share fake news from running ads and cracking down on cloaking of spam sites. We’ll recap this more in our September wrap-up, but news out on Fake Russian Facebook accounts, proves why this is such an important issue to figure out.

TV EXPLORES NEW ADVERTISING OPTIONS

Fox launches six second video ads and reduces ad loads on selected shows. NBC Sports is exploring “playing through” a split-screen model that has commercials run alongside continuing sports coverage. CNN debuted live ads during eclipse. Viacom has stated they will continue to reduce ad loads on selected programs.

BEYOND THE DUOPOLY, AND INTO MORE VIDEO

While it sometimes seems like digital platforms outside of Facebook and Google don’t matter, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. As you probably already know, Snapchat has been making a lot of news, and recently, launched a self-serve ad platform and new measurement program. The company is also offering more advanced campaign management options for its largest business partners. PinterestReddit, and LinkedIn all expanded their video offerings in August, the latter two, with native video ads. Last but not least, Yelp is creating custom audience segments similar to Facebook’s Audience segment.

CHANGES TO “NEW” MEDIA

Media is now changing so often that those who were of the new guard just a few years ago are having to evolve to keep up with the even “newer” media. In late July, Vice Media had a round of layoffs, citing a refocus on video. This came after news of similar restructurings happening at HuffPost and Vocativ earlier in the summer. Rumors are also flying around about a potential sale of Mashable, arguably a staple for anyone working in the media world. And, Buzzfeed has given into banner ads, and will now run display ads on its properties, something it had previously been strongly against.

NEW PRODUCTS TO WATCH

We already said this, but it bears repeating, Facebook had a busy month. The company announced, or shared news of testing, several new ad products. In no particular order, we saw – Messenger Home Screen ads, six-second video ads, marketplace ads, adding audio to video ads, allowing publishers to set CPM target for ads on Facebook Audience network, targeted ad to in-store visits, and tools to help publishers boost subscription. Did you catch that all?

Interested to see how these insight pair with our data? Get in touch for a demo and see what SMI can do for your business.

Inside Ad Spend – July 2017

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Welcome to Inside Ad Spend – SMI’s monthly look at what’s happening around the ad market, giving you key stats you need to know. This month, we look back at July 2017 and how the overall ad industry performed. If you missed our Q2 addition it’s not too late to check-it out here.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

ACROSS THE AD INDUSTRY

The total advertising market was up +12% compared to July 2016. Much of this increase comes from strong gains in Digital, and a surge in Radio and Cable Sports. Radio saw a +22% YoY increase partially thanks to a 50% increase from Telecommunications, and a Auto +41% increase from the Auto industry. This is an area we’ll be watching closely as we head into the end of the year. Newspapers and Magazines continue to decline with -16% and -6% decline respectively.

THANKS TO SPORTS, CABLE TV WAS ON TOP IN JULY

Most of the growth in Cable stems from a nearly 30% increase in spend around sports programming. Changes to programming across the genre i.e. four more days of Wimbledon in July 2017 than in July 2016, the addition of the X Games to July (which aired in June in 2016) and a bump to ESPN’s sports based talk shows, all contributed to such a large surge.

DIGITAL ADVERTISING SPEND SEES RAMP UP

The Digital sector grew +19% in July 2017, putting any talk of a digital slow down on the backburner for now. Specifically, Social grew +34%, Search grew +21%, and Video grew +12%. The Video sector is split however, with Premium Video seeing more of the growth. For example, Hulu grew +37% in July while YouTube continues to struggle with confidence from larger brands, and saw a -15% decrease. TV Network-Digital also saw an increase with +11% more spend in July 2017, than in 2016.

For more on what happened across the ad industry in July 2017 check out our July Report or get in touch for a demo and additional sample data points.

July Ad Market Delivers Strong Growth Thanks to Digital, Radio and Cable Sports

Standard Media Index (SMI), the advertising intelligence company bringing clarity to the ad industry, today unveiled updated advertising revenue figures for July 2017. The total advertising market closed up +12% compared to July 2016, thanks to Digital’s +19% YoY growth and an increase from Radio, which saw an astounding +22% YoY Growth. The National TV market ended July up +2.5% and Out-of-Home saw a rise of +2% compared to July 2016. Newspapers and Magazines still saw decreases of -16% and -6% compared to July 2016, respectively, but those declines are much less than where both ended Q2 2017.

SPORTS POWERS CABLE’S GROWTH

National TV’s +2.5% increase came mostly from Cable networks, which saw a +3.7% increase. Broadcast networks were nearly flat with a +0.3% increase compared to July 2016. According to Brian Wieser’s recent update, the total use of television across the entire day fell be -2.8% in July 2017. While we’re not seeing this trend replicated in advertising dollars, it’s likely the effect won’t take place until August or September, which we’ll be monitoring.

Most of the growth in Cable stems from a nearly 30% increase in spend around sports programming for the month of July. This comes from a few key changes to programming across the genre. For instance, the 2017 Wimbledon Championship was entirely in July in 2017, while the 2016 tournament had four days of play in June. The entire tournament aired on ESPN and ESPN2. Additionally, the X Games took place in June in 2016, but aired in July in 2017, giving both ESPN and the Cable sports genre a bump. ESPN also benefitted from an increase in spend around its sports talk shows, as unit costs were up across many of its shows this month putting the network up +12% YoY.

LACK OF OLYMPIC SPEND ALREADY IMPACTING BROADCAST SPORTS

Conversely, Broadcast networks saw a -13% decline in ad spend around sports programming, compared to July 2016. This is mainly due to no Olympic trials, which brought in more than $20M in July 2016, and the move of the PGA Championship back to August. The golf tournament typically airs in August, but because of the 2016 Olympics, it aired in July last year.

The decreases in spend above outweighed the addition of $25M in spend that came from the Copa Oro 2017 CONCACAF, which aired mainly on Univision. While it didn’t push all of Broadcast forward, the addition of Copa Oro 2017 CONCACAF, and episodes of José de Egipto and La doble vida de Estela Carrillo, did propel the Spanish language network ahead of FOX, in terms of overall ad spend collected for the month of July 2017. FOX did stand out in Sports with an increase in unit cost around the MLB All-Star Game, with a slight increase from $398K in 2016 to $401K in 2017.

BROADCAST PRIME-TIME ENTERTAINMENT FINALLY SEES GROWTH IN JULY

Looking across Entertainment Prime-Time – ABC was up +25%, NBC was up +12%, CBS was up +5%, while FOX saw a -9% decrease. Altogether, the four networks saw a +10% increase across the coveted day part. ABC’s increase came from a 65% uptick in spend around The Bachelorette this July, a +13% increase in spend around the Espy’s, and higher unit costs on its Summer of Fun & Games programming. CBS’s growth is attributed to its most recent season of Big Brother which saw a +30% increase in revenue compared to July 2016, thanks to a slight increase in unit cost and a larger ad load. NBC growth stems from American Ninja Warrior, which saw 2 additional episodes air in July 2017, than in July 2016, creating a +41% revenue increase for the Prime Time Entertainment genre. Shows like Little Big Shots: Forever Young and The Wall, also performed well, making up for less America’s Got Talent episodes in the month.

When you look across the Prime-Time daypart on both Cable and Broadcast, including all program genres we see that ad spend was flat with +0.7% growth. Comparatively, Wieser noted use of totaltelevision viewing across the daypart was down -2.8%.

SECOND HALF OF YEAR STARTS WITH CABLE NEWS, LIFESTYLE STILL ON A TEAR

Cable News programming across the big three networks, MSNBC, FOX News and CNN, continues to grow with +11% increase across all three. Increases were slightly lower than in previous months, MSNBC +33%, FOX News +5% and CNN +10%, but that is to be expected as July 2016 brought the DNC and RNC conventions in on election year. The fact that Cable News is still increasing as we’re now comparing YoY to prominent election months, is quite telling that this trend might be here to stay.

HGTV continued its climb with +7% additional spend in July 2017 than in July 2016. E! also saw an increase of +9%, while WE Tv saw a +8% increase and The Travel Channel increased by +20%. Food Network was one of the only lifestyle networks to see a decline with -11% in ad revenue compared to July 2016.

NATIONAL TELEVISION SPEND BY AD CATEGORY

Across both Cable and Broadcast, Auto and Entertainment decreased their spend by around 15%, while Pharma- Prescriptions continued its spending spree with +18% additional spend in the TV market this July. Food, Produce and Dairy, also increased spend by +7% compared to July 2016, and took over the top spending spot by volume, which was held be Auto in 2016. Alcoholic Beverages, Telecommunications and Household Supplies also saw all increase spend by double digits with +19%, +12% and +32%, respectively. Unilever, which has been quite public about moving spend away from Digital and back to TV, added approximately 15% more spend to Cable and Broadcast in July 2017, than it had in July 2016.

“Despite national TV ratings challenges, the ad market opened the second half of the year with a real bang. Social and Premium Video remain the powerhouses of the digital sector and, after some weak performances in recent months, Prime Time Entertainment has come storming back which will be an enormous relief to the major networks,” said James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index. “We continue to see major advertisers, like Unilever, return to the highly trusted medium of national TV at the expense of non-premium digital video. We expect this trend to continue as the networks strengthen their digital offerings and brands continue to question viewability and environment on non-premium platforms.”

RADIO SEES JULY BUMP

Following a few slower months, Radio saw an unprecedented increase in ad spend with +22%. The largest increases were on iHeart Radio Networks which saw a +41% increase in ad spend, and Premiere Radio Networks with a +44% increase. The biggest driver of increased spend comes from the Telecommunications industries which spent +50% more on ads on Radio in July 2017, than it did on July 2016 as wireless companies and phone manufacturers continue to put pressure on the market. Auto, which is decreasing spend on nearly every other medium also increased spend by +41% on Radio for the month.

DIGITAL SAYS GOODBYE TO SLOW GROWTH RATES

The Digital sector grew +19% in July 2017, putting any talk of a digital slow down on the backburner for now. Specifically, Social grew +34%, Search grew +21%, and Video grew +12%. The Video sector is split however, with Premium Video seeing more of the growth. For example, Hulu grew +37% in July while YouTube continues to struggle with confidence from larger brands, and saw a -15% decrease. TV Network-Digital also saw an increase with +11% more spend in July 2017, than in 2016.

Last fall as ABC launched its first “Thank God Its Thursday” (#TGIT) show in years that didn’t have the stamp of approval from Shonda Rhimes, Notorious, the Hollywood...

Aug 15, 2017

Shondaland – By the Advertising Numbers

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Last fall as ABC launched its first “Thank God Its Thursday” (#TGIT) show in years that didn’t have the stamp of approval from Shonda Rhimes, Notorious, the Hollywood Reporter’s Daniel Fienberg quite aptly said, “Heaven help ABC if Shonda Rhimes ever decides to take her talents to a different network.”

His point – Notorious wasn’t anywhere near the standard Rhimes had set with her hits Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, and more recently, The Catch. And, he was right. The show didn’t even make it past the mid-term break and was one of the first new dramas of 2016 cancelled. Now, nearly a year later, ABC is faced with the very real fact that it may have a lot more shows like Notorious in its future, as Rhimes has done just what Fienberg predicted – she’s taking her talents to Netflix.

While this won’t affect anything immediately – as those shows, and a reported new one in the works from Rhimes – will still air on ABC. But, it did get us thinking, what mountain is ABC going to have to climb to get the same type of advertising revenue its now getting from Rhimes’ shows? To answer that question, we focus here on Shondaland’s contribution to ad revenue.

Over the past 3.5 years, Jan. 2014 through June 2017, Rhimes’ shows have made up 14% of all of ABC’s prime-time entertainment advertising revenue – including new episodes and reruns.

Looking at just the 2016 – 2017 season (Sept. 2016 – May 2017) that number jumps to 17% of all prime-time entertainment revenue collected from original episodes. Breaking that down even further and, looking at just prime-time dramas – that number jumps to 44% of all ad revenue for the 2016-2017 broadcast season. This aligns almost exactly with how ratings lined up for the 2016-2017 season. As reported in AdAge, Shondaland’s shows last season made up 20% of ABC’s prime-time scripted gross ratings points and 44% of its drama GRPs.

What does this all mean in dollars? The big three of these shows, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder brought in almost $200M in revenue for originals alone. But, this was a stark decline compared to the previous seasons of the show. Grey’s Anatomy was the only show of the three to increase its revenue with +3% more spend on the show for Season 13 than Season 12. Scandal, because of its hiatus, was down nearly -53% in Season 6, compared to season 5. How to Get Away with Murder similarly saw a sharp drop in revenue of -36%, but unlike Scandal, had the same number of episodes in Season 3 as it did in Season 2.

And, after 13 years, Grey’s Anatomy didn’t just win on ABC but continued to be one of the top shows across all of prime-time entertainment bringing in an average :30 second unit cost of $170,098 in the second half of its season (Jan.17 – May.17). The show just missed medaling, as its 4th in line behind Empire, breakout hit This Is Us, and FOX’s 24: Legacy, when looking across prime-time dramas.

Want to better understand how this move might affect advertising dollars across networks? Or, how other shows have performed in comparison? Get in touch and see what SMI data can do for you.

Back-to-School Advertising—The Seasonal Creep Begins

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

With Q2 now on the backburner and the end of summer closer than we’d like to admit – the inundation of back-to-school advertising is upon us. From Staples, Target, Office Depot, JC Penney and 3M Command Strip ads with MC Hammer, it’s already been an entertaining season. This year Office Depot debuted their back-to-school advertising on June 25th and Lands’ End mailed their back-to-school catalog in mid-June — before many kids were finished with the current school year! Are marketers pushing the envelope in their efforts to increase sales and is this just the beginning of the seasonal creep?

According to the National Retail Federation, the back-to-school period of July through September is the second most important sales season for retailers after the December Holidays. This year consumers are expected to spend $84 billion on back-to-school / college, a 10% increase over last year.

Around this already stressful period shoppers are looking for deals, information and convenience. According to Deloitte’s “2017 Back-to-School Survey” 60% of consumers likely began shopping before August with 11% starting earlier than July. However, the early shoppers are also the ones who spend more, with consumers who shop before August spending an average of $532 compared to those who begin after July who spend an average of $458 – so for retailers, reaching these early shoppers makes sense.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL ADVERTISING – KEY CATEGORIES

Broadly looking at National TV ad spend by month, we at Standard Media Index found the top categories that had above average advertising spend in the July through September (Q3) time frame were from the school-related retail sector:

  • School Related Supplies – Office Supplies and & Stationary, Printers & Office Machines
  • Fashion & Apparel -Fashion Accessories, Athletic Apparel & Footwear
  • Education Related – Education Services & Products
  • Food & Beverage -Cereals & Breakfast, Sports & Energy Drinks

These advertiser categories also increased their ad spend 13% in in Q3 2016, compared to previous years and focused on the month of August as the primary time to spend. We must note that 2016 was unique, however, as the Rio Olympics took place in August. We’re monitoring spend around these categories, and will do in-depth analysis to see how, or if, the trend changes in 2017.

EVOLUTION OF BACK-TO-SCHOOL RETAIL ADVERTISING

The fight for consumer attention, time and money is critical for retailers. Traditional retailers are dealing with a multitude of challenges; retail sales falling, younger consumers are moving away from the hassles of shopping at brick and mortar stores and major retailers (and mall anchor stores) like Macy’s and JC Penney are closing stores creating uncertainty for the future of malls One study estimates that more than 8,000 retail stores will close this year alone. The pressure to succeed during this season is even more intense for retailers.

The back-to-school season is also affected by Amazon’s July 11th Amazon Prime Day. This year Amazon reported record sales for its third annual Prime Day, beating out its numbers for previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping periods. Many retailers offered their own sale to compete with Amazon. Retailers such as Macy’s, Kohl’s and Dell reduced pricing and held a “Black Friday in July” sale.

While National TV is still the most prominent avenue for back-to-school advertising, social media has become almost as crucial. In fact, back-to-school is one of the most buzzed about shopping periods across social networks with Pinterest seeing more than 11 million users saving 45 million back-to-school related ideas in 2016. This uptick in volume is by design. Studies have found that Facebook ads and posts, Instagram posts, YouTube videos, Pinterest images and tweets are quite influential as many teens and parents are turning to social to research deals and find hot products. Something we’re passionate about at SMI is looking at where TV and Digital work together – and it seems clear back-to-school is a time when synergy is important.

A trend we’re seeing in marketing across the board is now becoming prominent in back-to-school advertising as well – cause-related marketing. Old Navy is highlighting incredible teachers through music videos, which is part of the company’s cause platform oNward! JC Penney is providing socks and underwear for low-income kids in its “Pair UP With JC Penney” program. And, Old Navy’s sister brand Gap, has centered its back-to-school campaign around inclusivity.

Back-to-school, whether we admit it or not, is really just the beginning of the holiday season – at least in the advertising world. Which, begs the question, how far behind are Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas? As the retail sector is challenged by e-commerce (and specifically Amazon), its searching for new opportunities to drive consumers into stores or to websites. The seasonal creep, however, is not limited to retail — the Hallmark Channel is starting its Countdown to Christmas on Oct 27th and many radio stations start their holiday music playlist in early November.

We’ll be monitoring the holiday advertising season closely, so check back soon for more updates on what’s to come. In the meantime – here is a look at the upcoming key dates and advertising categories that will likely be impacted.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

SMI Product Categories Triple Across All Media,Giving Marketers Cross-Channel Ad Spend and Share of Voice Data for First Time

126 PRODUCT CATEGORIES TO BECOME AVAILABLE
Marketers now have unprecedented visibility into actual advertising expenditure in their specific markets for the first time ever, with Standard Media Index (SMI) tripling the number of product categories for which it provides data to 126.

And in another first, SMI data will also show cross-channel expenditure for each media type: TV, radio, out-of-home, newspapers, magazines, digital and cinema.

These enhancements mean marketers need no longer rely on estimates within broad market sectors and key markets such as Electrical Retailers, Discount Stores, Credit Cards, Auto Insurers and Airlines, will know the size of their market’s actual ad spend for the first time. Historical data back to 2007 is now available.

For example, an airline advertiser will know, to the dollar, actual ad spend within their specific segment, rather than have to estimate based on overall travel category figures.

2017 08 03 1041

Armed with knowledge of the true size of their respective markets, advertisers gain powerful advantages including:

More efficient advertising investment. Through clear understanding (not estimates) of their respective share of voice, marketers can calculate media loadings based on their preferred share of actual voice rather than guesswork.

Improved media planning. Each month marketers can track where their industry advertising spend occurs, to make informed decisions whether or not to follow emerging or continuing trends.

Unprecedented benchmarking. Expanded SMI category and cross-channel data provide marketers the missing tool in their return-on-investment arsenal, as they can now measure themselves within their specific sector.

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Schulze said the days of relying on rubbery estimates are gone.

“In 2017, in an industry as sophisticated as media and marketing, it’s crazy that large advertisers still plan and develop strategies based on estimates which everyone knows are inaccurate and practically unusable for digital,” Ms Schulze said.

“The industry has only operated on this basis because ‘if estimates are wrong for everyone, and they’re all we have, then that’s ok.’ SMI is determined to change that thinking, because marketers need and deserve something better.

“Through proactive collaboration with our media Agency partners, SMI is delivering accurate, granular data in a safe environment, where individual campaign rates remain masked. That means advertisers have real, competitive market detail across all major media, every month, and they can stop using flaky estimates in campaign planning and analysis.”

Ms Schulze added SMI already provides never before seen detailed data on each of the 126 product categories for digital media, encompassing: Digital sector (programmatic, search, social, content sites, etc); Digital ad format (video, display, mobile, etc); Digital buy type (third party, direct) and Website genre (news/weather sites, sport sites, business sites, etc).

Commenting on the new data, Jodi Fraser, Commercial Director at Publicis Media Exchange, said: “These changes will give clients a greater understanding of category media trends. Competitive reporting in the past has either been limited by the accuracy of the reported data or the ability to see more defined categories. Now clients will be able to understand their actual share of voice within their category which will allow for greater planning insights.”

FAST FACTS:
SMI collects actual advertising payments from Australia’s major media agencies, and as such provides Australia’s only real ad spend data across major product categories.

SMI category numbers are increasing from 40 to 126 with never before seen ad spend available for the first time.

SMI data now shows cross-channel spend for each category (TV, radio, out-of-home, newspapers, magazines, digital, cinema).

SMI historical data is available from 2007.

Inside Ad Spend—Q2 2017

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Welcome to Inside Ad Spend – SMI’s monthly look at what’s happening around the ad market, giving you key stats you need to know. This month, we look back at Q2 and how the overall ad industry performed.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

ACROSS THE AD INDUSTRY

The total advertising market closed the quarter up +3.8% compared to Q2 2016, due to a strong showing by Digital which ended the quarter up +11% following modest single digit growth in Q1 2017. The National TV market ended the quarter flat compared to Q2 2016, with -0.8% decrease in spend. Radio, Magazines, Print and Out-of-Home all saw year-over-year declines for the quarter with -4%, -16%, -20% and -1%, respectively.

DIGITAL AD SPEND PICKS UP IN Q2

The Digital sector grew +11% in Q2 2017, following its first only single-digit growth in Q1 2017. That brings the sector’s YTD (Jan – June 2017) growth rate to +9%. Social saw strong growth at +55%, Search saw a +12% increase, and Internet Radio increased by +7%.

NATIONAL TV AD SPEND SEE A FLAT Q2

In Q2 2017, the National Television market was nominally flat, with a -0.8% year-over-year dip. Cable networks saw a -4% decrease while Broadcast networks registered a +4% increase compared to Q2 2016. The 4% swing between Broadcast and Cable can be largely attributed to the airing of the final three games of the NCAA tournament in April. This year, these games were carried on CBS at the expense of TBS and Cable.

For more on what happened across the ad industry in Q2 check out our Q2 Report or get in touch for a demo and sample data points.

During a Strong Upfront, Q2 National TV Ad Revenue Flat

The Trump Era of Television continues as News Helps Keep National TV Market Afloat; Digital Ad Revenue Ends on High Note as Questions Linger Around Effectiveness

Standard Media Index (SMI), the advertising intelligence company bringing clarity to the ad industry, today unveiled updated advertising revenue figures for Q2 2017. The total advertising market closed the quarter up +3.8% compared to Q2 2016, due to a strong showing by Digital which ended the quarter up +11% following modest single digit growth in Q1 2017. The National TV market ended the quarter flat compared to Q2 2016, with -0.8% decrease in spend. Radio, Magazines, Print and Out-of-Home all saw year-over-year declines for the quarter with -4%, -16%, -20% and -1%, respectively.

NATIONAL TV DELIVERS A FLAT Q2

In Q2 2017, the National Television market was nominally flat, with a -0.8% year-over-year dip. Cable networks saw a -4% decrease while Broadcast networks registered a +4% increase compared to Q2 2016. The 4% swing between Broadcast and Cable can be largely attributed to the airing of the final three games of the NCAA tournament in April. This year, these games were carried on CBS at the expense of TBS and Cable.

In June, specifically, the story was slightly different, with Broadcast registering a -2% decrease, while Cable was flat with a +0.4% bump. This left the national TV market flat at -0.5% for the month. Much of the decrease in Broadcast can be attributed to Univision, which saw a -35% decline in ad spend without the Copa América Centenario tournament, which it aired in June 2016. Absent Univision, Broadcast overall grew by +2% in June 2017, with FOX seeing the biggest increase of +9%, courtesy of increased spend around the U.S. Open.

NEWS PROGRAMMING CONTINUES TO DELIVER BIG TIME

In Q2 2017, ad revenue in News programming jumped +16% across both cable and broadcast networks, compared to the same period last year. Other genres did not fare as well, with Entertainment coming in flat, and Sports seeing a -8% decrease in spend.

When drilling into Cable News networks for Q2 2017, news programming across the big three broadcast networks surged by +18%. Individually, FOX News saw an increase of +11%, CNN leapt +21% and MSNBC saw a jump of +40%.

Tucker Carlson Tonight received the highest average unit cost across all Cable News shows at $13,779, up +13% compared to The O’Reilly Factor’s unit cost in Q2 2016. Hannity saw an ad revenue increase of +53% and unit cost increase of +59% at $11,237 compared to a year ago.

On CNN, for Q2 2017, The Situation Room saw an increase in revenue to the tune of +33%. The Lead with Jake Tapper boosted revenue by +46%, and AC 360 saw its average unit cost increase by +19% to $5,975 per :30 spot. On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow continued to see gains, with +74% more ad revenue Year-Over-Year, and +60% increase in unit cost to $4,193. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell also saw an increase of +82% in revenue from ads in Q2 2017, compared to Q2 2016.

On the network News side, CBS This Morning increased ad revenue for Q2 2017 by +32% due to an increase in average unit cost by 28% percent to $20,400. NBC Nightly News saw the largest evening news increase with +8.4% and, also had the largest overall revenue by volume in Q2 2017. Amongst Sunday morning political shows, Face the Nation had the largest increase with +28% more ad revenue.

“Despite some ratings challenges, the national TV market continues to hold up strongly. The results we are seeing demonstrates that national TV continues to command the dominant position for major brands as they look for guaranteed, quality, and engaged audiences, as well as the return on investment these deliver,” said James Fennessy, CEO of SMI. “The standout performers for the quarter continue to come from the News genre, jumping 16%, which is hardly surprising given the fodder Washington serves up on a daily basis.”

THE VOLATILITY OF SPORTS STRIKES AGAIN

The year-over-year decrease in spend around Sports for Q2 2017 can be directly attributed to fewer games in both the NBA Playoffs and Finals, as well as the Copa América Centenario tournament which attracted many advertisers, and viewers, in 2016. For the NBA Finals, ABC saw -9% less revenue, due to two fewer games in the series.

The NHL, on the other hand, gained a +7% increase in revenue from ads during the Stanley Cup Finals which aired the same number of games in both 2016 and 2017. The U.S. Open, which aired on FOX, also saw an overall increase in ad revenue of +14%, highlighting the fact that interest in Sports is not necessarily wavering, but the length of some series impacted the overall result.

BROADCAST ENTERTAINMENT PRIME TIME STRUGGLES IN Q2 2017, SEES JUNE RESURGENCE

The Broadcast Entertainment Prime Time daypart was down -4% in advertising revenue across the big four Broadcast networks (NBC, FOX, CBS and ABC), compared to Q2 2016. FOX witnessed the biggest decline with -12.2%. ABC saw a -3% decrease in ad revenue, CBS experienced a fall of -6%, and NBC was the only network to see a jump in ad spend during Q2 2017 in the coveted Broadcast Entertainment Prime Time spot with a +3% increase, compared to Q2 2016.

For CBS, the Tony Awards were a big hit, generating +11% more ad revenue than last year. The surge of Hamilton’s success has brought new interest to Broadway, which is paying off for the awards show. The network also saw success around the Academy of Country Music Awards which grew ad revenue by +21% compared to 2016.

In June 2017, we saw the kick-off to the summer TV schedule, which tells a different story than the whole of Q2. ABC saw an incredible +19% increase spend around its Prime Time Entertainment shows and NBC saw a +17% increase. The Bachelorette, specifically, saw +22% more revenue in June 2017 compared to June 2016. Celebrity Family Feud and The $100,000 Pyramid, part of ABC’s summer game-show nights, helped push ABC higher with average unit costs coming in at $116,498 and $111,237, respectively.

Across all four networks June Prime Time Entertainment was up +9%.

OUTSIDE OF NEWS, CABLE IS A MIXED BAG

In Q2, lifestyle channels saw the biggest gains, outside of news, networks. HGTV continues to grow with +15%, Food Network was up +2%, E! saw +8%, and TLC saw an incremental +0.6%. ESPN saw a decline of -10%.

General Entertainment networks like AMC, TBS, A+E Network and USA Network, all saw slight declines during the quarter. A significant decrease of over -25% at TBS is directly attributed to not airing the final three games of the NCAA tournament in April of this year.

SPEND BY AD CATEGORY

Across both Cable and Broadcast, the Entertainment industry decreased its advertising spend by $116 Million, or -16% less than in Q2 2016. SMI observed that Universal Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment decreased their advertising spend on national TV in Q2 by double digits, -23% and -15%, respectively.

Automotive Vehicles decreased its total advertising spend on national TV by -6%, or $60 Million, during Q2 2017, compared to Q2 2016. Fiat Chrysler led the contractions with an estimated reduction in spend of -21% compared to last year. Ford was one of the few OEM’s to buck the trend, spending +11% more on national TV than the same period last year. In Digital, Auto remained flat, only decreasing spend by -0.5%, illustrating the category is taking money out of the market, as a whole, and not reallocating it.

Prescription Pharma ended the quarter with +11% more advertising spend in the market than in Q2 2016, while Pharma OTC was flat with -0.4% change on the quarter. Looking at key brands, SMI estimates Bayer HealthCare decreased its advertising on TV by -8%, while Merck increased its spend by +13%. In Digital, the category increased spend by +25%. Consumer Electronics also increased spend by +23%. Most of this increase went to Broadcast TV, with +47% more spend on the platform, mostly on Sports programming.

DIGITAL SEES GROWTH RATE REBOUND IN Q2

The Digital sector grew +11% in Q2 2017, following its first only single-digit growth in Q1 2017. That brings the sector’s YTD (Jan – June 2017) growth rate to +9%. Social saw strong growth at +55%, Search saw a +12% increase, and Internet Radio increased by +7%. Non-premium video experienced a decline in Q2, led by YouTube down by more than -15% in non-programmatic revenue. In juxtaposition, Premium video delivered healthy double-digit increases, with Hulu seeing a +30% bounce, and TV network digital putting on +11%.

“The market continues to ask big questions around non-premium video, and the results are now striking. Non-premium video slumped more than -15% for the quarter, while premium content platforms, like Hulu and the TV networks, were able to book significant, double digit gains. Quality and environment is the number one imperative for brands today and the major network groups look like they are successfully swinging this important battle back in their favor,” noted Fennessy.

Abnormal 2016 Govt Category Ad Spend Skews Agency Bookings in June and Q2 2017

AUSTRALIA’S media Agency market is this month feeling the full effect of last year’s pre-Federal election advertising deluge with Government Category spending now back 69% year-on- year and disguising solid underlying growth across key media and media sectors.

As such SMI’s headline number shows the market back 9.2%, or by $60.1 million in June, to $596.7 million but that reverts to a stable position (-0.6% before late Digital bookings are included) once $59.7 million in abnormal 2016 Government bookings are added back.

Last year’s unusually high Government ad spend also affects SMI’s June quarter figures which show a headline market decline of 4.8% reverting to growth of 1.4% to a record $3.23 billion once the $95.6 million in Q2 Government Category advertising expenditure is added back.

And the Australian Agency market is also on track to deliver its fifth consecutive year of record financial year advertising expenditure with the total for the 2016/17 year now back just 0.1% at $7.1 billion, but that with a difference of only $10.5 million from the previous year the record will be achieved once SMI included late Digital bookings this month.

Meantime, the media most affected by the Government spend last June is Television with its top line decline of -10.8% changing to growth of 3% once normalised for Government bookings. For full transparency, SMI has provided June growth figures both with and without Government Category bookings included.

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Schulze said given the sheer size of Government Category ad spend in June 2016 ahead of the Federal election on 2 July last year meant this was another month in which the top line numbers could not be looked at in isolation.

“As I said last month, Federal elections are like Olympic broadcasts from an advertising revenue perspective and are absolutely abnormal events, and that’s even more apparent this month given the proximity to the date of last year’s fiercely contested Federal election”, she said.

“So, again, it’s important to look at the underlying result and also the longer-term trends and despite all the tough comparative challenges from last year Australia’s Agency advertising market is set to deliver its fifth consecutive year of record financial year ad spend which underscores the strength of our market.”

Ms Schulze said the fall in Government Category ad spend also disguised continuing growth from other key product categories such as the market’s largest – Automotive Brand – lifting its media investment by 7.6% this month, while the Home Furnishing/Appliances market grew its ad spend 14.4%

On the flipside, Retail advertisers delivered a rare month of lower ad spend (-1.5%) and Travel bookings fell by 10.8%.

For more details contact Jane Schulze on 0401 704 348

SMI AU JUNE 2017 MEDIA DATA.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

INFLUENCING FACTORS: JUNE 2017

Events and timing issues affecting the June 2017 ad spend data:

  • Abnormal Government category ad spend in June 2016 as Federal Election approached

Industry Voices—Hayes: How Much Do Ad Loads Matter?

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Originally published on Fierce Cable

By Christine Hayes

Today, consumers have increasing control over their TV and digital viewing environments. Ad-free viewing on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, skippable ads on YouTube, fast-forwarding on DVR, or deploying ad-blockers on their browsers are just a few of the many options. Consumers’ ability to manage what they watch, when they watch it, and how they watch has continued to change the ad game.

As control is put back into the consumer’s hands, media companies are being forced to try different strategies to reach audiences as more and more consumers (specifically younger ones) are turning to mobile, OTT, skinny bundles, YouTube and Facebook for their video content.

One approach that media companies are starting to take is a reduction in ad loads. Fewer ads, so the prevalent logic goes, can lead to a better viewing experience for the consumer, less competition for viewer attention, and potentially more revenue for the network (if premium priced). While some networks see the value in doing this, others don’t feel this is the answer.

Disney CEO Bob Iger has said that there is probably too much commercial interruption in television. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the league is “leaning very heavily” toward reducing the number of commercials next season. However, CBS Chairman Les Moonves’ approach on reducing ad loads is “It’s not an answer to the problem.”

The Hallmark Channel recently announced its plan to cut back on the number of ads during its 2018 primetime shows to create a more “pristine” environment for marketers. Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting has reduced ads on select shows on TNT and TruTV. Fox Networks Group has also stated its plans to reduce on-demand and digital ad loads by offering single sponsorships (a throwback to the days of single-sponsor program like the “Texaco Star Theater”). NBCUniversal also cut back on ads during “Saturday Night Live” as part of its plan to implement more (profitable) branded content deals.

The ad load factor is not limited to traditional TV companies. Facebook has expressed concerns over its ad load, as well. Last year, Facebook’s CFO warned investors that by mid-2017, the company’s revenue growth may be impacted due to the impending slowdown in ad load increases—something that has yet to happen.

These media companies feel that fewer ads will result in a better consumer experience, improved viewing metrics, and better brand recall—in addition to the ability to impose a premium price on the reduced ad load, something that may not sit well with advertisers. In 2008, Fox tried to reduce ad time, introducing a 40% premium on their shows. This did not sit well with buyers, and the idea was quickly abandoned. Today, we are in a different marketplace, and this strategy may play out differently in the long run.

Thus far, Turner has found that by reducing commercial minutes, it is seeing growth in C3 ratings. TruTV saw its C3 rating increase by 17%, and TNT’s “Good Behavior” had a 9% lift in C3 viewership. Hallmark is hoping to see similarly positive results that will lead them to expand the reduced ad load to their signature high-demand holiday programming.

Using SMI’s data, we observed an overall increase in ad load of 5% across cable and broadcast networks when comparing equivalized 30-second spots across all dayparts for the first quarter 2017 and 2016. Viacom, which has the highest ad load of all media owners, despite having fewer networks than other owners like Comcast Corporation, experienced a 6% dip in ad load in the first quarter of 2017 compared to first-quarter 2016. Comcast and Time Warner also exhibited reduced ad loads (down 5% and 2%, respectively) year over year. That said, Disney (+7%) and 21st Century Fox (+10%) both increased ad loads in the first quarter of 2017. Interestingly, both networks saw declining ratings during that period as well.

The $20 million (literally?) question: are advertisers prepared to pay a premium to be in a fast-reach, reduced-ad-load program? Reviewing SMI’s data from an episode of “Saturday Night Live” in Season 42 (March 2017) versus the same time period in Season 41 (March 2016), we observed 14% fewer spots accompanied by a 13% increase in ad revenue. In this high-demand program, a reduced-ad-load model can be offset with revenue increases.

As media companies explore diverse ways to improve consumer experience while still growing their revenues, ad load options may be part of the answer, particularly in an increasingly cross-platform world. Media companies need to consider the individual program, viewing platforms and context to strike the right balance. As ad technologies and data-based targeting become more commonplace, the ability to target consumers with more relevant ads will hopefully lead to an optimal consumer experience and a better balance between content and ads.

Christine Hayes serves as the director of market intelligence at Standard Media Index. Prior to joining SMI, she spent nearly a decade with the NBCU Ad Sales team, where she led market intelligence activities and focused on keying in on new business opportunities. Earlier in her career, Christine led Go-to-Market strategies at Nokia and managed strategic marketing and planning at GE Commercial Finance.

Upfronts Still Matter, Despite Sea of Advertising Choices

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

This article originally appeared on MediaVillage.com

By James Fennessy

The TV Upfronts have been a “rite of spring” in the advertising community since the 1960’s. Each year, for one week in mid-May, hundreds of media buyers and their clients get entertained, fed and hear sales pitches from the broadcast networks. Weeks or even sometimes months later, billions of ad dollars are negotiated between TV networks and advertisers. The TV Upfront has been such a successful business model that others have joined; from national cable networks and Spanish-language broadcasters to cinema and digital media.

The networks offer advertisers several incentives to buy TV commercial time upfront:

  • The audience is guaranteed.
  • Upfront buying offers the best program selection.
  • It is typically a more cost efficient buy than in-season scatter buying.
  • Advertisers’ “flighting” requirements are followed.
  • Cancellation opportunities are available.
  • There are branded entertainment opportunities.

Based on ad spending (October to September), we at Standard Media Index (SMI) saw the 2015-16 national broadcast and cable TV Upfront generated $14.5 billion in ad dollars for the primetime daypart. The most recent period, October 2016 to March 2017, saw an increase of +1% in primetime Upfront buys compared to the same time period — an indication advertisers still see the benefits of the “first screen” and buying upfront. Conversely, the scatter (and other) TV primetime marketplace for October 2016 to March 2017 was $1.8 billion, a decline of -8% from the previous year when $2.1 billion was spent during the same period. In 2016-17, 78% of primetime TV ad revenue was negotiated during the Upfront from October 16 to March 17; 20% was spent during scatter with direct response accounting for the remaining 2%.

For the October 2016 to March 2017 Upfront, NBC generated the most ad revenue. NBC has been a top-rated network with adults 18-49, the demographic many advertisers target and pay a premium to reach. Following NBC in Upfront dollars was CBS, which continues to have the highest total audience. The two networks were followed by ABC and Fox (which has one less hour of ad inventory to sell each night).

Despite concerns with cord-cutting and a loss in subscribers, ESPN, which schedules its Upfront presentation the same week as the broadcast networks, generated the most ad revenue among cable networks and ranked fifth overall. Although the four networks that had the most ad revenue were the major network broadcasters, a majority of total ad dollars (56%) went to national cable television.

From October 2016 to March 2017, total national TV ad spending was up by +1.8% compared to the previous year. National cable television had an increase in ad revenue of +3.6% from one year ago, with some of the growth in ad dollars attributed to news networks with their extensive coverage of politics, resulting in double-digit ratings growth from the previous year. The ad revenue for broadcast networks was relatively flat (-0.3%) over the same six months.

In this era of on-demand viewing with consumers having greater control over their ad exposure, live premier sports continue to be extremely popular with advertisers. Additionally, live TV sports tend to attract younger and more affluent viewers than other genres. The programming that generated the most ad revenue was the NFL with primetime games three nights a week and several post-season primetime games. Sunday Night Football has been the most watched program on television with adults 18-49 since 2011. Monday Night Football has been the most watched sports program on cable for years. Furthermore, in the 2016 season the broadcast networks added two more primetime games on Thursday nights to their schedule.

Another major sporting event, the NCAA Basketball Tournament (a.k.a. March Madness) ranked second in ad revenue among programs. The 68-team, 67-game elimination tournament is telecast on Turner Broadcasting as well as CBS and dominates the sports news and ratings over three long weekends.

The Voice, NBC’s top-rated unscripted program, ranked third in ad revenue for the 2016-17 broadcast season. Aside from its strong ratings, The Voice typically airs three hours of programming each week over two nights. Television’s most popular sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, ranked fourth in ad revenue benefitting from multiple weekly airings on CBS and TBS.

This era has often been called another golden age of television with critical acclaim being driven by serialized dramas on both broadcast and cable television. With numerous scripted dramas on network and cable television each year, it was the most popular genre with ad dollars in 2016-17, followed by reality shows and comedies.

Automotive is the top TV advertiser among major product categories. The sales of cars and light trucks have set a record in the U.S. in both 2015 and 2016. Other top product categories were, in order, food, telecom, entertainment and pharmaceuticals.

Despite all the choices advertisers have, and the competition facing television for viewers, the medium and the Upfront market continues to prevail.

Sports and News Prop Up Advertising Market in April

Standard Media Index (SMI), the company bringing accuracy and transparency to advertising data, today unveiled updated figures for April 2017. The total market closed the month down -1% compared to April 2016, following the conservative spending trend from large advertisers that were highlighted in Q1 earning reports.

NATIONAL TELEVISION
In April 2017, the national television market was down slightly, as advertising spend saw an incremental decrease of -1% year-over-year. Across both Cable and Broadcast television, the biggest decline in advertising spend came from Automotive Vehicles and Dealerships, which continues to decrease its spend – this month, by -17 % YoY. April also saw decreased advertising spend from Food, Produce and Dairy by -4%, and the Telecommunications industry, which decreased spend by -12%. Even with increases from other top spenders like Prescription Pharmaceuticals, which increased spend by +2% and QSR, which grew by +7%, the decrease from Automotive advertisers is taking its toll on the industry.

Broadcast networks saw a +8% increase in advertising year-over-year in April, while Cable networks saw a -7% decrease across all dayparts and genres.

BASKETBALL, BASEBALL AND HOCKEY, OH MY!
Broadcast’s hefty +8% increase is due entirely to the +154% increase in sports programming on broadcast – more specifically, the final three games of the March Madness tournament. CBS aired all three final games in 2017, compared to 2016 when all three aired on TBS – this gave the Broadcast networks the kick it needed this month. In fact, if you remove NCAA Basketball programming – both in-game ads and revenue from surrounding pre, post and talk shows – the Broadcast market saw a decrease of -5%. That said, the loss of these games on TBS, was also the biggest contributing factor to the -7% decline in Cable ad spend.

Diving further into the Final Four, and the NCAA Championship game, we saw a +5% increase on ad revenue on all shows surrounding the events in April – including talk and in-game ad revenue. Looking specifically at the cost for an average :30 second spot for an ad in the Final Four, and the Championship game, there was a +3% increase year-over year from $1,008,960 in 2016 to $1,040,489 in 2017.

Not to be outdone, the NBA and NHL also kicked off Playoffs and ended their regular seasons in April. ABC saw additional NBA games during the month, while NBC saw an increase in unit costs, and number of NHL playoff games aired, which also helped contribute to the overall increase in Broadcast spend. The NBA, however, also saw a few less games across TNT and ESPN than in April 2016, simply due to how the schedule fell, contributing to the fall on Cable.

Breaking down the NBA regular season, which runs from October – mid April, the 2016-2017 season saw a +15% increase year-over-year for in-game advertising spend, compared to the 2015-2016 season. This increase is not surprising, as the league had a huge bump in number of national games airing on ESPN, ABC and TNT, going from 143 in the 15-16 season to 165 in the 16-17 season.

The NBA Playoffs, which began April 15, 2017, increased by approximately +1% in revenue compared to the playoffs games in April, 2016. Looking at ESPN, ABC and TNT, the average unit cost for a :30 second spot during the NBA playoffs is up by approximately +5% going from $88,299 in 2016 to $92,691 in 2017.

Switching to the NHL, games across all networks airing regular season NHL games saw a +11% increase for in-game advertising during the 2016- 2017 season, which also runs October – April. The 2017 Playoffs, haven’t been as successful with -10% less ad revenue than the previous year. This is due to fewer matchups going to a game 6, or 7, in the first round of the playoffs. This highlights how volatile non-NFL sports can be, as their schedules aren’t as guaranteed.

Last, but not least, the boys of summer returned and kicked off with a bang. All networks showing MLB games saw +15% increase for in-game ad revenue throughout the month.

“We continue to see a soft ad market with the pull back from the auto and CPG industries really impacting results. Sports programming continues to deliver for the networks and is currently underpinning the health of the TV market. The other bright spot is the continued strength of News programming that is shooting the lights out with sky-high ratings being delivered as the country is transfixed with the drama unfolding in Washington. Entertainment programming for the networks must be a major concern as many big shows are struggling across both broadcast and cable,” said James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index.

TELEVISION BEYOND SPORTS
While sports programming carried the month, it’s worth noting that news continues to see increases across both Broadcast and Cable. Broadcast news programming saw +17% increase in ad revenue, while Cable news saw +11%.

The big three Cable News channels continue to see increases above the industry average. FOX News increased by +12%, CNN by +16%, and MSNBC by +63% on a year-over-year basis, on their news programming across all dayparts. Probably the biggest ad story in April, the loss of Bill O’Reilly to FOX News, really becomes a blip on the radar, as it did not appear to influence ad revenue for FOX News, and The O’Reilly Factor still had the highest average unit cost across cable news for the month, at approximately $16,000. More time is needed to determine if there will be greater impact down the road.

BROADCAST ENTERTAINMENT TAKES A HIT
The Broadcast entertainment genre lost -15% of spend compared to the same period in 2016, with drama, reality and comedy all seeing losses. Almost half this drop can be attributed to the running of NCAA programming on CBS rather than normal programming.

While CBS saw the biggest YoY loss in the primetime entertainment genre, due to the NCAA finals games, Fox also saw a significant year-over-year drop due to losing American Idol, which brought in substantial revenue in its last season on FOX in 2016. The decline can also be attributed to a decrease in revenue from the network’s hit show Empire. While the show’s average cost for a :30 second spot was relatively flat only decreasing -3% from $551,561 to $536,074, the show saw a substantial increase in ADUs or make-goods, resulting in an overall decrease.

DIGITAL CONTINUES ITS 2017 FLATTENING
Single digit growth rate has recently become the norm for the Digital sector. In April, the Digital market grew just +3%, with much of that growth coming from the Telecommunications industry, which increased spend by +24% year-over-year. Financial Services and Food, Produce, and Dairy also increased spend for the month by +19% and +33%. But, the market was held back by a decrease of -24% from Automotive Vehicles and Dealerships, just like television, and -13% from Specialty Retailers.

Of note, Search saw +2% increase year-over-year, and Video and Social are keeping the genre afloat with +6% and +10% increases year-over-year. This too follows the trend we’ve seen throughout 2017, but we are beginning to see even the growth rates in Video and Social begin to slow more than they did in Q1.

“The digital market hasn’t rebounded from the viewability and safety concerns that came to the forefront late last year, and advertisers are yet to jump back in and show they are confident that these issues have been meaningfully addressed,” said Fennessy.

Industry Voices—Yap: Upfronts in a Big Data World

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

This article originally appeared on FierceCable

By Boon Yap

In the last six years, television networks have had to scramble to keep up with technology, new content distribution models and platforms, and changes in consumer behavior such as scheduling, viewing, time-shifting, viewer engagement, and the well-worn path to purchase. The rise of digital, social, cross-media measurement travails, data-driven targeting, automated buying, and a whole slew of changes have further contributed toward this existential turmoil.

The regimented, old-school applecart of television activation has been upset, though hard to discern, based on the continuation of the hallowed traditional Upfront week. The Upfronts are now preceded by a host of Newfronts led by a colorful, mind-boggling plethora of publishers and platforms (AOL, Conde Nast Entertainment, Refinery 27, Spectrum Reach, Google/YouTube, Hulu, PopSugar, and Vice, just to name a few).

As networks evolve, we can anticipate more advertising spend being allocated to creative media solutions in the form of unified-targeting deals and new measurement solutions such as C7, cross-media metrics, and results-based solutions. The flood of experimental digital activations which seem to materialize daily—the NFL on Amazon; skinny bundles via YouTube TV and Hulu’s Live TV; Snapchat’s network-produced, short-form video; and most critically, the nascent Facebook TV with its rumored two dozen television-style shows targeted natively and contextually—are going to start splitting the traditional TV ad spend even more than “traditional” digital did.

The old aphorism that “content is king” has never been more evident. At sufficient scale, these new delivery mechanisms could have profound implications for targeting, measurement, interactivity, and transactional metrics., US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV SectorUpfront 2016-2017 Primetime Share of Ad Spend by Category, By Network, By Day of Week (Standard Media Index)

These benchmarks would complement the legacy networks’ data-driven solutions. For example, NBCU has spent billions on its Audience Studio, a data-management platform and “one-stop-shop” TV and digital targeting solution. Not to be outdone, Accenture, Fox, Viacom and Turner have created the OpenAP consortium, helping advertisers devise and verify a standard definition of various consumer segments on TV, employing Turner’s taxonomy.

Similarly, cable networks will have to reinvent themselves due to viewership, distribution, and market pressures from skinny bundles and cord cutters. Niche cable networks will be increasingly vulnerable in the coming years. Cable networks like Cloo, Esquire, Pivot and Al Jazeera America have turned off their lights, or switched to alternative distribution models. Other cable nets are rebranding themselves or changing their focus, such as Oxygen, which is switching to a crime format, and Spike TV, which rebranded as Paramount.

It is not inconceivable that fewer cable networks may someday survive, as audiences migrate further online. We now live in an age in which audiences watch shows, not networks, and have been schooled in the art of instant gratification, courtesy of Netflix. Audiences Google for information and search for content; scheduled programming has become passé, save for less desirable (to advertisers), less tech-savvy audiences.

Despite an unexpectedly softer 2017 year-to-date scatter market, and the possible threat of a WGA strike, networks remain determinedly optimistic in their Upfront posturing.

Beyond the proliferation of data, we’re continuing to see some cyclical trends resurface, begging the question, are we actually changing as much as it seems?

  • Year-round original programming
  • The adoption of lighter, escapist fare such as ABC’s “Start-Up” and “Charlie Foxtrot”; CBS’s “Big Bang Theory” spinoff, “Sheldon”; NBC’s “SNL” alums’ “The Sackett Sisters” and “Great News”; and FOX’s “Orville”
  • The inevitable resurrection of old series (albeit with a new twist) like CW’s “Dynasty,” CBS’s “SWAT,” and ABC’s just-announced revival of “American Idol,” as well as TLC’s “Trading Spaces”

With so many questions surrounding entertainment programming, sports programming, with its preponderance of loyal, live-viewing male audiences, will continue to play an even more critical role. NBCU will be broadcasting both the 2018 Winter Olympics and Super Bowl LII. Fox has already announced its focus on sports, spotlighting The Big Ten Conference, World Series and FIFA Men’s World Cup. The FIFA World Cup will also be broadcast by Telemundo for the first time after wresting the rights away from longtime broadcaster Univision.

There will be several immutable truths this Upfront: Sellers will sell, buyers will buy, and limited transformational practices will be introduced, despite all the hyperbole. Change comes slowly in the television world, which is why understanding the past might be more fruitful than focusing on the “new.”

Boon Yap serves Standard Media Index (SMI) as its first-ever vice president of product and partnerships, responsible for creating strategic relationships with a focus on market research companies, and developing attribution products that help brands better direct their advertising expenditure. Yap has nearly 20 years of experience working within all sectors of media including data, digital, mobile, social, and TV. Prior to SMI, Yap served as director of partner success at TiVo Research, where he helped create and scale some of the larger data partnerships with companies like Oracle, LiveRamp, Cardlytics, The Trade Desk, and Quantcast. In his MPG and IPG agency days, Yap spearheaded ground-breaking and award-winning investment strategies for companies like Volkswagen, American Legacy, Orbitz, IAC brands, Fidelity Investments, Royal Caribbean, Olympus, Mass Mutual, and Wachovia Bank. He has also implemented SEO, digital, social, and web-architecture strategies for various entities.

Ad Spend on News Continues to Shine as Upfront Negotiations Start

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

This article originally appeared on MediaVillage.com

By James Fennessy

Cable news channel ad unit prices spiked up well into double-digit percentage territory during the first quarter in primetime. And while unit prices for Fox and CNN programs are higher than MSNBC results, the NBCUniversal channel far outpaced its rivals in percentage gains.

The booming news period coincided with a series of stories that have massive consequences, ranging from news about immigrant deportations to health care policy debates.

Cable news’ substantial gains came at a time when there were mixed results on the broadcast side. Two evening newscasts’ unit pricing moved slightly downwards while CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley rose sharply. On a brighter note, the broadcast networks garnered 13.5% more revenue from news programming across all dayparts, versus same time last year. And the three cable news networks were up 16% overall.

That’s in sharp contrast to cable and broadcast network performance across all genres and day parts. On average, networks roped in less than 1% in revenue gains for Q1 due to a combination of negative factors. Among them:

  • Auto advertising was down by 12.4% or approximately $143.6 million;
  • Revenue from sports programming was flat;
  • Entertainment programming was weak overall;
  • Scatter was down for almost every channel that isn’t focused on news or lifestyle programming.

At the start of the first quarter, Fox News was coming off an incredible high: for the first time in its history, it ranked as the most-watched cable network in full-year 2016 Nielsen results. That’s according to Deadline.com’s analysis of the key 25-54 demo for news programming. Q1 was also a time when the channel was feeling the effects of Roger Ailes’ exit and Megyn Kelly’s impending departure. (Bill O’Reilly’s troubles had not fully escalated yet.)

Megyn Kelly’s The Kelly File garnered the highest average unit price in Q1 among cable news primetime shows for her last week of shows in January. The series’ average, $13,200, during the first days of January was up 24.2% from the same period in 2016. Kelly’s 8 p.m. lead-in, The O’Reilly Factor, was just behind her, with a $13,000 unit price, nearly a 17% improvement.

Tucker Carlson Tonight, which took over The Kelly File’s 9 p.m. slot, garnered an average $12,000. (Carlson joined Fox News in November 2016, so there is no first-quarter 2016 comparison.)

With the growing strength of its evening lineup, MSNBC was on a roll. Average unit prices showed increases of:

  • 38.9% for All in with Chris Hayes ($3,600);
  • 38.2% for The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell ($3,400);
  • 32.6% for The Rachel Maddow Show ($4,300).

Other cable news evening increases include:

  • 29.2% for Fox’s Hannity ($10,600);
  • 19.6% for CNN Tonight with Don Lemon ($4,600);
  • 8% for CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 ($5,000).

Meanwhile, on the broadcast networks, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley was in third place when ranked according to unit pricing, but it drew much closer to the rates garnered by its two rivals.

Pelley’s 22% unit price gain, to $39,618, was in stark contrast to the unit downturn of the other shows. NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt was off by 2%, to $42,043. ABC World News Tonight with David Muir was down 7%, to $39,968.

There was a significant rise in revenue among several top-10 ranked ad sectors for both broadcast and cable evening news shows. For Primetime cable shows increases include:

  • 87%, health and fitness;
  • 43%, specialty retail;
  • 55%, insurance;
  • 23%, prescription pharmaceuticals;
  • 15%, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.

Data specific to the three big evening news casts on broadcast include:

  • 90.8%, auto aftermarket parts and services;
  • 78%, beauty, grooming and personal care;
  • 23.7%, medical equipment and facilities;
  • 22.3%, OTC pharmaceuticals;
  • 4.6% prescription pharmaceuticals.

It’s a good bet that the second quarter will bring continued good news to at least some evening news shows. The jury’s out on how Fox News will fair, now that Tucker Carlson has moved to Bill O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. slot. Ratings for Rachel Maddow, in particular, are surging.

But one constant we can count on: The riveted attention of TV viewers as the Republican-controlled national government continues to upend policies that deeply impact American lives.

What You Need to Know About the Advertising Market this Upfront Season

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

The 2017 Upfront Season is in full swing. Networks like Discovery, Scripps, A+E, and AMC are already making statements not only with program highlights, but with key data insights, and the role of audience measurement and targeting, as part of the Upfront buying process. Multi-platform is key as well, as it is important to not only understand linear TV, but how it interacts with an audience’s digital behavior.

The challenge for buyers and content owners alike is – how can you actually evaluate the market place? With broadcast ratings down, cable news ratings soaring, and sports flattening, how do you know where to focus your investment? It’s not the same market it used to be, and ratings alone doesn’t tell the whole story. The reality is, there isn’t enough accurate information in the market place around the Upfront and Scatter TV markets and, the intersection with digital. Understanding how the market behaves around certain events, and what the emerging trends are, is vital to better planning, and making more strategic decisions.

In this slightly abridged guide, SMI is shining a light on ad spend in the TV Upfront market, and filling in industry gaps to help you make the right decisions for this Upfront season. The SMI Guide to the Upfronts is full of real, actionable ad spend data, giving an unrivaled look at the advertising industry this Upfront season.

While this Guide is full of information – you probably noticed the word abridged. We can’t give it all away for free. So, if you like what you see – but need even more insights, get in touch to see what SMI can do for you.

Download the slight abridged SMI Guide to the Upfronts to learn:

  • What’s trending in National TV marketplace
  • How TV dollars are migrating to Digital
  • What Dgital advertising are spending across top platforms
  • How VOD market fits into TV and Digital
  • What the health of Upfront and Scatter markets are
  • Insights from last year’s Upfront season to heed this year
  • The top categories of advertisers to watch
  • Which regular programs, sporting and special events are pulling top dollars

National Advertising Market Sees Incremental Q1 2017 Growth

Standard Media Index (SMI), the company bringing accuracy and transparency to advertising data, today unveiled updated figures for Q1 2017. The total market closed the quarter up +2.8% compared to Q1 2016. While the market is continuing to see an increase in overall dollars, the growth rate has slowed across all mediums seeing the lowest Q1 growth rate since 2011!

NATIONAL TV REGISTERS MINOR INCREASE IN REVENUE, NO THANKS TO THE AUTO INDUSTRY

Overall, the national television market in Q1 2017 saw a slight increase in advertising spend at +0.9% year-over-year. While any growth is positive, for a quarter with some of the biggest advertising events of the year like the Super Bowl and Hollywood Award Season, the industry was hoping for a larger uptick. The auto industry, however, was the biggest catalyst to a lackluster quarter as it decreased spend in Q1 by -12.4% or approximately $143.6M. The consumer electronics industry also removed a whopping $73.1M, followed by the entertainment industry’s removal of $69M. QSR, Prescription and Insurance advertisers did help make up some of the difference with +12.8%, +17.1% and +10.0% increases in spend respectively.

The Broadcast industry grew slightly with a +2.4% increase year-over-year with much of that coming from the three categories mentioned above, and an increased interest in news programming which saw +13.5% more advertising spend than in Q1 2016. The Cable industry, on the other hand, was relatively flat year-over-year with just -0.7% change in spend. The market also saw a -2.5% decrease to Scatter buys, much of which is coming from Cable, which closed the quarter with a double-digit decline.

SPORTS ARE STILL IMPORTANT, BUT GROWTH IS FLATTENING

There is no question that sports programming will continue to be a huge driver for advertising dollars across TV. But, just like the advertising industry overall, the genre did see a slight flattening in Q1 2017 with just +2.7% increase across both cable and broadcast. This change comes after a strong 2016, especially Q1 2016 which saw +13% compared to Q1 2015.

SUCCESS OF ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMMING REMAINS IN QUESTION

Looking at Broadcast and Cable Entertainment, both were relatively flat with small decreases of -0.3% and -1.1% respectively across all dayparts. Digging into Broadcast Entertainment in the Primetime daypart across the top four networks (CBS, NBC, FOX and ABC), we see a decline of -1.5%.

NBC continues to see the biggest gains in Broadcast Entertainment Primetime with +13.2% compared to Q1 2016 and saw its average :30 second spot across the daypart go up +4.5% to $109,650 for new shows. These increases can be attributed to breakout drama This Is Us, and increases around Chicago Fire, P.D., and Med. FOX (-7.7%), CBS (-4.2%) and ABC (-5.0%) all saw overall revenue declines.

Even with an overall loss, FOX saw success with Empire, which brought in the highest average :30 second spot for a scripted show in the quarter at approximately $576,500, which is +4.8% more than in Q1 2016. The Walking Dead received the second highest average :30 second spot price for a scripted show with $352,800, though that was down -14.9% from the average price in Q1 2016.

For Cable, lifestyle networks are still enjoying great success. Scripps’ HGTV and Food Network saw double digit increases of spend of +17.9% and +10.3% respectively. For HGTV, the show Fixer Upper led its Q1 lineup, with +38.2% more revenue from ads YoY. Discovery Channel and the Travel Channel also saw double digit increases with +10% and +16.5% respectively.

QSR Advertising Starts Strong as Competition Heats Up in 2017

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

2017 is shaping up to be highly competitive as QSR (quick service restaurant) companies become laser focused on the consumer path to purchase. As each QSR looks to differentiate and communicate menu, venue and delivery options to a diverse array of consumer targets, SMI reveals that media may be the big winner as advertising spend was up +16% for the first two months of the year, compared to the same period in 2016.

2016 marked the year that QSRs ran wild with healthier choices, faster delivery, greater convenience and product diversification. The industry also started facing increased competition from the casual dining segment as it began to target millennials with “fast-casual” dining.

Sensing this increased competition, and in a move to fortify and diversify its customer base, McDonald’s kicked off the year with bold marketing activity focused on the Big Mac, $1.00 coffee and a limited edition Big Mac special sauce give-away. By bolstering its core franchise of Big Mac loyalists and attracting new customers through the $1.00 coffee promotion, it appears that McDonald’s may be resetting milestones for competitors as the industry transforms. The company also recently announced it will switch to fresh beef in its quarter pounders in an attempt to lure customers who are looking for more pure offerings. It The announcement comes with a large ad campaign, which we’ll be watching in the coming months.

The big uptick in QSR ad spend in January and February 2017 highlights the reality that 2017 is a big one for the industry and presents a challenge for some media types to demonstrate relevancy and share of the media mix. In January specifically, out-of-home topped the charts with +137.9% growth among QSR advertisers, demonstrating that its technological transformation has influenced decisions made “on the go.” February had a much more modest +4% increase, but compared to the industry’s overall -10.6% decline on OOH spend in February, it’s clear how important the medium is to the QSR industry. Newspaper spend was also up dramatically.

This increase supports that location and contextual relevance matter: Think newspapers and coffee in the morning! National television followed with a healthy +24.3% increase in spend followed by digital at +15.6%.

While it’s interesting to see how QSR is taking advantage of the full media mix to reach their audience with these increases in OOH and newspaper, we also wanted to take a deep dive into the role of television in the mix for the QSR industry, as it still accounts for the biggest spend by volume. We specifically dove into Domino’s and Subway as samples of the industry at large.

We selected Subway to see how its rebrand, which kicked off during the Summer Olympics on NBC, was being supported and if the company was staying on mission to transition media from TV to digital. It’s also an outlier within the QSR industry, so we wanted to compare it to the rest.

Domino’s, on the other hand, is a good example of what much of the industry is doing — it’s following the path of most QSR companies, while representing the highly competitive pizza category. Domino’s commitment to technology, including emojis on Twitter and a partnership with Google Home announced late last year, has helped to set this pizza chain apart from the competition.

TV CLOSE-UP

While we reported earlier that national TV spend was up for the industry, our findings also reveal that cable TV was +32.5% for the QSR industry at large. While Domino’s was up in both cable and broadcast, more than half of its TV budget went to cable with +57.6% of total national TV spend in the first two months of the year. While Domino’s spent the majority of its money on entertainment shows (57.1%), it increased its spend on sports programming by +39.4%. Much of that additional spend went to the NFL on CBS and Fox. Subway was down year-over-year in both media types, which suggests that it’s transition to digital is well underway.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Next, we looked at spend by program genre and saw that spend was up across the QSR sector in sports, entertainment and news programming. Domino’s mirrored the industry with an increased presence in all categories, year-over-year, while Subway only increased spend on news programming.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

With many marketers recognizing the need for more diverse advertising, we looked to see whether QSR spend on television was targeting ethnic, cultural and/or multi-cultural audiences. We looked specifically at Univision, BET, Telemundo, Galavision, ESPN Deportes, Estrella TV and UniMas. We found that spend was up +13.7% year-over-year for the QSR category across those identified networks and that Domino’s delivered a +26.9% increase year-over-year across the same set. Subway also saw a sizable increase of +30.1%, with most of that increase coming in February, around entertainment programming on Univision and Telemundo.

While television continues to play an important role in QSR advertising year-to-date, it will be interesting to see whether this commitment continues throughout the year. If Subway continues to stay on mission to shift focus and dollars to mobile and loyalty programs we would expect to see a continued deceleration in its television spend. On the other hand, Domino’s commitment to cutting edge technological advancements and speed of delivery is a message best delivered by television to the masses.

February Shows First Signs of Slowing Ad Market in Recent Months

Standard Media Index (SMI), the company bringing transparency to advertising data, today unveiled updated figures for February 2017. SMI total market closed the month flat with no change on a year-on-year basis. The market also registered the lowest growth rate to digital advertising spend since it started monitoring ad expenditures in 2009. While growth rates across the board in February 2017 were low, it must also be noted that February 2016 was a leap year, giving the month one extra day, or approximately 3.5 percent more time, to accumulate spend over that of February 2017.

2017 IS SHAPING UP TO BE DIGITAL’S TOUGHEST YEAR YET

For the first two months of 2017, digital has seen growth rates usually akin to television, or other traditional ad platforms. In February 2017, spend on all digital platforms rose just +3.7 percent. Pure-play video and pure-play social platforms continue to be digital’s engine growing +26.6 percent and + 9.9 percent respectively. digital – print platforms also saw a small rise with +3.8 percent growth. Nearly all other digital platform sub types saw declines, contributing to the slower overall growth rate.

Google remained essentially flat seeing little growth from the same month in 2016. Facebook didn’t seem affected by the loss of a day, with a remarkable double digit growth of +23.1 percent on the year. Snapchat, who has seen an extensive uptick in last six months, continued that trend with +194.0 percent growth in February 2017.

NATIONAL TELEVISION SEES LOW KEY FEBRUARY

Overall, the February 2017 national television market was flat, with a +0.4 percent increase, showing the first sign of slowing down in recent months, mirroring the overall market. The cable industry grew slightly with a +1.4 percent increase year-over-year. The broadcast industry saw a decrease of -0.6 percent, thanks to hefty spend declines from big category spenders like Automotive, -11.6 percent, and Pharma Prescription -10 percent.

When you look at just sports programming, the National TV market grew +4.8 percent. Cable saw a bulk of the growth with +19.0 percent while broadcast saw a decline of -1.9 percent.

Looking at other individual program genres, we see broadcast entertainment decreased -6.4% across all dayparts, while spend on broadcast news increased +15.1%. When highlighting just the top four networks (NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX) in broadcast entertainment prime time the market fell -2.3 percent. NBC saw the biggest increase with +11.3 percent on the year thanks to its breakout hit This Is Us. The show garnered the highest average :30 second unit price for any hour-long drama on broadcast television in February. CBS’s The Big Bang Theory took the prize in comedy with an average spot going for $248,077, though that’s around -10 percent less than its price in February 2016.

Taking a step back, of the big four broadcast networks across all dayparts and genres, FOX increased +341 percent thanks to the Super Bowl, while CBS lost some share -57.6 percent after airing the Super Bowl in 2016. NBC grew across all dayparts, while ABC continues to see a decline in ad revenue, with -11.1% YoY.

Within cable, news had its lowest increase since the election to +7.0 percent and entertainment saw just +2.4 percent. Interestingly when you look at just prime time cable news you see +30.9 percent, showing that the interest is still very high, advertisers are just getting more targeted with their dollars.

Drilling further into cable networks, we see Turner’s TNT and TBS both saw increases in spend with +11.3 percent and +2.0 percent, respectively. USA Network saw a -16.5 percent decline while HGTV continued to see steady growth with +5.5 percent. Viacom’s MTV and Comedy Central declined by double digits after a few months of growth.

“After explosive digital growth over the past three years, the past six months have shown that a sizeable number of brands went too far and have started reassessing based on quality issues and falling sales. We expect this trend to accelerate in the coming months as the issues with YouTube are certain to have an impact on spend on non-premium platforms.” Said James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index. “Our February data reinforces the need for advertisers to properly balance between traditional and digital and the importance we see brands putting on safety, environment and context.”

RADIO, PRINT, OUT-OF-HOME AND NEWSPAPER ALL SEE DOUBLE DIGITAL DECLINES

Beyond TV and digital, the advertising market did not fair wall in February 2017. After a strong increase in January 2017, the industry saw a -10.6 percent decline in spend on the medium. Similarly, magazines saw -12.0 percent, Newspapers saw -15.0 percent and radio so a -31.3 percent.

New Data Shows Excessive Increase in Digital Ad Spend Negatively Influence Sales

Mar 17, 2017

New Data Shows Excessive Increase in Digital Ad Spend Negatively Influence Sales

Standard Media Index (SMI), the company bringing transparency to advertising data, in conjunction with Bill Harvey Consulting, will release new data showing the effects an unbalanced TV and digital advertising media mix has on sales. The new study, which in part was originally commissioned by Turner Broadcasting, will be presented at ARF’s Re!Think conference on March 21, 2017.

A continuation of the research SMI and Harvey conducted in June 2016 looking at sales in relation to TV advertising, the study, which uses major Auto, QSR and CPG brands as its subjects, goes a step further to confirm not only does increased TV advertising support sales, but thttps://standardmediaindex.com/insights/sales-grow-faster-for-advertisers-upping-tv-spendhere is an optimal media mix between television and digital that ensures better sales. As it becomes even clearer that TV provides reach and transparency, it’s vital to best understand the premier media mix for brands to reach their audiences.

This new data, which looks at shifts in advertising spend from 23 brands across Auto, QSR and CPG, from 2014 – 2016, comes at a time when industry pundits are beginning to question the effects of digital advertising and brands like P&G are beginning to question their shift away from more traditional media. P&G’s move is supported by the SMI/Harvey study which shows the most successful advertising methods for the CPG brands studied were Broadcast prime time TV, all other TV and pure-play Digital Video.

In addition to releasing results of this new research, SMI will also preview the next generation of advertising effectiveness studies which will add household footprint data, and consumer action data to the mix, creating clear and actionable findings for brands to best target consumers across media types. Unlike many ROI studies in the market, this will be the industry’s first syndicated ROI series where a brand can compare itself to competitors by media type.

To hear the full findings from the SMI/Harvey report, and get a first look at the partnership’s next study, please join their presentation at the ARF Re!Think Conference in New York.

What: ARF Re!Think Conference, Tracking TV & Digital ROI Using Single-Source Methodology

When: 2:50 – 3:20 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Where: New York Hilton Midtown, Americas II, 4th Floor

Who: James Fennessy, CEO of SMI; Bill Harvey, Executive Chairman, Bill Harvey Consulting

The Numbers are In: SMI’s Ad Spend Trends to Watch

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

This article originally appeared on MediaVillage.com

By James Fennessy

If we’ve learned anything during the past year, it’s that prognosticators can be wrong. I’m not disputing that Digital ad spend will surpass traditional television this year; rather, I am cautioning that based on SMI January 2017 results YoY the race may be closer than anyone anticipates.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Non-National Television includes Spot TV, Syndicated TV and MSO Local.

Our January 2017 findings include a growth rate of +5% year-over-year in U.S. media spend. This uptick is significant as it occurred in a historically slow month during a non-election, non-Olympic year marked by economic and political uncertainty.

Intrigued by this development, we have highlighted five trends to watch.

  1. Digital ad spend continues to experience single digit to low double digit growth.
  2. Linear TV remains a powerful and reliable driver of ROI.
  3. The Trump Effect on TV assumes many shapes and forms.
  4. Increased competition for Sports ad dollars.
  5. Out-of-Home (a transformed industry) becomes highly relevant.

DIGITAL GROWTH CONTINUES AT A CAUTIOUS PACE

No one can argue that Digital and mobile are central to the consumer journey and are key drivers of the marketing arsenal. With that said, it is also clear that the days of steady 15%-20% revenue growth for Digital as an industry are gone (for now). Even Facebook and Google have been adversely impacted by the broader industry issues. Despite a +37% YoY revenue growth rate for Facebook and +10% YoY revenue growth rate for Google; when looking at top 11 media companies by volume of spend, Google’s share was down -2 percentage points and Facebook share was down -1 percentage point, according to our data.

In 2017, we expect marketers to look closely at digital attribution and spend as the industry works to solve its widely-publicized issues including unreliable metrics, ad blocking, viewability, etc.

TRADITIONAL TV DELIVERS RELIABLE ROI

With the interplay between CMO’s and COO’s more frequent and intense than ever, ROI and ROAS (return on ad spend) data become the indisputable holy grail. With attribution, optimization and data intelligence taking center stage, TV – linear television in particular, provides verifiable results to marketers and their agencies.

As you can see from the chart below, eight of the ten top national television advertisers (by volume) showed year-over-year growth in ad spend. The rationale for this shift back to television varies by category – but, in a culture that encourages innovation these smart marketers are seeing through data intelligence and ROI metrics that the medium works.

TOP 10 NATIONAL TV SPENDERS BY AD VOLUME

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

THE TRUMP EFFECT ON TV

In January, we saw that the Trump Effect continued to positively impact ad spend across cable and broadcast news, +10.3% year-over-year. With the increase in revenue, it is not surprising that the average unit cost is up significantly across all dayparts, especially in cable – FOX is +48%, CNN is +28.8% and MSNBC is +50.1%

The Trump Effect on late night is being dubbed by some as the Golden Age of Late Night as it is an area where his attacks on the media are actually beneficial. On broadcast, CBS is seeing Late Night with Stephen Colbert grow in ratings and NBC is seeing big payoffs for Saturday Night Live. Unit costs for the show have skyrocketed with a :30 second spot on January 14th Felicity Jones sketches averaging $111,045, which is up +86% versus year-ago.

INCREASED COMPETITION FOR SPORTS SPEND

Sports programming, particularly live sports programming, is the one reliable genre that keeps feeding linear TV (both cable +11.1% and broadcast +6.3% total day year-over-year). The question is, with so many new ways to consume sports content including mobile, tablets, OTT, social media, and VR/360i premium video, networks must be vigilant to deliver quality, priced programming coupled with a marketing strategy that makes it “must see.”

Television networks are up to the challenge and are fortifying their current home field advantage in the sports arena to preserve the continued value of linear television.

OOH TRANSFORMATION

Out-of-Home has transformed brilliantly through technological innovation, mobile convergence and the adoption of digital billboards. The change is so dramatic that advertisers are once again considering the medium a strong buy for certain categories of advertisers. While OOH was +9.7% year-over-year, this growth was fueled by a 43% increase in spend from telecom and triple digit growth from QSRs, consumer electronic companies and automotive brands. This is a trend to watch as the media type is up for three straight quarters. Out-of-Home embodies many of the benefits associated with digital – but, with maximum size and impact. With BIA Kelsey predicting the growing importance of local in an on-demand economy – there is definitely a place for OOH.

TV and OOH Take Dollars from Digital in First Month of 2017

Standard Media Index (SMI), the company providing the only complete and clear picture of real advertising cost and spend, today unveiled updated figures for January 2017. SMI total market closed January 2017 with +5 percent increase on a year-on-year basis. Spend for the month was the highest volume of spend recorded for a January since SMI started tracking spend in 2009, highlighting that the ad market continues to be quite healthy.

DIGITAL AD SPEND CONTINUES TO SEE GROWTH SLOW

For the second month in a row, advertising spend on digital platforms only saw single digit growth compared to the same time period in 2016. The +6.3 percent increase is in stark comparison to the 15-20 percent growth rates the industry had become accustomed to at the beginning of 2016. SMI began seeing this trend toward the end of last year, and based on January spend, it’s clear that the industry is in the middle of another shift – this time back to more traditional advertising.

OUT-OF-HOME TRANSFORMATION DRIVES UP REVENUE

Digital’s slower than expected growth is compounded by a resurgence in out-of-home advertising which saw +9.7 percent growth in January 2017 fueled by +43 percent growth from telecommunication companies and triple digit growth in spend from consumer electronics and quick serve restaurants. Much of January’s overall increase can be attributed to Billboards which grew +29 percent in the month. This growth in OOH follows three straight quarters of growth in 2016, and +115 percent increase in spend from automotive companies on the year.

TELEVISION IS FAR FROM DEAD

Overall, the January 2017 television market saw a +5.7 percent increase – continuing the upward trend SMI saw in 2016. Cable accounted for a bulk of the increase with +8.2 percent year-over-year in January while Broadcast saw +2.8 percent increase on the year. When you exclude sports programming, Broadcast TV remained flat with just +0.2 percent growth on the year but Cable remains strong with +7.5 percent increase thanks to an increase in spend on entertainment and news programming, +5.9 percent and +16.8 percent, respectively.

Conversely, when you break out just sports programming Broadcast increased spend by +6.3 percent and Cable grew by +11.1 percent. Again, highlighting that sports programming, and especially live sports, is what is fueling TV industry growth. Unsurprisingly, on its own, entertainment programming declined by -1.6 percent in broadcast and only grew +2.9 percent overall in National Television market.

“SMI’s latest data reflects the fact that leading marketers, including Coke and P&G, have firmly come to the conclusion that linear TV is still the powerhouse of ROI. A lot of digital experimentation last year didn’t deliver the expected results and advertisers are flooding back to tried and trusted mediums, and that includes Out of Home which is going through a real renaissance,” says James Fennessy, CEO of SMI. “Digital’s growth continues to slow and when removing Google and Facebook from the equation we see the sector delivering an anemic growth rate of just 2 percent. The NFL was the savior for Broadcast with the new president continuing to deliver big time for the cable news networks.”

Another Win for Sports; Can Entertainment Stage a Comeback?

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

This article originally appeared on MediaVillage.com

By James Fennessy

While 2016 was an anomaly as an Olympic and Election year, there is an undercurrent in the marketplace that ad spend in 2017 may be uncertain in a different way with the new, somewhat unpredictable administration in town. For example, it is possible that ad spend by organizations and associations will continue to grow as “campaigning” may continue even further past the election and pharmaceutical spend may also rise as President Trump has an open relationship with DTC. The political climate aside, with the digital advertising industry fighting concerns ROI is reaching an inflection point it is possible that advertisers will return to television en force, shaking up ad spend even further.

Regardless of what’s happening in any given year, we all know that sports television has been the reliable programming driver of viewership, distribution and ad revenue. However, some programmers and media pundits expressed concern that with cord cutting, skinny bundles, increased OTT content and oversaturation of some sports programming in the marketplace, sports might not remain the force that it once was.

I have good news for those involved with sports television: While viewership and ratings were soft at times, when it comes to driving revenue sports remained king in 2016, handily topping entertainment programming. However, two questions remain: How long will the sports dynasty thrive, and can entertainment make a comeback?

Our 2016 SMI AccuTV report shows that sports continued to dominate the television playing field with a +13.8% YoY increase in ad spend. Despite the proliferation of entertainment content, broadcast entertainment primetime spend was down -5.4% and cable entertainment spend was flat across all dayparts YoY.

As I’ve highlighted previously, NBC was the big beneficiary of sports dominance as it saw total ad revenue grow +20% for the year which included the Olympics and the addition of Thursday Night Football to its schedule.

Now let’s take a look at advertiser categories that doubled down on sports. As you’ll see below, the top 10 spending categories by volume all increased their sports buys.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

In contrast, only two of the top 10 categories by volume increased their commitment to primetime broadcast television and the others were down in terms of ad volume and % change, highlighting the fact that this important revenue flow from big advertisers is steadily shrinking.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Cable entertainment fared slightly better across all dayparts, though it was also handily outperformed by sports.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

This is a lot to digest, and especially troubling for those networks heavily reliant on advertising in entertainment programming. Not to mention, 2017 is projected to be the year digital overtakes broadcast TV in ad spend volume.

We saw the tide begin to turn in Q4 with more dollars going to broadcast television. With the return of big franchises to broadcast such as Scandal, 24: Legacy, NCIS and Empire, and the return to cable of The Americans, Fargo and Suits, it is possible that destination, entertainment programming on TV will stage a comeback. I know I’ll be watching.

No Big Bump-Up from Olympic, Election Total Spending in 2016 v. 2015

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

This article originally appeared on MediaVillage.com

By James Fennessy

An advertising adrenaline rush from election and Olympic spending wasn’t enough to pull 2016 ad spend growth rates above what was experienced the year before — but it should be noted that 2015 was an exceptional year for spending. At the same time, the media sector that’s been wowing us for years with its ad spend growth — digital — is facing some challenges that are likely to continue through 2017.

These are some of the more striking conclusions I came to as I looked at our full 2016 review.A mile-high view of last year shows that on average, advertising revenue across all media categories grew by 6.8%, which might seem like a decent rate of growth at first blush. But the figure is about 1% less than the growth percentage for 2015, (7.6%), a year that logically should have been much weaker than 2016. After all, last year we had two huge booster rockets: the Olympics and elections, and 2015 had neither.

Digital was certainly a contributing factor to the results. The sector’s ad revenue increased 13.3% last year. That’s about half of its average growth in 2014 and 2015: 26.2%.

The online sector is, of course, maturing. There’s no getting around that. But a couple of other factors in that space bear watching: Facebook’s recent data difficulties and a migration of dollars to TV, which in some instances come at the expense to digital.

Facebook ran into problems last year when it overestimated average video viewing, and other data discrepancies were unearthed as well. While there’s no indication that clients are turning their back on Facebook, or that the site’s ad rates have been affected, it’s fair to say that clients are watching it more closely and its rate of growth may be further challenged.

Facebook’s growth rate experienced a decline in 2016. It was 83% last year, and 114% in 2015. But its market power is obviously still enormous. When the social media giant and its ad rival Google are excluded from the digital results, the entire sector’s rate of growth drops from 13.3% to 8.7%.

They aren’t the only digital players to watch. For example, advertiser darling Snapchat rocketed up 356% in 2016.

As digital growth has slowed some advertisers are increasing their investment in TV – sometimes at the expense of online. That is a trend I’ve noted in earlier blog posts. These three examples of rising TV spend were striking in the most recent SMI data:

  • Target increased its TV spend by 12% last year, after having reduced it by 20% the year before.
  • Paramount’s TV expenditures made a very sizable uptick, 24% in 2016, versus a dip of 3.8% in 2015.
  • Progressive Insurance’s TV spend lofted 6.2% last year, more than making up for a decline of 5.5% in the year before.

However, TV is facing challenges in other areas. Backing out ad spend on sports programming shows that the networks’ growth was weak: up 1.4% over 2015. Breaking that figure down further: the big four broadcast networks’ spend declined 2.4%, and cable networks increased 3.9% for non-sports programming.

Factoring in sports to the overall picture, TV grew 4.4%, with broadcast up 4.6% and cable up 4.0%. Consider that:

  • News popped 14.1%, due in large part to the elections.
  • Sports increased 16%, pumped up by the Olympics.
  • Entertainment lost 1.8%.

It’s little wonder that NBC showed the strongest growth among the broadcast networks: up 20%. It was home to the Olympics and enjoyed an increase in the number of National Football League games.

The only other broadcast network that showed ad revenue gains was CBS, up 3.2%. ABC was off 2.2%, and Fox fell 4.6%.

The big cable general entertainment channels were lackluster last year. TBS was up a mere 1%, while its sister service TNT dipped 1%, and USA declined 2.8.

Politics definitely had its impact on the year, both for advertisers attracted to it, and those that wanted to escape it by investing in lifestyle programming. Consider that:

  • CNN climbed 57.8%.
  • Fox News rose 25.7%.
  • HGTV hiked up 13.8%.
  • Bravo was boosted 14%.
  • Food Network heated up 4.9%.

I have to wonder if the uncertainties of a dramatically different U.S. President will have a spillover effect on the news and lifestyle channels moving forward. What’s more, can digital find ways to increase advertiser demand? And will more clients decide they’ve gone overboard with online and return to TV?

Those are the trends I will certainly be keeping an eye as more SMI data emerges in the months to come.

SMI 2016 Ad Spend Summary

Standard Media Index (SMI), the only company providing a complete and clear picture of real advertising cost and spend, today unveiled ad spend and cost results for December 2016, Q4 2016 and the full 2016 calendar year. SMI total market closed December 2016 with +0.7 percent YoY increase, +4.3 percent YoY for Q4 2016 and +6.8 percent for 2016 over 2015. While the total ad market continues to grow, the rate of growth has slowed slightly (-0.8 percent) despite the fact that 2016 was an Olympic and Election year.

DIGITAL – 2016 IN REVIEW

Over the past four years (2012 – 2015), Digital has seen a compound annual growth rate of 19 percent. When you look at the growth rate from 2014 – 2015, that number skyrockets to 26.2 percent. By contrast, the year-over-year growth rate for Digital in 2016 was only +13.3 percent(down almost 50 percent vs. prior year). This slowdown was evident throughout 2016 with Q4 seeing a +7.1 percent single digit digital growth YoY. This trend was most apparent in Retail and Telecommunication Companies cutting spend by mid-single figures.

“Brands today are marketing in a digital world and we have seen the rapid growth in the sector in the past several years. With that being said, the trajectory of digital spend has recently hit a major speed bump as brands question the efficacy of the medium,” said James Fennessy, CEO of SMI. “The big story we saw in Q4 was a recommitment to television for a number of big categories of advertisers. Retail, Telco’s and Consumer Electronics have not seen the outcomes they expected from digital and have moved back to the medium they have trusted for decades. Retailers, in particular flooded back to TV over the holiday period after moving way too much to digital in 2015.”

When you remove Facebook and Google spend from the rest of Digital, the sector’s growth drops to +8.7 percent, illustrating the dominance that the two tech giants maintain over the ad industry, particularly in mobile. Facebook continues to perform well above the growth rate of digital, jumping +83 percent for the year. The other shining star for 2016 was Snapchat. The messaging app saw +356 percent growth from 2015 – 2016, and received more than double the ad spend by volume as Pinterest.

While some brands have slowed digital expenditures, the only two categories to decrease digital spend for the year were Telecommunications at -2.4 percent and Department Stores at -3.5 percent. Consumer Electronics was not far behind with +0.6 percent growth. These categories dialed back spend after a very significant shift into digital in 2015. If you look at just Q4 the categories decreased digital spending by -23.4 percent and -7.8 percent respectively.

Motion Picture companies, on the other hand, have been steadily moving spend toward digital due, in part, to the realization that the consumer movie going journey now starts and ends on the digital platform. Looking at the compound annual growth rate since 2012 Movie Studios have allocated +33.6 percent more spend to digital. When isolating just 2016 you hit a high +40 percent compared to 2015. Other top digital growth categories for the year include Food, Produce and Dairy which increased digital spend by +36.5 percent, Alcoholic Beverages grew by +33 percent and Prescriptions grew by +26.7 percent in 2016.

TELEVISION – 2016 IN REVIEW

Overall, the 2016 television market saw a +4.4 percent increase in spend. Both Broadcast and Cable saw similar increases delivering +4.6 percent and +4.0 percent growth, respectively. When you exclude sports, however, the story changes. Without live sports, the overall television market only grew +1.4 percent, Cable grew +3.9 percent and Broadcast declined -2.4 percent compared to the same period in 2015. Entertainment was the only genre to see revenue fall, dropping -1.8 percent while sports grew +16 percent, due to the Olympics, with news growing +14.1 percent, thanks to the elections.

By network, NBC saw +20 percent growth for the year, benefiting from the election news cycle, the 2016 Olympics and an increased number of NFL games broadcasted. CBS grew by +3.2 percent, ABC declined by -2.2 percent and FOX fell by -4.6 percent. Univision also declined by -3.4 percent.

Looking at the top cable networks by revenue for the year – ESPN declined -2.9 percent (despite the sports boom on Broadcast), TBS grew by +1 percent, TNT fell -1 percent, USA Network also declined -2.8 percent. Cable News channels CNN and FOX News saw huge increases – +57.8 percent and +25.7 percent respectively, due to the election, and continued interest in US politics that followed. Lifestyle channels HGTV, Bravo and Food Network showed that there were some real bright spots in cable as many viewers looked to escape the election coverage. Respectively they grew +13.8 respectively, +14 respectively and +4.9 respectively.

As digital growth slows, some larger brands are putting money back into TV. For example, in 2015 Paramount Pictures decreased their TV spend by -3.8 percent they reversed this strategy in 2016 by increasing spend on TV by +24 percent. Similarly, Target reduced TV spend by -20 percent in 2015 but increased spend by +12 percent in 2016 and Progressive Insurance went from -5.5 percent on TV spend in 2015 to +6.2 percent in 2016.

TELEVISION – DECEMBER AND Q4

In December 2016, the overall TV market was up +5.5 percent YoY. Broadcast spend was mostly flat at +1 percent while Cable grew +9 percent YoY.

The four major broadcast networks saw mixed reviews in December – NBC saw +16.6 percent growth, due in part to new Thursday Night Football programming. CBS saw a -11.3 percent decline in ad spend, mainly due to showing one less NFL game than in December 2015. FOX grew slightly with +1.3 percent increase, and ABC saw a decline of -13.4 percent with losses in the coveted primetime entertainment category with the programming change of Scandal.

Looking at Q4 Television tells a slightly different story, the television market saw just +2.4 percent growth with Broadcast down -2.2 percent and Cable up +7.4 percent. The major broadcast networks again had mixed results with NBC up +7.3 percent, CBS down -12.4 percent, FOX up +2.9 percent and ABC down -9.6 percent.

NFL – 2016 REGULAR SEASON IN REVIEW

December 2016 brought the end to most of the NFL’s regular season games and an opportunity to reflect on how it fared with ad dollars. Overall, the average unit cost of a regular season: 30 second spot across all networks increased +6 percent over the 2015 season from $471,017 to $499,095. NBC’s Sunday Night Football led the pack with highest average cost per: 30 second spot at $614,972, a +6 percent increase in unit cost over 2015. Of the three broadcast networks to air NFL games, CBS’ Sunday afternoon games brought the lowest price tag at $406,405, but still saw an increase of +4 percent over the average unit cost in 2015. When you combine spend for all networks that aired NFL games (except NFL Network) overall revenue was up +1 percent.

“Looking further into 2017, our new AccuTV product will enable us to report the most precise ad spend picture of the National TV marketplace. We are now highlighting trends, pricing and benchmarking in near real-time, in one place, “Fennessy continued. “Stay tuned as we roll-out first-to-market insights around ROI as we partner with a leading set top box provider as well as market research companies in half a dozen verticals. We will also shortly be providing forward booking data enabling media owners, agencies, brands and the finance community to build accurate forecasts that can drive actions to increase sales, improve efficiencies and deliver improved ROI.”

MAGAZINES, RADIO, NEWSPAPER AND OOH:

For Q4, Magazines (-7.2 percent), Newspapers (-19.9 percent) and Radio (-1.0 percent) all lost revenue compared to Q4 2015, while OOH saw a tremendous +8.9 percent increase for the quarter. A +16 percent increase in spend on Billboards is the bulk of OOH’s increase, this is compared to a -1 percent decrease in Q4 2015. A significant portion of the increase can be attributed to spend around local and national elections.

Looking at 2016 in total, Magazines (-9.1 percent), Newspapers (-13.9 percent) and Radio (-0.5 percent) saw overall declines but OOH grew with a +6.9 percent increase in spend.

Football Continues To Control Television Market Volatility, Low Ratings Finally Catch Up With the NFL

New York, 20th Dec 2016 – Standard Media Index (SMI), the company providing the only complete and clear picture of real advertising cost and spend, today unveiled updated figures for November 2016. SMI total market closed November 2016 with -1% decrease on a year-on-year basis, driven by a decrease in the number of Football games, and an extremely strong November 2015. When compared to November 2014, the SMI total market for November 2016 was up +21%.

NOVEMBER – FOOTBALL

The 2016 NFL season has been rocky to say the least, and November was no exception. This is the first time we’re seeing the effects of the low ratings start to actually hit the bottom line with decreases in revenue, which had still been increasing in September and October 2016.

Overall, November 2016 saw 4 less football games than November 2015, which immediately brings gross spend for the month down. What’s more prominent, however, is the increase in ADUs, or makegoods they’re starting to pay back to advertisers who have not been receiving guaranteed impressions thanks to low ratings:

  • NBC lost -17% in football revenue YoY. The network was the only one who had the same number of games (6) in both 2016 and 2015 and saw a +10% increase in average unit cost for the month to $720,949. It’s the 20% of inventory given as ADUs, which helped with the decline. That’s compared to just 5.2% in November 2015.
  • CBS did see one less game in November 2016 (8) compared in November 2015 (9) – but its loss in revenue, -26% is also due to an increase in ADUs – nearly 20% of inventory in November 2016 compared to 11% in November 2015. The network also had a slight decline, -1% in average unit cost YoY.
  • While FOX saw the largest overall decline, a -34% decrease in gross spend, this is mostly due to the number of game as the network had three more games in November 2015 (9) than in November 2015 (6). FOX’s average unit cost for the month rose nearly +21% to $642,559, with the percentage of given ADUs growing more moderately, from 20% to 25%
  • Across all three major networks with NFL games, on average, a 30-second spot would have cost $590,060. This does include Thanksgiving games, which would have cost you about a million dollars – $1,096,295 (FOX), $942,391 (NBC), and $860,095 (CBS).

NOVEMBER – TELEVISION

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

In November 2016, the overall TV market was down -2.4% YoY. Broadcast spend declined -10.6%while Cable grew +6.3% YoY. However, when you exclude Football the national TV market is up +5.3%, highlighting how much the national pastime and live sports influences the TV industry. Similarly to the overall market, if you compare the November 2016 TV market to November 2014, you see a +8.4% two-year growth, even broadcast is up +5.2% for the two-year period. The extremely high spend from 2015 gives an unfair picture of how the November 2016 television market did.

NOVEMBER TELEVISION – BROADCAST IN DEPTH

All four major broadcast networks saw a YoY decline for November 2016 – CBS is down.

-18%, NBC is down -5.8%, FOX is down -14.5% and ABC is down -7.6%. FOX and CBS took the biggest hit this month due to football declines – which saw a -26% decrease on total ad spend across all broadcast channels. When you exclude football from broadcast, the medium is up +.8% YoY for November 2016.

Other key insights include:

  • When you exclude sports, Primetime revenue fell by -8.3% across all four major networks; the average unit cost during the primetime daypart was $104,906 down -3.1% YoY from November 2015.
  • NBC saw the greatest YoY increase to its average primetime unit cost when you exclude sports, going from $99,000 to $110,900 but ABC still had the highest overall at $112,899 for the daypart in November
  • Without Scandal, ABC’s Thursday night primetime lineup has taken a hit seeing a -5% drop on its average unit cost and -26.6% drop on its gross spend for the evening
  • When ABC hosted the American Music Awards on Nov. 20, 2016 the average 30-second spot would have cost you around $225,723. Though, the night brought in less gross spend than ABC’s normal lineup would have, begging the question of whether some award shows are worth the change in regularly scheduled programming.
  • FOX’s hit show Empire continues to bring in big spend with an average unit cost of $311,000 throughout Nov. 2016
  • The Thanksgiving Day Parade proved to be lucrative for NBC, with a +12% increase in gross spend and +4% increase on the average unit cost to $368,025

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

“November was a fascinating one for the sector with a lot of moving parts. The final days of election coverage, a challenging football season, and a revitalized retail sector all contributed to the market delivering a modest gain,” said James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index. Poor football ratings earlier in the season, combined with fewer games this month, finally caught up with the major broadcasters whose revenue dropped more than 10% in November as they were forced to give inventory back to advertisers. Without sport the major networks were slightly up as major retailers moved big money back into TV after some questionable experimentation with digital last holiday season.”

NOVEMBER TELEVISION – CABLE IN DEPTH

  • Scripps’ HGTV continues to see double digit YoY growth with a +15.1% YoY, despite a month focused on the election on football – highlighting the demand for its inventory.
  • After nearly 7 quarters of decline, Viacom is starting to recover and deliver YoY growth. In November, the company saw a little under +10% increase on month YoY.
  • Solidifying cable’s entertainment and lifestyle success, E! also saw extensive growth with +24.1% increase in gross spend YoY
  • ESPN, on the other hand, saw an -8.4% loss on month

ELECTION SPEND

In the last week of the election, both candidates put their national TV spend toward America’s heart – football. Hillary’s campaign spent over $2.2 Million during Week 9 NFL games trying for a last minute push. President-Elect Trump, on the other hand, only spent $1.2 Million the last week of the election.

Election night is one of the only nights in history when a cable news network can bring in more for a 30-second spot than one of the big broadcast companies. Both FOX News and CNN had higher average costs for the night than CBS.

“Cable continued to perform strongly with the news networks taking big dollars in the lead up to the election and the ensuing aftermath, while networks like Scripps also posted big gains as others tried to escape the election coverage,” said Fennessy.

NOVEMBER – RETAIL SPENDING

November usually means big ad buys from retailers, toy companies and consumer electronics, as they try and get people’s attention ahead of the holidays. While the election curbed some of that, there were still some gains on TV advertising spend in those categories:

Specialty Retailers increased spend by +7.6% compared to November 2016 and Department Stores increased TV spend by +16.6% But, the news certainly isn’t all good –

  • Toy and Video game companies decreased spend by -9%
  • Clothing and Fashion companies decreased by -16.7
  • And, most drastically, Consumer Electronics decreased by -25%
  • Digital didn’t fare well in the retail section either, Department Stores decreased its spending on digital by -36% and Consumer Electronics decreased spend by -34%.

NOVEMBER – DIGITAL, MAGAZINES, RADIO, NEWSPAPER AND OOH:

During the month of November 2016, digital platforms grew by +3.4% YoY – the second smallest margin of growth recorded since SMI started collecting data in 2009. Advertising on social sites (+23%) and video sites (+15%), delivered the largest YoY gains in the sector for November. The lower than expected YoY growth is due to a really high November 2015. When compared to 2014 you see a +43% growth for the two-year period. The market continues to decline due to the high spend in August for the 2016 Olympics.

“Digital has really slowed in the past months and we saw another period of tepid growth from a sector that was on fire at the same time last year. We saw that major advertisers moved money into digital too quickly in 2015 and this holiday season they have rebalanced the mix to get closer to the ARF recommended split of 78% TV and 22% Digital,” noted Fennessy.

The best performing digital advertiser categories for November 2016 were Food, Produce and Dairy (+52%%), Alcoholic Beverages (+26%), and IT & Software (+50%).

All other media types, including Out-of-home (OOH) (-14.46%), Radio (-8.7%), Magazines (-10.6%) and Newspapers (-18.9%) saw large decreases YoY in November 2016.

Former TiVo Executive Boon Yap Joins SMI to Help Capitalize on the Growing Opportunity of Attribution.

Dec 01, 2016

Standard Media Index Adds New Product and Partnership Lead, Scales Strategic Operations

Standard Media Index (SMI), the company providing the most complete and accurate picture of real advertising cost and spend data, today announced the addition of Boon Yap to its leadership team. Yap will serve as the company’s first-ever vice president of product and partnerships, responsible for creating strategic relationships with a focus on market research companies, and developing attribution products that help brands better direct their advertising expenditure.

Yap’s hire is an important part of the company’s evolution into creating a suite of added value services that help media owners, agencies and brands drive improved outcomes through harnessing SMI’s unique advertising expenditure data. Earlier this month, SMI took its first step toward this commitment with the release of AccuTV, the most accurate and comprehensive view of National US TV ad spend available today.

“Our mission is to help companies around the world better understand advertising and media effectiveness so they can make the most informed decisions possible. This is especially important in an era where transparency and accuracy is so critical to publishers, agencies and brands,” said James Fennessy CEO of Standard Media Index. “When you set lofty goals, it’s important to surround yourself with the best people. That’s exactly why we’ve brought Boon on. He has unrivaled experience developing partnerships with the leading players in market research and understands as well as anyone how the ad market is evolving. As we enter this period of rapid growth, we are very lucky to have Boon help us define the products and services that will help our clients drive a better outcome from their advertising efforts.”

The addition of Yap and the release of AccuTV come at a pivotal time for SMI. Over the last six months, the company has invested extensively in talent including the addition of Nicole Florit as vice president of finance and administration, and the promotion of Priya Singh to the role of vice president of strategy and analytics. SMI has also developed key partnerships with leading market research companies in CPG, Auto, Financial Services and Retail and will soon be accessing set top box data.

“I have been immensely impressed by James and the whole SMI team. Through AccuTV the company is addressing a long-sought-after, and elusive, solution in the TV realm – real and accurate price benchmarking,” said Yap. “As someone who knows first-hand the frustration of not having accurate information, I’m thrilled to join the team that is making this happen. I look forward to assisting in the evolution of SMI and working toward a full suite of products including ones geared toward digital and data/automated ecosystems, as well as helping to create practical, relatable, and 1:1 attribution models.”

Yap comes to SMI with nearly twenty years of experience working within all sectors of media including data, digital, mobile, social, and TV. Most recently, Yap served as director of partner success at TiVo Research, where he created and scaled some of the largest partnerships in TiVo history with companies like Oracle, LiveRamp, Cardlytics and Quantcast. Before his time with TiVo, Yap was a consultant for companies like TripAdvisor and IAC brands. He also helped implement SEO, digital, Social, and web-architecture strategies for various entities. Earlier in his career, Boon worked with the Havas (MPG) team involved in the ground-breaking and award-winning Volkswagen and American Legacy campaigns.

A year ago the team at SMI set a lofty goal to challenge the status quo of advertising cost data and bring greater transparency, initially, to the...

Nov 29, 2016

Introducing SMI AccuTV – insight and accuracy into National TV ad spend and cost

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

A year ago the team at SMI set a lofty goal to challenge the status quo of advertising cost data and bring greater transparency, initially, to the National TV Market. Over these past twelve months, in became even clearer that the tool we were building was not just important, but vital. The industry has been in the middle of an extensive evolution, and at the forefront is a mandate to be more open and accountable to each other as well as an increasing focus on attribution.

That’s why we developed SMI AccuTV, a superior ad intelligence platform that delivers competitive ad spend and TV cost information in a single platform.

With accuracy and granularity being its core features, AccuTV gives the only clear 360-degree picture of US National TV ad spend available. SMI’s greatest asset is the incomparable quality of the real booking data we source from our participating agency partners. We use the power of this data to build AccuTV creating the first-ever platform to provide industry trends, benchmarking and pricing all in one place.

AccuTV is the only system that can deliver a highly accurate estimate of the total TV market in near real-time with spot count, average costs and product categories, all of which can be segmented by network, daypart and week day.

Let’s dive in to how we’re actually do this.

We’ve taken that real invoices from our agency partners, which accounts for 70 percent of the marketplace, and have combined it with the best occurrence level data to model the remaining 30 percent. This combination allows us to have a clear and very accurate picture of what’s actually happening across 95 percent of the national TV market.

Once the model for AccuTV was perfected, we then built out dimensions to help answer key questions that many of our clients were asking. These dimensions include –

  • 35 product categories and 108 product subcategories such as wine and spirits or beer
  • Days of the week and spot lengths, which enable the ability to get specific insights on moments in time when coupled with daypart dimensions
  • 90 Networks, 9 Dayparts, 7 Weekdays, 8 Spot Length Averages, and 3 Buy Types enabling 80,000 unique average unit costs a month
  • 3 program genres and 16 subprogram genres including football, baseball, news, original dramas and live events like the Oscars.
  • The ability to stay on top of complete spot counts with paid and unpaid ADU’s
  • All advertisers outside our agency partners have been very accurately modelled giving you a view into where 30% of the brands in the market are spending and what they are paying

Sounds great – but what does this actually deliver for subscribers?

It means that with unrivaled insights, SMI AccuTV can help you become an even more competitive player in the marketplace, ultimately, helping you increase your bottom line.

  • You can keep track of your competitor’s revenue and costs at a very granular level
  • You can compare key product verticals and determine how you’re measuring up
  • You can better understand which dayparts and days are under or over performing in your and your competitor’s networks.
  • You can monitor and compare performance around your program genres and subgenres to better inform programming decision.

We would love to walk you through a demo of AccuTV and show you exactly how accurate the information is. If you’d like to take a deeper look, reach out to us here as we’re excited to share AccuTV with the world.

New Year Starts off with a Bang, Driven by Big Gains in Sports & Politics

Standard Media Index (SMI), the company providing the only complete and clear picture of real advertising cost and spend, today unveiled updated figures for October 2016. SMI total market closed October 2016 with +9.5% increase on a year-on-year basis, driven by an increase in total television, out-of-home and radio. Spend for the month was the highest volume of spend recorded for an October since SMI started tracking spend in 2009.

OCTOBER – FOOTBALL

Despite concern about falling ratings, the average 30 second spot across all NBC, CBS, FOX and ESPN NFL games in October was $455,310 that’s up +4% over the same period last year. In terms of total revenue, NFL games across the above networks grossed just over $750 Million for the month. This is +14% more than in October 2015. The difference however is partly due to the number of games. October 2016 saw 5 Mondays and 5 Sundays, while October 2015, only saw 4 of each.

  • For Sunday afternoon football, CBS saw a +6% increase in cost for an average 30 second spot, while FOX saw +3% and Sunday Night Football on NBC saw a +2% increase.
  • CBS’s Thursday Night Football saw a +9% increase YoY, for an average 30 second spot across its last 3 games of the season.
  • ESPN saw a +10% increase on its rate from the same period in 2015

Spending on football, both college and professional, in October 2016 increased YoY by +16%. Some category of advertisers have heavily increased spend on football, recognizing the extensive opportunity. QSR, for example, has increased by +38%, gearing up for the holidays, consumer electronics increased spend on football programming by +71.5% and telecommunications has increased +38.5%. Automotive vehicles and dealerships increased overall spend by just +9%, but dwarf all of advertisers by volume, with +$103 Million more spent than QSR, the next highest spender.

MLB WORLD SERIES

The 2016 World Series between the Cleveland Indians and ultimate victors Chicago Cubs, brought in more than double the revenue in TV ad spend, or +111% more than the 2015 World Series. When comparing just the first 5 games of 2016 to the 5 played in 2015, the series between the Indians and the Cubs was up +28% YoY to that of the Royals and the Mets. Advertising in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series cost $364,700 for the average 30 second spot. That’s +23% compared to the average 30 second spot cost of Game 1 of the 2016 series, and +31% compared to the highest priced game for all of the 2015 series, Game 1 which cost $278,800 on average for a 30 second spot. The 2016 game to bring in the lowest average cost was Game 3 which aired on a Friday night and brought in $265,500 on average per 30 second spot.

OCTOBER TELEVISION

In October 2016, the overall TV market saw a +9.8 % growth YoY. Broadcast spend grew +6.3% and Cable grew +12.9% YoY. A strong showing by FOX, up +32%, and historically high increases from the cable news networks such as FOX News, up +35% and CNN, up +60% YoY, helped drive the TV market. Even though fantasy football leagues FanDuel and DraftKings spend fell -$58 Million YoY, there were plenty of other advertisers in the market prepared to pick up the slack.

“Live sport continues to be the main driver of advertiser revenue and audience attention for TV. While we expect to see this slow down as the networks pay back undelivered audiences, it’s clear that advertisers are not backing away from the huge and guaranteed following football delivers. Similarly, we also saw record numbers for the 2016 World Series,” said James Fennessy, CEO of SMI. “While we can attribute much of October’s gains to key sporting events, the news networks also delivered great numbers in the final weeks of the election coverage. We are seeing many advertisers frontload the holiday season with TV, OOH and radio, buys and we anticipate they will finish this up with a heavy focus on digital as they look to drive consumers into stores later in the season.”

OCTOBER TELEVISION – BROADCAST IN DEPTH

While FOX saw big gains, the other three major broadcast networks had mixed results – CBS is down -7%, NBC is up +17% and ABC is down -12%. ION Television, while not considered a major network yet, might soon be with its +32.3% growth YoY.

Other key insights include:

  • Primetime revenue across all four major networks fell by -4.6% while the average cost for a 30 second spot rose by +1.5%.
  • When you exclude sports, the average unit cost across all 4 major networks during the primetime daypart was $96,700 up +10% from September 2016 but down -3% YoY from October 2015.
  • NBC saw the greatest increase YoY with +4.7% growth when you exclude sports during the daypart and +20.5% YoY for its average unit cost.
  • FOX’s Rocky Horror Picture Show on Oct. 20 featuring Laverne Cox saw an average unit cost of $139,000, a +68% increase over its average spot cost on other Thursday nights from the month.
  • CBS premiered its new Thursday night lineup of The Big Bang Theory, The Great Indoors, Mom, Life in Pieces and Pure Genius, with Thursday Night Football moving to NBC and NFL network for the remainder of the season. The night of mostly comedies fared well, but still came in third place behind ABC’s lineup of Grey’s Anatomy, Notorious and How to Get Away with Murder and NBC’s Superstore, The Good Place, Chicago Med and Blacklist.
  • NBC’s Tuesday night lineup of The Voice, This Is Us and Chicago Fire continues to dominate. The average unit cost for a spot will cost you nearly $173,000.

OCTOBER TELEVISION – CABLE IN DEPTH

Fox Sports 1 and MLB Network more than doubled their spend, due to programming related to the MLB postseason. Turner’s TBS and TNT both grew in double-digits, +15% and +32% respectively. Despite the focus on sports in October, Scripps’ HGTV and Food Network both saw double digit YoY growth, +20% and +18% respectively, highlighting continued interested in the lifestyle TV.

NATIONAL POLITICAL SPEND

Much has been written about both President-Elect Trump and Secretary Clinton’s local broadcast TV spend throughout the election, but little has been shared about national spend. While much less in volume, both candidates national TV spend still says a lot about how each ran their campaign. Unsurprisingly, Clinton’s campaign spent 276% more on national TV advertising buys between Jan. 2016 and the end of Oct. 2016 than Trump’s.

  • Clinton’s heaviest month of spend was August, with nearly $18 Million for the month. More than $14 Million of that was spent on the 2016 Olympics.
  • Trump’s heaviest month was October, with $10.5 Million. Even with his October increase, Clinton still outspent him during the month with $12.3 Million.
  • Clinton spent more than $9 Million over the months leading up to the election targeting viewers who watch Reality TV and nearly $12 Million on those watching scripted dramas or comedies.
  • Trump’s focus, on the other hand, was much more on sports fans with $4.3 Million spent on Football and Baseball games – all of which was spent in the month of October.

OCTOBER – DIGITAL, MAGAZINES, RADIO, NEWSPAPER AND OOH

During the month of October 2016, digital platforms grew by +11% YoY. Advertising on social sites (+20%), video sites (+24%) and internet radio sites (+20%), delivered the largest YoY gains in the sector for October. While digital continues to grow, the +11% overall increase, is one of the lowest YoY increases SMI has seen. For 2016, it’s second only to the +9.2% increase digital saw in the notoriously slow month of July. This is likely due to higher spend on the 2016 Olympics, as well as advertisers front-loading on TV, out-of-home and radio, for the Holiday season.

This is demonstrated by a +32% increase in out-of-home (OOH) YoY for October 2016 and +12% increase for radio. Much of OOH’s increase can be attributed to consumer electronics, which has spent +85.8% more this October, than it did in October 2015. Magazines and newspapers lost revenue, -12% and -25% respectively.

The best performing digital advertiser categories for October 2016 were Food, Produce and Dairy (+41%), Alcoholic Beverages (+46%), Quick Serve Restaurants (+24%), and Entertainment (+27%). On the other, Department Stores decreased its spending on digital by -32%.

This article originally appeared on MediaVillage.com By James Fennessy There’s an even more urgent “what happens next?” quality to the television advertising business right now — much...

Nov 15, 2016

SMI: New Season TV Revenue Hit With Rocky Trends

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

This article originally appeared on MediaVillage.com

By James Fennessy

There’s an even more urgent “what happens next?” quality to the television advertising business right now — much more than usual — and it’s related to new findings from Standard Media Index that show the repercussions of some major trends playing out this fall.

TV network observers are wondering if NFL telecasts will reverse their downward ratings spiral, which some believe has been impacted by viewers’ interest in the often-gripping political news coverage. As I detail further down in this story, SMI’s latest ad spend data for September shows mixed results for NFL telecasts, and there’s the danger that those numbers will weaken as advertisers react to the ratings drop-offs.

What’s more, ratings for non-sports programming in primetime have been soft, on average — although there have been some breakout new series, led by This Is Us on NBC.

The soft ratings are expected to lead to an increase in make-goods. That will influence mid-season revenue and average unit costs for the networks. And we will start to see these numbers during the coming weeks.

There are at least three other trends that are adding to the scenario for network TV.

First is recent word from auto sales forecasters that new-vehicle sales are likely to be off in October, for the third consecutive month.

Second, two fantasy football league advertisers — FanDuel and DraftKings — have pulled way back on network advertising due to a number of lawsuits. (In fact, they settled a legal dispute last week with the New York state attorney general to the tune of $6 million each.) In September, DraftKings and FanDuel bought $100 million less on broadcast and cable advertising than they did in September 2015. The extraordinary amounts they spent last year on advertising are unlikely ever to be repeated due to the restrictions that lawmakers will impose on them.

Third, the big uptick in Upfront commitments for the current broadcast year has yet to materialize. As a result of the large Olympic ad spend in August, some clients are taking a breather, and most of their upfront dollars won’t kick in until 2017.

Ad revenue figures for September reflected many of these trends. SMI’s data shows that spending at the top four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) was off significantly: down 13.2% year over year. Cable networks certainly did better, but their averaged results weren’t anything to write home about: up 0.7% versus same month last year.

Primetime advertising revenue at the top four broadcasters was down even more than the total day: off 16% in September. Their average primetime unit cost for non-sports programming was down 7.6%, to $86,000.

On the sports programming front, the average cost of a 30-second spot during NFL games rose in September, up 8% to $509,193 on average, versus same time last year. But the unit-rate results for individual networks carrying the games has been mixed:

  • ESPN’s Monday telecasts experienced a 4% decline on average.
  • CBS’s games on Thursday night were flat.
  • On Sundays, Fox and CBS garnered an 11% increase, and NBC rates were up 9%.

A deeper understanding is garnered when one examines individual advertising categories. Looking specifically at primetime non-sports program advertising, 19 out of the top 20 categories registered declines in September, in year-over-year comparisons (ranked by total revenue).

Here’s a look at the top five:

  • Automotive vehicles and dealerships were down 31.7%.
  • Prescription pharmaceutical was off 27.5%.
  • Telecommunications dove 26.9%.
  • Entertainment sank 34.8%.
  • Food, produce and dairy declined 24.3%

The same ad sectors look better when primetime sports program ads are included in the mix, but they all still registered declines:

  • Automotive vehicles and dealerships were off 18.2%.
  • Prescription pharmaceutical was down 26.2%.
  • Telecommunications dipped 22.0%.
  • Entertainment dropped 24.6%.
  • Food, produce and dairy sank 11.4%.

The ad spend results are dramatically better when viewed on a quarterly basis. Revenue from the Olympics had a huge impact. When cable and broadcast are combined, ad spend was up 9.3%. Broadcast alone saw an increase of 18.1% and cable bumped up 3.7% — all in comparison with the same quarter last year.

To be sure, not all of the trends spell doom and gloom moving forward. There’s the hope that the networks will garner better ratings moving forward. It could be that auto advertisers decide to spend more money on television ads, not less, as competition tightens for consumer dollars.

And perhaps the NFL’s downward trend will reverse course, once viewers’ attention is less distracted by the Hillary and Donald saga. Stay tuned for my analysis of October data in just a few weeks!

Collapse of Fantasy Football Spend Bites Hard Into TV Results in September

Standard Media Index (SMI), the company providing the only complete and clear picture on real advertising cost and spend, today unveiled updated figures for September and Q3 2016. SMI total market closed the quarter at +1% in September with an overall Q3 growth of +10% year-over-year. Spend for the quarter was the highest volume of spend recorded for a Q3 since SMI started tracking spend in 2009.

SEPTEMBER TELEVISION

Despite a strong summer showing, the start of the 2016-2017 television season has gotten off to a rocky start with -5.8% loss YoY. Broadcast spend saw a steep decline of -13.2% YoY due to the virtual drying up of spend from FanDuel and DraftKings. In September 2016, the two companies have spent nearly $100m less than in September 2015 across all broadcast and cable. Cable networks in September delivered a flat +0.7% increase in gross spend.

SEPTEMBER TELEVISION – PRIMETIME BROADCAST

Primetime revenue fell -16% on a YoY basis. The average unit cost across all 4 major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX) during the primetime daypart, excluding sports, was $86,000, down -7.6% from $93,300 in 2015. Furthermore, it appears advertisers held back in upfront spend for the month, likely having committed a great deal of their dollars to the Olympics. Upfront was down -25% while scatter spend was up +32% YoY.

Programming winners by night:

  • NBC wins both Monday and Tuesday in terms of revenue, due to the continued growth of The Voice and breakout hit This Is Us.
  • Wednesday night’s saw a revenue tie between FOX and ABC. The former relying on Empire, which continues to be the network’s most lucrative show, with ABC focusing on a night of comedy.
  • Thursday nights belong to ABC when we back out sports thanks to the continued interest in Shondaland programming. CBS ends up winning overall revenue thanks to Thursday Night Football.
  • ABC is dominating Sunday night scripted programming with double the ad revenue of CBS and quadruple that of FOX. When you include sports programming, NBC beats everyone thanks to its NFL programming.

SEPTEMBER TELEVISION – CABLE IN DEPTH

  • All three major 24 hour news stations (CNN, MSNBC, FOX News) increased overall revenue and the cost of their average 30 second spot by double digits, thanks to the interest in the 2016 presidential election.
  • FOX News has the largest gross revenue, but the smallest YoY revenue growth, with +16%; CNN saw +25% growth while MSNBC saw +28%.

SEPTEMBER – NFL

The average 30 second spot across all networks showing NFL games in September was $509,193, that’s an +8% increase over the same period last year and +10% from 2014.

  • For Sunday afternoon football, both FOX and CBS saw a +11% increase in cost for an average 30 second spot, and Sunday Night Football on NBC saw a +9% increase.
  • CBS’s Thursday Night Football has remained flat, with no significant increase from the same time last year.
  • ESPN saw a -4% decline on its rate from the same period in 2015.
  • Automotive Vehicles & Dealerships purchased the largest quantity of ads across all NFL games in September, followed by Telecommunications, Insurance and Consumer Electronics.

“Our new cost level data clearly shows that while ratings on football have been under pressure early in the season, average unit costs continue to increase. This demonstrates that live sport and the huge audiences it attracts are an outstanding drawcard for major brands. On the flip side, primetime and late night programming doesn’t provide the same pull. Poor ratings are directly linked to falls in revenue and average unit cost declines,” said James Fennessy, CEO of SMI. “While some of September’s falls can be attributed to a post Olympics hangover, evidence shows the biggest contributor to broadcast’s significant fall was driven by the fantasy leagues spend almost completely drying up under the numerous legal actions they face. Cable’s gains are directly related to the terrific results delivered by the news networks, which we fully expect to continue through the November election cycle.”

Q3 TELEVISION

Q3 2016 (July-Sept) saw a +9.3% increase in television ad spend across the board, compared to the same time last year. Broadcast saw an increase of +18.1% while cable increased by +3.7% compared to Q3 2015. The increase in broadcast spend for the quarter is due to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Similarly, because of the Olympics, NBC television saw a +117% increase in ad revenue earned for the quarter.

SEPTEMBER – DIGITAL, MAGAZINES, RADIO, NEWSPAPER AND OOH

During the month of September, digital platforms received +14% more ad revenue than the same time period last year. Advertising on social sites (+44%), video sites (+30%) and internet radio sites (+21%), delivered the largest YoY gains in the sector for September.

Magazines (-14%), Newspapers (-26%) and Radio (-3%) all lost revenue compared to September 2015, while OOH saw a +8% increase.

Q3 – DIGITAL, MAGAZINES, RADIO, NEWSPAPER AND OOH

For Q3, digital platforms received +15% more ad revenue than the same time period last year. Advertising on social sites (+50%), video sites (+30%) and TV Network- Digital (+24), delivered the largest YoY gains in the sector for Q3 2016.

A few categories who decreased spend on digital for the quarter were Retail-Department Stores (-6%), QSR (-9%), and Auto Aftermarket Parts and Services (-19%). Nearly every other industry increased spend for Q3 2016, including Real Estate & Development (+88%), Food. Produce and Dairy (+56%), Alcoholic Beverages (+41%), and Pharma – OTC (+55%).

Compared to Q3 2015, in Q3 2016 Google saw +13% growth in ad spend, Facebook saw +79% growth, Pandora saw +8% growth, and Spotify saw +49% growth. Meanwhile, Instagram loss -49% of spend YoY and Twitter fell by -11%.

Magazines (-11%), Newspapers (-17%) and Radio (-4%) all lost revenue compared to Q3 2015, while OOH saw a +5% increase for the quarter.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

With Rio Push, The TV Industry is Back on Top

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

2016 has brought a lot of mixed emotions for the TV advertising industry. We saw signs of a revival as some started to question the effectiveness of digital advertising. We then saw a sharp downturn in spend over the summer months (especially July) and projections that digital spend was set to surpass that of TV for the first time ever by the end of the year.

Because of this, as we started digging into the SMI data for August, we weren’t sure what to expect. We knew The 2016 Rio Olympics would make an impact – but with such a tumultuous market, how much of an impact was a big question mark. What we saw was the best August ever recorded.

Let’s put this into perspective – $3.5 billion was spent on broadcast and cable ads throughout the calendar month of August 2016. That’s $1 billion more in total spend over August 2015, a 40 percent increase * Broadcast spend for the month increased by 106 percent YoY; cable increased more modestly by 8 percent for the month YoY, but trending well upward from recent months

Not only was August the strong overall month that the TV industry needed, but it was a boost to NBC as well. All of NBCUniversal’s cable and broadcast properties showing the Olympics saw a nearly 290 percent increase in year-over-year spend on the month.

In fact, NBC took 66 percent of the broadcast market share for the month compared to August 2015, where it only held 23 percent of the market. And, spend around the Olympics accounted for nearly one-third (30.7 percent) of all TV, cable, and broadcast, ad spend throughout August.

August also marked the largest total scatter spend documented since we started reporting on TV buying type with a 101 percent increase from Aug. 2015; scatter ads accounted for 33 percent of the total market. Upfront buying also saw an increase of 22 percent year-over-year, across all TV categories.

DIGITAL SEES CONTINUED GROWTH

While the headline from the August data is definitely the influence of the Rio Olympics on TV advertising, the digital market remains one to watch. The market has been steadily increasing YoY and August was no different. Across all digital properties, we saw a 16.4 percent increase in spend YoY in August, bringing the CYTD total growth to 15 percent and an increase in digital’s piece of the pie to 33.8 percent of the total market spend for the month.

Snapchat continues to gain momentum with a 683 percent increase in spend YoY in August. Similar to its TV counterparts, NBCUniversal’s digital properties also saw huge gains with a 131 percent increase YoY in August. Facebook, Spotify and YouTube also gained double digit momentum with 89, 61 and 47 percent growth YoY for the month. Meanwhile, even with Verizon’s official purchase of Yahoo imminent, the company only continues to see double-digit declines in ad revenue – 55 percent decrease YoY in August.

With August and the Olympics now behind us, September brings the end of the broadcast year but the beginning of so much more including the fall TV season, the NFL season, and Presidential debates. For us here at SMI, that means there’s a lot of new data that we get to dive into.

FULL LIST OF SMI AUGUST AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Total ad spend increased by 24.8 percent in August 2016 year-over-year (YoY)
  • Total television – including national TV, Spot TV, Syndication and Local MSO/Cable – rose by 40 percent YoY in August to $3.5 billion, driven primarily by a 106 percent increase in Broadcast TV
  • Total TV spend is 7 percent greater in this broadcast year-to-date (Oct-August) compared to 2015.
  • NBC took 66 percent of the market share due to its Olympic coverage, a 290 percent increase YoY compared to the 23 percent it held in August 2015
  • Upfront accounted for 65 percent of spend across total television, while scatter accounted for 33 percent for August 2016.
  • Print continued its decline this month with newspapers seeing a 23.5 percent decrease and magazines seeing a 7.9 decrease in August 2016 spend compared to August 2015
  • Digital ad spend increased by 16.4 percent YoY for the month bringing the CYTD total growth to 15 percent. Digital now also represents 33.8 percent of the total market
  • Advertising on pure-play video and pure-play social sites saw the biggest saw the largest YoY growth with 41.5 and 53.1 percent change respectively
  • Yahoo has seen a 55.3 percent decrease on CYTD spend, one of the only digital properties to see any sort of decline
  • Ad Network/Ad Exchange saw a 23 percent YoY growth for CYTD 2016, with Pure Play-Social and Pure Play-Video growing at 53 percent 41 percent respectively
  • The best performing advertising categories for August 2016 in digital were Food, Produce & Dairy at +55 percent, Consumer Electronics at +47 percent and Pharmaceutical – Prescriptions at +36 percent

We’re now in a key window of time when advertisers and their agencies have an opportunity to buy high ROI television at exceptional prices. That’s particularly good...

Aug 31, 2016

SMI: High ROI TV Opportunities Uncovered Through New Data Dimensions

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

We’re now in a key window of time when advertisers and their agencies have an opportunity to buy high ROI television at exceptional prices. That’s particularly good news, in the wake of an Upfront market that resulted in some healthy CPM price hikes for many broadcast and cable networks.

I believe we’re in a buyer’s market for scatter right now due to two factors. The first involves new revelations about pricing and makegoods from Standard Media Index (SMI). Thanks to a new modeling technique we have applied to the data we can now reveal highly accurate cost level data at the day, daypart and network level. We also have terrific intelligence on individual advertisers, their vertical and the different buying strategies being executed by brands across the TV ecosystem.

Secondly, Nielsen’s TAM (Total Audience Measurement) data is still being refined and tested and until this is released we believe the market is undervaluing national TV and great opportunities exist for buying high performing television advertising at a discount based on true audience numbers.

SMI’s new second-quarter data underscores what has already been perceived: We’ve come to the end of a digital growth spurt that shifted revenue away from network TV. In the Q2 results, cable networks saw a wave of new business return to TV; the recent study we presented at the ARF conference with Bill Harvey proved a lot of this money is returning from digital. Agencies were drawn to the real audience and ratings that TV delivers and CPM pricing that continues to be good value for the money.

At the “big picture” level, national TV ad unit prices jumped 3.3% in the second quarter versus the same period in 2015. But drilling down into the numbers, the spending patterns of different advertising sectors are dramatically different, as are the results for cable networks versus the Big 4 broadcasters (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC).

First, let’s take a look at gross ad spend, rolling up cable and broadcast together. The top-four-ranked categories showed a mixed bag of results for the second quarter 2016 period versus same time in 2015:

  • Auto manufacturers and dealerships spent 25% less on TV networks as a whole (to $286.9 million).
  • Pharmaceutical prescription advertisers increased their spending by 15% (to $238.0 million).
  • There was a 4% increase among entertainment companies, which includes movies, online ticketing sites, pre-recorded content and live sporting and entertainment events (to $204.4 million).
  • Telecommunications spending was pretty much flat, at -1% (to $200.2 million).

A network unit cost analysis shows the differences being experienced by the broadcast and cable networks. On average, the cable networks’ average price rose over 10% in prime and over 8% in daytime (to $8,370 and $1,413, respectively).

Broadcast networks experienced an average 5% drop in primetime unit rates (to $114,100). That percentage matches the broadcasters’ Nielsen-reported audience decline in prime in the same quarter. (Of course, this is most likely an artefactual audience decrease; the audience probably really moved to OTT which is not Nielsen-measured until TAM is up.) Their late fringe unit pricing dropped 10% (to $26,400) off the back of several large shows not delivering the audiences they did in 2015.

A clearer picture emerges when SMI drills down to results for individual ad sectors. Here’s Q2 unit cost info on the top four ad categories during primetime versus same time last year:

  • Auto was up 4% for cable networks (to $7,654) but was off 13% for broadcast networks (to $98,061).
  • Entertainment rose 10% for cable (to $9,155) and dropped a hair — just 1% — for broadcasters (to $134,326).
  • The pharma prescription sector rose a very healthy 16% for cable (to $4,833), and it was anemic for broadcast, off 6% (to $76,649).
  • Telecom rang up 19% more for cable (to $9,110) and declined 10% for broadcasters (to $91,630).

Studying the network business from the standpoint of makegoods — also known as audience deficiency units (ADUs) — provides a different perspective. For broadcasters, the results were varied when analyzed by daypart. For example, in late fringe, underperforming talk shows caused an increase in the percent of broadcast network units for makegoods in Q2 2016 (22%) versus 15% same time last year. But in prime, the percentage was steady, at 16% versus 15% last year, comparing the same two quarters.

Cable did a better job in managing ratings guarantees. For cable networks, prime ADUs dropped from 19% in the second quarter last year to 12% this year. And daytime declined from 18% to 11%.

Here’s a primetime comparison of ADUs for the top ad categories, comparing Q2 2015 to Q2 2016:

  • Auto increased from 17% to 20% for the broadcast networks. For cable services, the sector declined from 21% to 14%.
  • Entertainment jumped from 14% to 19% for broadcast. Among cable networks, the sector dropped from 23% to 19%.
  • Prescription pharma increased to 17% from 15% for broadcast. For cable, it sunk from 17% to 12%.
  • Telecommunications stayed rock steady at 7% for broadcast. Cable networks saw a slight drop, from 15% to 13%.

In considering all this information, remember that lower unit prices imply a higher ROI, because it lowers the “I.” Now’s the time for agencies and brands to do some shopping among some very choice real estate before Nielsen’s TAM has a major impact on our ability to capitalize on bargains like these.

Fresh Data on How TV Affects Advertiser Success

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Standard Media Index has revealed some exciting new information that goes a long way to solving one of the biggest quandaries that TV networks currently face: proving the full extent of their importance to advertisers in comparison with digital competitors. The new data show how TV can increase advertiser sales volume when. Budgets removed from TV to fund digital are returned even partially to TV.

SMI CEO James Fennessy presented the findings at the ARF’s Audience Measurement conference on June 14, in conjunction with Research Measurement Technologies’ chairman Bill Harvey, who worked with SMI on the special study.

Some first quarter 2016 statistics show why the digital rivalry is of such concern: in that period, 36% of all advertising dollars devoted to screens went to digital media, with traditional TV making up the other 64%. Two years earlier, in first quarter 2014, the digital percentage was considerably less, 26%, and TV made up 74%, according to SMI data.

In the new study, we analyzed the spending and sales data of 100 top advertisers, using information from SMI along with sales data from the market research firm IRI and 10K filings. Our study shows that there were significant increases in consumer sales for advertisers whose spending followed certain buying patterns – most notably those who had decreased their TV spend over the last two years, but then increased it again.

We focused on clients in a dozen different advertising sectors, comparing data for calendar-year 2015 results with those of the first quarter of this year. Within five of the sectors, a significant number of brands have increased their TV spend after a period when they relied more heavily on digital. They include:

  • Automotive;
  • Financial Services;
  • Technology;
  • Telecommunications;

One category was absolutely flat in terms of TV ad spend – quick service restaurants (QSR), which has maintained a media mix with an average 79% of all ad spend devoted to TV. Sales data were available for only one QSR and it showed sales increase of 5.1%.

Six categories continue to use less television spending than in the past. Among them are:

  • Consumer Electronics;
  • Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG);
  • Entertainment;
  • Fashion;
  • Retail;
  • Prescription Pharmaceuticals

Three CPG companies switched back to greater TV spending after diminishing it — bucking the category’s overall downward TV trend.

For those three CPG companies, we saw a dramatic impact on consumer sales, when comparing first quarter 2016 data with the same period in 2014:

  • Company A started flowing more money back into TV during Q4 2015, and its sales increased 3% in Q1 2016, when compared with the same period in 2014. For every dollar the company reinvested in TV, it got back $4.71 in increased sales.
  • Company B generally has raised its TV spending from the beginning of 2015 onwards, with the exception of two periods: Q2 2015 and this year’s Q1. As a result, it increased sales 4% and got back $5.67 for every dollar reinvested in TV spending.
  • Company C switched gears during Q4 2015, and as a result of reinvesting in TV during that period and Q1 2016, it increased sales7.3% or $3.67 for every new TV dollar.
  • Averaged together, the three companies gained4.8% in sales, or $4.68 per dollar of TV spending.

We sliced the data in other ways as well, and the companies that added back TV all showed outstanding results no matter how we looked at the data.

SMI divided the advertisers into groups based on whether they increased, decreased or maintained their TV spending or digital spending. Then we looked at how the companies’ sales were affected.

Among CPG advertisers, there were only two groups where sales increased for 100% of the companies involved: 1) those advertisers that once lowered TV spending and then increased it later on; 2) those who decreased digital spending and increased TV spending during full year 2015 and first quarter 2016.

The group with the next best results included CPG companies that increased both digital and TV spending. In those cases, 60% of the companies enjoyed increased consumer sales.

We also looked at the results for 10 advertisers for which we could get sales data from 10K reports, that don’t fall in the CPG category, breaking them into the same spending groups. They included retail, automotive, technology, quick service restaurants and entertainment brands. Only one spending group enjoyed 100% positive sales results for all companies involved: those that had once lowered TV and then increased it again.

Stay tuned for more news on this same front. SMI is launching a new product shortly that will give greater granularity on national media spending. That information will undoubtedly help sellers add more fuel to the fire as they show network TV’s importance in the media mix.

As the dust settles from last month’s upfront presentations, the television sector showed that it was moderately more vibrant in May than it was the same time...

Jun 22, 2016

Continued TV Strength Points to Strong Upfront

As the dust settles from last month’s upfront presentations, the television sector showed that it was moderately more vibrant in May than it was the same time a year ago – a positive sign as negotiations for TV’s 2016-17 upfront marketplace gain pace

Television and digital media were responsible for driving the overall advertising market into positive territory in May, where total demand increased by 8% on a year-on-year basis.

Despite recent ratings results which suggested a lack enthusiasm for summer programming, cable TV advertising (up 6%) performed strongly in the month, however broadcast networks dipped into negative territory (-1%) when compared to 2015. On a broadcast year-to-date basis, both cable (2%) and broadcast (7%) showed solid growth.

Latest SMI data also tracked strong results in upfront and scatter. While upfront spending has risen 2% through the first eight months of the 2015-16 broadcast year (October-May), the scatter marketplace has expanded eight times that rate: +16%. Both markets grew by 5% YoY across national TV in May.

“Off the back of May’s strong results, we expect the networks to deliver very healthy upfront increases in the coming weeks. A 16% increase in scatter dollars through the first half of the broadcast year proves that advertisers are moving money back to TV after some experimentation in digital last year, which didn’t drive the results brands were hoping for,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s CEO.

“It is also fascinating to see the big slowdown in search dollars and the recognition that digital video is where a lot of the action will be happening in the coming months. Excellent new video products from both traditional and new media are capturing an increasing share of the market and we expect this to accelerate as greater and better inventory becomes available.”

In SMI’s fastest-growing sector, marketers increased their investment in digital media by 15% YoY in May, despite digital’s largest category, search, declining by -10% YoY.

SMI MAY AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Total television – including national TV, Spot TV, Syndication and Local MSO/Cable – rose by 4% YoY in May.
  • Total TV revenues are 5% greater in this broadcast year-to-date (Oct-May) compared to 2015.
  • Upfront spending on Cable TV grew by 10% YoY in May, however advertisers pulled back in broadcast, which decreased by -3% YoY. Total upfront ad investment jumped by 5% YoY.
  • The scatter market also jumped by 5% YoY in May. Scatter dollars in the Cable TV market accelerated by 6% and broadcast rose by 4% compared to the same time in 2015.
  • Low debut numbers for summer programming affected combined ad revenues for the top six broadcast networks, which declined -2% year-on-year.
  • Univision and Telemundo were the standout performers in broadcast television during May.
  • SMI data showed that Cable TV continued its strong run in May. Advertisers shifted 6% more dollars into the top 20 networks in May 2016 compared to last year.
  • Marketers favored AMC, HGTV and Discovery Channel in the cable market during May. The networks each saw double-digit percentage increases on a year-on-year basis.
  • With arguably the most hyped-summer program, Animal Kingdom, about to debut on its network, TNT garnered 5% more dollars in May than it did the same time in 2015.
  • Advertising on video sites (55%), social media sites (44%), and ad networks/ad exchanges (28%) saw the largest YoY gains, as new players like Snapchat, YouTube and Spotify ramp up their video offerings and start to aggressively target video advertisers.
  • In May, ad revenues for newspapers were down -8% YoY. SMI’s results follow a recent report that highlighted that newspapers shed 7% of their circulation in 2015, the worst year since 2010.
  • Elsewhere in the print market, magazines declined by -2% YoY in May.
  • The out of home market enjoyed a stellar month with 29% YoY growth, as advertisers revived the channel after some consecutive months of slower growth.
  • Radio ad revenues recorded 13% year-on-year growth in May.
  • The best performing advertiser categories for May 2016 were quick serve restaurants (36%), financial services (29%) and prescription pharmaceuticals (20%).

May Ad Market – Media Type – May 16 YoY Growth

Television Cable TV 6% Broadcast TV-1% Spot TV 6% Syndication 12% Local/MSO Cable 14%Television Total 4%

Digital Pure Play – Search -10% Pure Play – Content 12% Ad Network/Ad Exchange 28% TV Network – Digital -3% Pure Play – Video 55% Pure Play – Social 44% Pure Play – Digital 7% Pure Play – Internet Radio 23% * Mobile Ad Network/Ad Exchange 13%

  • Magazines Total -2%
  • Digital Total 15%
  • Newspapers Total -8%
  • Radio Total 13%
  • Out of Home Total 29%
  • Grand Total 8%

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

Will Stellar Scatter Realities Make Upfront Dreams Come True?

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Whether some network sales executives will attract the double-digit increases in CPM rates that they are seeking during the current upfront market remains to be seen. But new data from SMI reveals details about the huge increases in scatter revenue during the current broadcast year. And that indicates why upfront hopes are riding so high among network execs, and why agency negotiators are trying to keep those expectations in check.

National TV networks attracted 19% more scatter revenue between October 2015 and April 2016 than they did during the same period in 2014-2015. Upfront revenue grew 2% in the same period, the first seven months of the current broadcast year. Averaged together, buyers paid 5% more for national TV inventory.

SMI’s numbers show the new broadcast year took off like a speeding train. Scatter spending in 2015’s fourth quarter zoomed ahead 28%, while upfront dollars rose a mere 3%. Then the spending eased off a bit in this year’s first quarter, to a 12% rise for scatter and flat for upfront spending.

The seven-month results for the current broadcast year are a dramatic improvement for TV sellers over the trend they were experiencing a year ago. Scatter revenue was down 2% for national networks during the full broadcast year 2014-15 in comparison with 2013-14. Upfront dollars were off by 6%, for an overall decrease of 5% in national TV revenue.

The largest moneymaking advertising categories for national TV are showing markedly different spending trends during the year now in progress. A comparison of the first seven months with the same period in 2014-15 shows:

  • Automotive manufacturers and dealerships spent 16% more upfront dollars, and 19% less on scatter.
  • Insurance companies decreased both upfront and scatter spending, by 1% and 22%, respectively.
  • Consumer electronics marketers plunked down 22% more for upfront inventory, and 36% more for scatter.

Breaking down the ad-sector results further makes clear that cable and broadcast networks experienced different trends, but in some instances they were similar. In the same seven-month period:

  • Automotive manufacturers and dealerships were fairly even-steven: scatter was down 14% for broadcast nets, and off 24% for cable.
  • Consumer electronics was another fairly even-splitter in scatter: up 37% and 34% for broadcast and cable, respectively.
  • Telecommunications gave broadcasters 12% more scatter dollars, but cable networks 20% less.
  • Toys and video games marketers didn’t make anyone happy, overall: down 62% among broadcasters and 48% among cable nets.

When all the scatter revenue numbers are rolled up together, broadcasters showed a 39% revenue rise, and cable a 2% bump.

The push-pull between buyers and sellers involves more considerations than past spending patterns, to be sure. The ratings performance of programs during the current broadcast year, perceived strength of new shows and wide array of opportunities offered up by digital competitors will all play their part in upfront conversations.

But as certain categories like automotive have demonstrated in SMI’s current analysis, spending more on the upfront now may result in lower scatter spending later on. And that is likely to be a key point offered up by network sellers as the negotiations continue.

Sales Grow Faster for Advertisers Upping TV Spend

New evidence showing the positive sales effects gained by major brands through increased TV advertising will be presented at ARF’s Audience Measurement conference on June 14, 2016

The research by Standard Media Index (SMI) and RMT Chairman Bill Harvey found that there were significant spikes in sales for major brands that had initially reduced their TV spend in favor of digital, but had now shifted dollars back to the medium over a two year period.

Highlighted in the study were three CPG companies that together averaged a sales increase of 4.68 times the incremental TV ad spend after they switched dollars back to TV.

Working with IRI and corporate 10K data, SMI and Harvey’s research analyzed media spend shifts among 100 major advertisers from Q1 2014 to Q1 2016 and sales results for all CPG and a dozen non-CPG advertisers in this pool.

The analysis identified that increased TV spend was a key factor in driving sales for a dozen of the fastest-growing advertisers (including seven CPG brands and five non-CPG brands), which saw their revenues jump by 14.6% on average. These advertisers averaged a 25.8% rise in their TV ad spend over the period.

The study’s full findings will be presented at the ARF conference in New York, where SMI’s CEO James Fennessy and Harvey will quantify the increasing “switchback” from digital to TV by number of advertisers, product type, and examine overall ROI impact.

ARF Audience Measurement Tracking Actual Media Shifts & Their ROI Effects SMI CEO James Fennessy & RMT’s Bill Harvey 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 14 2016 Studio Three & Four, 2nd Floor

The research builds on recent reports that many advertisers who pulled back on TV commitments to switch to digital are now reversing their strategy, citing declines in return on investment.

It addition to shining the spotlight on media companies’ changing spending habits, the upcoming session will cover a range of insights including a breakout of digital’s subtypes and how each one is growing, and an overview of SMI’s soon to be released full-market national TV product.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

Healthcare Ad Spend Surges in Q1: Emerges as SMI’s Fastest Growing Category

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

In the ever-changing world of media and marketing, there’s always surprises that emerge which require media owners and media agencies to remain alert.

At Standard Media Index, the payment data we receive directly from our media agency partners enables us to see and track these actual trends as they occur.

We publish two databases – media and category – in which we report the aggregated payment data each month. And in the former, for example, few would have expected the education category to emerge as the fastest growing in the last financial year. But in 2014/15 these advertisers grew their total ad spend by $49 million from the 2013/14 year.

Similarly, this year we’ve been closely watching the healthcare product category. Since January it has emerged from virtually nowhere to become the fastest growing of all SMI’s 38 categories in the first quarter of 2016.

It’s recorded quarter-on-quarter growth in ad spend of 161%, with its total ad spend jumping from $7.4 million in Q1 2015 to $19.1 million in Q1 2016.

And it’s spreading the extra dollars mostly across the media of TV, digital and press with its spend on metropolitan TV, for example, soaring 111% to $7.1 million for the quarter.

This SMI category comprises ad spend by public, private and community hospitals but also allied medical products and services.

SMI’s digital data breaks down further into these sub-categories to provide even more actionable insights, and here we can see the healthcare products/services sector is mostly growing is digital spend using search providers while also more than doubling its spend onto content sites and into the programmatic market.

In contrast, the hospitals sectors is focusing most of its digital spend on content sites, although this sub-category’s total digital spend is less than 10% of the full category total.

SMI provides media professionals with the data they need to be truly informed about the market in which they are operating.

Pharma Glows With Health Despite Regulation Threats

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

The pharmaceutical advertising business may hold some uncertainties, due to regulatory challenges. But right now, it is one of the strongest “muscle builders” for the media economy. That’s made clear in Standard Media Index’s data for calendar year 2015 and the first quarter of this year.

A search through SMI’s extensive database shows, for example, that pharmaceutical companies as a whole were the No. 2 ranked advertising category for broadcast networks and No. 4 for both cable networks and digital media during calendar year 2015.

Ads for erectile dysfunction, sleeping disorders and a host of other ailments resulted in healthy media spending last year, with some of that carrying over to the first months of 2016.

That was certainly clear for TV, where pharma companies plunk down most of their ad spend. In this year’s first quarter, the prescription drug brands increased:

  • Overall TV spending by 43%;
  • Broadcast networks by 77%;
  • Cable networks by 26%;
  • TV Syndication by 22%.

Only two TV categories posted declines in the first quarter: cable multiple system operators and local systems, down 62% and spot TV, down 21%.

Another pharmaceutical category – over the counter (OTC) – was certainly less compelling in the first quarter, when judged by percentage growth in the TV subcategories. However, revenue from OTC brands is much smaller than prescription pharma revenue.

Looking at the first quarter, OTC increased:

  • Overall TV spending by a mere 6%;
  • Broadcast networks were flat.
  • Cable networks by 9%.
  • Spot TV by more than double.

Only syndication was down in Q1, by 8%.

A comparison of full calendar year 2014 with 2015 across all media categories provides a wider view. Last year prescription brands increased:

  • Overall media spend by 30%.
  • TV spend by 23%.
  • Digital by 41%;
  • Magazines by 36%;
  • Out of home by more than double;
  • Radio by 11%.

However, newspapers showed declines in prescription drug advertising in 2015, off 87%.

OTC showed more spotty results, but some stellar numbers nonetheless. In 2015, OTC brands increased:

  • Overall media spend by 38%;
  • TV by 23%
  • Digital by nearly double;
  • Out of home by more than double.

Categories that showed OTC downslides last year included magazines (-8%), radio (-51%) and newspapers (-15%).

Prescription pharma ads could fall off considerably. Last September, presidential contender Hillary Clinton introduced a plan to end tax breaks for drug companies’ consumer advertising. Then early this year, a bill was introduced in Congress calling for a three-year moratorium on ads for newly approved drugs.

That could put a serious dent in what’s started to be an excellent year for prescription drug advertising. But how real are those regulatory possibilities?

“Only if Hillary Clinton is elected president and Democrats gain in the Senate (and House) would any such bill have a chance of becoming law. That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it,” says John Mack, editor and publisher of Pharma Marketing News.

From the standpoint of the media economy, I certainly hope he’s right.

NZ Ad Market Maintains Momentum in April

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

New Zealand’s media Agency market has continued its strong run of growth in April with SMI’s NZ data showing advertisers grew the size of their media investment by 4.3% in the latest year-on-year period, bringing the total to $74.7 million.

As a result, the market also continues to report a record level of ad spend for each of the calendar and financial year-to-date periods.

In trying to understand the market’s drivers, we can see via SMI’s Product Category ad spend data that over the past financial year the Airlines/Travel Agents market has been by far the strongest driver of ad market growth.

But in April it’s predominantly been the Retail and Government sectors delivering the highest increase in ad spend.

And as we show in the above graph, New Zealand’s advertising market is also highly correlated to business confidence and clearly that intangible factor is also a significant reason for the current strength of the ad market.

TV Ad Spend Jumps as Digital’s March Slows

Heading into this year’s upfront television negotiations, national TV advertisers have invested 6% more dollars in April than they did in the same month in 2015 – a promising sign for both cable and broadcast networks even as TV viewership continues to slide, according to Standard Media Index’s (SMI) latest data.

SMI’s data showed that cable TV revenues swelled by 7% in April compared to 2015 and broadcast TV recorded a 6% spike for the month. So far this broadcast year, TV has gained 6% compared to its 2015 results, and some analysts suggest that commitments for the upcoming upfront could increase by 3% to 5%.

Digital media revenues rose by 15% YoY in April 2016, though the sector grew at a significantly slower rate than in previous months. Advertising on social media sites, video sites and ad networks/ad exchanges saw the largest YoY gains in the sector.

SMI’s data echoes current market sentiment that more and more digital advertiser dollars are creeping back to TV – reversing trends of the past few years.

“SMI’s April data continues to show the reemergence of TV as the industry’s strongest and most effective medium. We have seen digital’s growth slow over the past few months and know from feedback from advertisers and agencies that television is still the best place to find high quality, guaranteed audiences at scale,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s CEO. “Timing couldn’t be better for the major networks as a strong scatter market again in April should ensure they book healthy increases in the upfronts over the coming weeks.”

SMI APRIL AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • The total market’s revenues jumped by 7% in April when compared to the same month in 2015.
  • Total television – including national TV, Spot TV, Syndication and Local MSO/Cable – rose by 5% YoY in April.
  • The upfront market performed strongly in April. Ad investment spiked by 9% YoY, driven by cable’s 10% YoY growth and broadcast’s 7% YoY increase.
  • The scatter market turned out a strong result (8%) in April. Broadcast spending stayed relatively flat but cable TV scatter accelerated by 13% compared to the same time in 2015.
  • Despite being under ratings pressure, the top six broadcast networks rose a combined 6% YoY in April 2016. Fox led the pack for the month with a big double-digit percentage increase and the other major English-language broadcasters also enjoyed solid year-on-year growth.
  • Despite some ad spend wins, recent reports said overall TV viewership erosion stands at a 4% decline in April.
  • Cable TV had a relative bounce back in April. Advertisers shifted 7% more dollars into the top 20 networks in April 2016 compared to last year.
  • There were a number of robust year-on-year increases across cable networks. Key performers were ESPN, AMC, HGTV and Bravo which attracted big double digit gains.
  • Looking at TV’s market share in April, the sector currently represents 54.2% of the advertising total pie, having dropped by 2.5 percentage points from April 2015.
  • SMI’s data recorded a 12% year-on-year boost for the out of home sector in April 2016, a solid result for a sector whose growth has slowed significantly in the year to date.
  • Print media recorded some losses April. The total market fell by -9% YoY. Newspaper (including digital newspapers) spending dropped -11% YoY while the magazine sector (including digital) fell by -4% in the past month.
  • Radio ad volumes stayed flat in April however total revenues remain down by -12% in year-on-year comparison in the 2016 year to date.
  • The best performing advertiser categories for April 2016 were quick serve restaurants (44%), prescription pharmaceuticals (34%) and automotive vehicles and dealerships (22%).
  • SMI’s latest data shows that retail advertising remains strong (up 11%), despite major department store Macy’s recently announcing that consumers had put the brakes on spending mid-March, forcing it to cut its sales and earnings forecast for the year.Media Type – Media Sub Type- April YoY GrowthTelevision
  • Cable TV 7%
  • Broadcast TV 6%
  • Spot TV -10%
  • Syndication 13%
  • Local/MSO Cable 6%
  • Television Total 5%

Digital Pure Play – Content/Search 2% Ad Network/Ad Exchange 27% TV Network – Digital -5% Print – Digital 8% Pure Play – Video 32% Pure Play – Social 59% * Pure Play – Internet Radio 14%

  • Magazines Total -5%
  • Digital Total 15%
  • Newspapers Total -16%
  • Radio Total -1%
  • Out of Home Total 12%
  • Grand Total 7%

Scatter Broadcast 1% Cable TV 13% * Scatter Total 8%

Upfront Broadcast TV 7% Cable TV 10% * Upfront Total 9%

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

World-first SMI Partnership Delivers a New Standard in Industry Ad Spend Reporting

Sydney, 11th May 2016 – Standard Media Index (SMI) has today launched a world-first initiative to deliver a new standard of media industry advertising spend data in collaboration with Australia’s industry body for the print and digital news publishing sector, NewsMediaWorks.

Publisher members of NewsMediaWorks, which represents Australia’s leading news media publishers, have become the first in the world to provide a third party direct access to their payment systems to deliver the most robust data on the sector’s advertising expenditure.

NewsMediaWorks partnered with Standard Media Index – which sources its global ad spend data directly from the booking systems of the world’s largest media Agencies – as SMI’s systems have proven their reliability across multiple Agency markets.

“This is the first time SMI has used its bespoke data collection and processing software to collect advertising bookings directly from media companies,” SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Schulze said.

“It’s an honor to be trusted with such an important assignment, and we are confident we have now produced the most reliable advertising expenditure report ever produced by a media industry organization.”

The new quarterly data, entitled the News Media Index for advertising revenue – powered by SMI has already highlighted the robust health of Australia’s news media industry, with total advertising expenditure of $2.4 billion in the 2015 calendar year.

The data also provides the first breakdown of ad spend for the media’s key segments – Print, Digital and Newspaper Inserted Magazines – and is also the first to include Direct (or local) advertising revenues.

“The data is being created using the same systems and processes SMI employs to collect the data of our Global media Agency partners in more than 15 markets around the world,” Ms Schulze said.

“And all the publisher data has also been mapped to the same SMI Data Taxonomy used by our Agency partners, ensuring easy like-for-like reporting by the industry and advertisers.”

The new data will also enhance commercial transparency of the news media sector for its key stakeholders, such as advertisers, media agencies and investors.

NewsMediaWorks CEO Mark Hollands said: “No other media sector has made such a deep commitment to digital publishing and this is now beginning to deliver true commercial momentum.

“The new index responds to requests of advertisers and investors to reveal that the Australian news media sector has been significantly undervalued by independent analysts. It provides the first real view of the news media sector’s true size,” he said.

Ms Schulze said the news media industry has always been the most respected source of information so it makes sense for it to also publish the most robust figures when it comes to the size of its advertising expenditure.

“And given the ongoing confluence of traditional and digital media, eventually all other industry groups representing ‘traditional’ media will have to follow the lead set today by NewsMediaWorks,” she said.

This significant partnership is the first time Australia’s news publishers have committed to routinely providing accurate and timely revenue data, which signals the industry’s commitment to creating commercial balance and profitable growth across publishers’ print and digital assets.

SMI captures 99% of total national Australian agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

Striking Ad Spend Bonanzas in the Year to Date

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Broadcast networks have certainly felt the pinch, over the years, from cable networks nibbling away at their advertising revenue. But as the current TV season marches towards a conclusion, it’s clear that most of the large broadcast channels are on fire with ad revenue gains, in sharp contrast with many of their cable rivals.

Some broadcast and cable networks devoted to the interests of Hispanics and African Americans are also showing considerable strength – as are newspapers and (in the digital realm) social media, video and radio. That’s according to data that runs through the end of the first quarter.

An analysis of the broadcast year to date (October 2015 through March 2016) shows that five of the top six broadcast networks are all enjoying positive ad-spend growth. On average, the six are up 11% over the 2014-15 broadcast year results.

The only broadcast network in the group that witnessed a decline in the year-to-date analysis is NBC, but its monthly results had moved into positive territory by March 2016 (compared with the same month in ’15).

The strongest among the big six are CBS and Fox, which are both up double-digit percentage points. Univision and Telemundo are up high single digits. However, the Hispanic nets closed out the first quarter with a bigger bang. In March their percentage gains were roughly double what they were for the year to date.

The scatter market had much to do with the positive vibes, as advertisers made up for lackluster spending during the upfront last year. In a Q1 breakout, the broadcast networks drew in 34% more scatter dollars on average than they did during the Q1 2015 period.

The gains come despite sobering news on the ratings front for broadcast networks. According to an analysis of younger demos by Vulture.com, about 85% of the 80 non-sports programs that returned from the previous broadcast year have been hit with viewership declines.

Only eight of the top 20 cable networks achieved revenue gains in SMI’s year-to-date numbers. One of the standouts among them is African American focused BET, whose results for the first quarter were also nearly double what they were over the year-to-date period. Both percentages are double-digit gains.

ESPN, HGTV and the Freeform Network (formerly known as ABC Family) also exhibited double-digit-percentage gains in the cable category for the year to date.

It’s noteworthy that Adult Swim – which, like Freeform, includes young adults in its target demos – showed improvements as the year has progressed. It posted high single-digit gains for the first quarter. In comparison, its year-to-date percentage is close to flat.

On the flip side, some of the cable-network sector’s most iconic brands posted sobering ad-spend declines in the year to date. Among them are TNT, MTV, Comedy Central and History.

Moving on to legacy media, there’s reason for some sectors to celebrate in the Q1 period:

  • Digital newspapers rose 12%;
  • Out-of-home rose 9%.

Traditional radio’s results climbed to 6% in the first quarter. That’s certainly good news for a sector that has been challenged in recent years.

Internet radio towered above legacy radio in percentage growth. The sector, which includes services like Pandora and Spotify, grew nearly 50% in the first quarter.

Other digital sectors had strong stories to tell:

  • Pure-play video, such as YouTube, was up 35% growth in the first quarter;
  • Social sites like Facebook and Instagram collectively posted 58% growth in the first quarter;
  • TV network sites showed lower gains, but more consistency – up 13% for the first quarter.

The popularity of programmatic buying and selling platforms also was exhibited in the ad network/ad exchange category. It grew 27% in the first quarter.

The large number of revenue gains suggests that a wide swath of media sellers are in strong positions as the upfront and newfront season continues.

March Ad Spend Data Shows Continued Growth, Driven by Digital

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

New Zealand’s media market continues to enjoy a period of exceptional growth, with not even the difficult timing of Easter this year affecting its momentum as total Agency bookings grew 1% to a new high for a March month of $81.6 million.

And yet again the growth in NZ’s Digital media propelled most of the growth, with that media’s total spend soaring 25.5% year-on-year and is now 29.8% higher over the same calendar year-to-date period.

Digital bookings now account for 30% of all NZ Agency spend, second only to Television (40%), with Digital almost doubling its share of the market since 2012 when it represented 16.8% of the total.

Indeed, as the graph above shows, Digital’s share of NZ Agency bookings is now equal to that of all other media excluding Television – a feat first achieved in January this year and replicated in March.

New Zealand’s strong run in ad spend in 2016 follows the record level of bookings achieved in CY2015, with at least some of that extra demand fuelled by NZ’s win in the Rugby World Cup.

For more information, please contact us today.

Broadcast and Digital Help Q1 Finish on a High

New York, 21st Apr 2016 – March and the first quarter delivered strong gains for television and digital media’s advertising revenues, a positive result as the industry heads into the all-important upfront and newfronts, according to Standard Media Index (SMI). The total advertising market grew 4% year-on-year in March and was up 8% for Q1 2016 when compared to 2015.

Intensified spending on premium digital properties accelerated in March and drove the digital sector to another stellar month (16%) and ensured the digital sector delivered another outstanding quarter (20%).

Thanks in part to television’s growth in March (2%), the sector also surged ahead in the first quarter of 2016 (4%) as this year’s crucial upfront negotiations approach, which are poised to be the strongest in several years.

“These results continue to reinforce the strength of the major TV networks in an increasingly fragmented market. Large, engaged and measurable audiences that advertisers have confidence in have seen the medium deliver terrific results in recent months. Our data clearly shows a number of major categories, like CPG and auto, moving money back into TV after a lot of experimenting with digital last year. Concerns around viewability and measurement have caused marketers to reassess their mix and we’ve seen television as the major beneficiary here,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s CEO.

“The overall news hasn’t been so great for many of the cable networks with continued soft ratings biting into revenue growth. Hopefully, new total audience measurement initiatives will soon provide a more holistic picture of viewership on all platforms, which should translate into better revenue for everyone in the sector. Premium video and social are the key growth drivers for digital and it’s clear that more reliable measurement make these mediums far more attractive for advertisers.”

SMI recorded slower performances for its other media sectors in March. The magazine, newspaper, out of home and radio sectors all weathered sharp year-on-year percentage decreases in the single to double-digit range.

SMI MARCH AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • In March, broadcast TV spending spiked by 15% year-on-year and cable TV decreased by -5% for the month.
  • It was a mixed month for the upfront market. Ad investment was relatively flat with 2% YoY growth, driven by broadcast’s 7% growth and cable’s -2% decline.
  • It was a tale of opposites in the scatter market – broadcast spending accelerated by 48% YoY in March and cable TV dropped by -14% compared to the same time in 2015. The total market was up by 10% YoY.
  • The top six broadcast networks enjoyed sharp growth (15% YoY) in March 2016. CBS led the pack off the back of a very strong NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament.
  • Fox, Univision and Telemundo all saw double-digit increases, despite soft ratings data.
  • There were widespread year-on-year declines across cable networks in March. HGTV, Food Network and Adult Swim put in the best performances and attracted reasonable year-on-year growth. Softer ratings in the sector have affected ad volumes, with recent reports suggesting a -5% YoY ratings drop in the season-to-date.
  • Looking at TV’s market share in Q1 over the same period in 2015, the sector currently represents 54.4% of the total pie, having dropped by 2 percentage points from 56.3% in Q1 2015.
  • Ad spend volumes were up across digital media (16%) in March. SMI saw investment in internet radio (49%), social media sites (43%) and video sites (35%) all jump significantly on the same period last year. Digital was up 20% YoY for Q1 2016.
  • SMI’s data recorded a -15% year-on-year slump for the out of home sector in March 2016, but it was up 2% YoY for the quarter.
  • Ad revenues recorded some large drops in the print market in March. Newspaper spending dropped -23% YoY while the magazine sector fell by -16% in the past month. The sectors netted out with -12% and -11% declines respectively for the quarter.
  • Radio ad volumes were lower in March and fell slightly by -2% YoY, however they rose 6% to round Q1 2016.
  • The top growth categories in a year-on-year performance for March were consumer electronics (43%), prescription pharmaceuticals (29%) and automotive vehicles and dealerships (21%).
  • Interestingly, as auto ad budgets increase in SMI’s data, auto sales reached their highest monthly rate in almost 10 years in March to hit 1.66 million per month. A recent report said auto sales were up 8% on last year.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

The love affair between media and automotive companies may still be going strong, particularly with television. It counts auto manufacturers, dealers and related companies as its No....

Apr 14, 2016

Auto Advertising’s Bumpy Ride

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

The love affair between media and automotive companies may still be going strong, particularly with television. It counts auto manufacturers, dealers and related companies as its No. 1 advertising sector, year after year.

But a look at Standard Media Index data between 2013 and the first months of 2016 shows constantly changing spending patterns. It’s as if buyers have been “driving while intoxicated”. But their inebriation has to do with digital opportunities and live sports events rather than an occasional margarita.

Take, for example, the TV broadcast network category. SMI data shows that spending was:

  • Down 9% in 2013, compared with the previous year;
  • Up 10% in 2014;
  • Down 7% last year;
  • Then up 5% for the first two months of ’16 compared to the same period in ‘15.

The spot TV market showed a similar yo-yo effect:

  • Off by 3% in 2013;
  • Up 7% in 2014;
  • Down 9% in 2015, to $1.4 billion;
  • Up 7% for January and February 2016.

Cable network spending was a bit different:

  • Up 7% in 2013;
  • Flat in 2014;
  • Up 4% in 2015;
  • Down 9% for the first two months of this year.

The rise in 2014 for broadcast networks and stations can be partially attributed to auto companies’ attraction to special sports events. There was a double whammy that year: both the Olympics and the World Cup.

Yet spot’s 2014 rise came despite heavy competition for avails during the midterm elections. The only 2014 quarter that posted a decline in auto spot spending was the fourth, as the races went into hyper mode.

But there are other reasons for the rollercoaster effect. Some auto manufacturers have mandated that their dealers allocate more of their co-op ad dollars to digital. And dealers need to make every marketing dollar count, in an age when their margins are low and shoppers increasingly rely on the Web for information about cars.

Little surprise, then, that digital was on fire, exhibiting growth of:

  • 24% in 2013;
  • 10% in 2014;
  • 19% in 2015;
  • 36% for January and February 2016.

One of the biggest auto revenue “winners” in recent years, among digital media sectors, was pure-play video. The category posted annual double-digit percentage gains over the last three full years, most spectacularly in 2015, when the annual growth was 76%.

Pure-play social sites garnered double-digit percentage growth as well – except in 2014 when the growth was triple digit, up 114%.

The inebriation with digital will probably continue, but at the same time there are reasons why spending on TV could grow stronger. This year brings us the summer Olympics, of course. In addition, advertisers are increasingly cognizant of how they can maximize results.

For example, recent analysis from the Advertising Research Foundation concluded that when TV is added back to digital spending, the “kicker effect” is a 60% increase in return on investment. TV companies would do well to accentuate that ROI one-two “punch” and capitalize on the digital video advertising upswing with compelling opportunities.

February Ad Spend Jumps Despite Soft Ratings

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Standard Media Index (SMI) has just released its February data and it delivers some fascinating insights into a market that is sending a host of mixed messages.

Pleasingly for agencies and publishers, the overall market jumped 10% in February in comparison to the same period in 2015 and things start to become interesting when we look at the broader market context and delve into specific media types.

The TV market continues to deliver healthy gains, putting on 5% growth for the month. This growth was not even across the board with cable leaping by 11% and syndication, local and spot TV all attracting mid-single digit gains. Broadcast missed out this month, giving back 2% on the same month last year.

Overall, TV networks can be well pleased with February’s result as recent C3 and C7 numbers show real softness across both cable and broadcast. This incongruity in ratings versus revenue shows us what a great job the networks have done in demonstrating the power of their audiences to brands and their agencies. Easily targeted in large numbers and without issues around viewability, TV audiences have given power back to the networks and we expect to see this flow through to a very healthy upfront. We are also seeing advertisers flock to premium video and we expect the argument around ‘the kicker effect’ has gained real support. The theory, proven by just published ARF research, shows how adding video to TV buys multiples the effect and ROI of these campaigns for little extra spend. Video jumped 43% for the month and we expect these results to accelerate as more campaigns are driven into a multi-screen environment off the back of this ground breaking research.

CBS was the biggest winner in the month which isn’t surprising given they sold an estimated $350 million worth of advertising on Super Bowl Sunday. Other winners were mostly in cable and included HGTV, ESPN and TBS, which all delivered healthy double digit gains. We were encouraged to see revenue increases across most of the leading cable networks and have seen that more inventory has been available than for previous months as audience deficiency units have, to a large extent, been washed through systems.

Digital media, as expected, continues to deliver robust growth. The sector slammed on 21% growth in February over 2015, and the big winners, in addition to video, were internet radio (+63%) and social (+49%).

It was a mixed story for the rest of the media market. Joining digital radio’s strong growth in the month was traditional radio, leaping 22% for the period. Out of home added 10% year-on-year. Magazines and newspapers both suffered drops — down 5% and 17%, respectively.

SMI is developing some category specific deep dives and we look forward to bringing these to readers in the coming weeks.

U.S. Ad Expenditure Racks Up 10% Growth in February

New York, 17th Mar 2016 – U.S. ad revenues swelled across all media sectors, except the print market, during the second month of the year, according to global advertising data company Standard Media Index (SMI). The total market rose by 10% in February compared to the same period last year.

Healthy television ad revenues during the month contributed to solid results (5% YoY) for the sector despite flagging ratings evident across the board. Notably, this awards season appeared to lose its luster with weak performances from both the Grammy Awards and Oscars broadcasts.

It was still a mixed bag for TV despite its overall growth. Broadcast’s revenues shed -2% for the month, however cable and all other TV sectors recorded year-on-year percentage growth in the single to double-digit range.

“While February continued to see ratings under pressure it looks like most of the cable networks have been able to wash a lot of their audience make goods through their systems and are starting to book some pretty healthy year on year revenue gains. TV continues to prove it’s the most powerful medium for reaching large, easily targeted and engaged audiences,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s CEO.

“Advertisers are also seeing that adding video to a TV buy multiples the effect and ROI of their campaigns and we’re seeing this in the very considerable and consistent growth levels delivered by video on both premium sites and through social platforms. We expect to see this trend accelerate through 2016 as measurement continues to improve.”

There were 21% more advertising dollars invested in the thriving digital sector this February over 2015, which comes as advertisers continue to favor the medium as a more effective way to reach their audiences. Digital’s share of total ad spend has increased to 27%, rising by 3 points in February compared to 2015.

In traditional media, radio advertising spending (22% YoY) in February eclipsed even digital media’s performance in a surprising result, while newspapers (-17%) and magazines’ (-5%) ad revenues delivered negative year-on-year results.

SMI’s data showed that out of home (10%) advertising continues to be another bright spot in the market, maintaining the momentum it generated in late 2015.

Interestingly, U.S. consumer spending sputtered in February, according to a report released by the Census Bureau, while advertising spending continues to grow. Retail sales have now fallen for two consecutive months, a sign that the ad market might soon experience a knock-on effect.

SMI DECEMBER AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • In February, Cable TV grew by 11% YoY and broadcast TV slipped by -2% year-on-year.
  • Reporting on national advertising from global agencies, SMI’s data showed that Syndication, Local/MSO cable and Spot TV all had percentage growth in the single to low double-digits in the month.
  • It was another relatively flat (3% YoY) month for upfront ad spending, driven by cable TV’s 8% growth and broadcast’s -2% decline.
  • Maintaining its performance of recent months, the scatter market recorded an 11% YoY increase in February. With a 21% YoY uptick, cable TV was the key driver of growth however the broadcast TV scatter market was -2% YoY weaker in the month.
  • The top six broadcast networks saw ad sales drop by -2% YoY in February 2016. CBS was a stand-out performer, thanks to a bumper month with its broadcast of Super Bowl 2016. The match attracted 111.9 million viewers and was the third most watched program in TV history.
  • Cable networks HGTV, ESPN and TBS continued their strong performance with healthy double-digit percentage rises again in February. The much-hyped launch of TBS’s Full Frontal with Samantha Bee in early February garnered strong ratings for the network which translated into healthy revenue gains.
  • Advertisers capitalizing on the dynamic digital media market drove ad spend volumes up, investing strongly in internet radio (63% YoY), social media sites (49% YoY) and video sites (43% YoY) in February.
  • The top advertiser categories prospering from high spending in a year-on-year performance in February were prescription pharmaceuticals (49%), quick serve restaurants (30%) and food, produce and dairy (27%).

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

Does Strong Government Spending Indicate Early 2016 Election?

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Australia’s advertising market continues to deliver stronger-than-expected growth with Standard Media Index’s February 2016 data showing the market is already 2% larger than it was in the same month last year, having grown by $11.7 million to $582.0 million.

The industry’s strength is surprising given last February’s results were buoyed by significant advertising for the Cricket World Cup, which attracted large automotive and retail sponsors.

But this month the advertising market gained material support from an unexpected quarter – the bullish government sector.

SMI’s government category emerged as the sixth largest of all SMI’s 39 product categories this month, having delivered the largest dollar and percentage gain of any with its total soaring 57% year-on-year (representing a $9.14 million increase) to $25.2 million.

It’s by far the highest government expenditure ever recorded by SMI for the month of February in our ten years of data, with such levels of growth raising the question of whether the government has accelerated its advertising plans in preparation for an early election?

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

SMI’s Data Analytics Director Rob Russell has analysed previous government category spending in the lead up to a federal election, and found current spend levels are already above that seen ahead of the 2013 and 2010 elections.

Also, Rob’s graph (shown above) indicates that given the market’s current strength, government category ad spend is likely to track even higher than previously seen.

SMI’s category data shows the bulk of the higher government ad spending was directed to television where total government bookings lifted 57.9% YOY to $7.4 million. And SMI’s premium media sector data shows that 80% of that higher TV spending was directed to metropolitan TV.

But in percentage terms, the highest growth in government spending was seen in newspapers where the total lifted 97.8% to $5.4 million. And the government seems to be using newspapers to mostly target the regional markets, as SMI’s media sector data shows the regional press market scored the most government ad spend of any newspaper sector with the total doubling YOY.

Government ad spend on the digital media also grew in February but by a lesser 54% to $5.5 million, with the highest spend going to content sites, followed by exchanges, search and then social sites.

The metropolitan and regional radio markets also gained further government category support this month (bookings lifted 76% on metro radio to $1.78 million) and were also strong on regional radio.

And if these growth rates are maintained for the rest of the year, the Australian advertising market can be assured of achieving another record level of ad spend in CY2016.

One can only surmise that this is all leading towards an early election… What do you think?

Digital Drives the UK Ad Market to Another Solid Year in 2015

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

The UK ad market has been dynamic and in sound health during the past twelve months, meeting the year’s most optimistic forecasts, according to our latest figures. The year closed at 6.3% year-on-year growth, only slightly slower than 2014 (7.1%), which had set a five year record for growth.

It was yet another year in which digital featured as the market’s main driver, increasing 17.3% YoY. Growth at this level is especially remarkable as it’s the third year running that the growth has maintained the pattern of the previous years. The sector grew 19.1% in 2013 and 17.6% in 2014. We are not just talking about exponential growth in the sector, but there are also no signs of deceleration in digital.

Within digital, SMI’s UK data reveals that ad spend in direct/premium inventory has grown even faster than in 2014 (15.3% vs 13.5%), whereas investment in third party/programmatic impressions, even if it is still growing a faster pace than direct, shows deceleration when compared to the previous year (33.6% growth in 2014 and 22.3% in 2016). When we add this to the proliferation of programmatic-premium solutions on the publisher’s end, it’s not hard to spot that marketers are on the hunt for the best ad inventory on quality digital properties.

Just as significant, and perhaps impressive, as the continued rise and popularity of digital media is the ability of television to grow 4.1% in 2015 compared to 2015 and remain a reference for advertisers. TV, a medium widely characterized for its ability to reach mass audiences is leveraging a visible, growing pattern towards customer segmentation, with subscription TV (up 11.5%) growing faster than free to air (1.5%) for the fourth consecutive year. It now accounts for 28% of the overall TV ad spend.

Looking at the share growth across the UK media sector, digital and TV combined represented nearly 75% of the agency bookings, followed by out of home (9.3% of the share and 13.5% YoY growth in 2015), newspapers (6.5% share and -18.6%), magazines (4.3% and a drop of -10.6%), radio (3.7% of the share and growing +8.5%), cinema (1.3% of the share and a +38.7% growth), and direct mail (which represented 0.8% of the total and declined -24.3% during 2015).

Among the top 10 investing sectors, the automotive category was the fastest grower (+13.1%), with beauty and grooming advertisers (+12.1%); food, produce and dairy (+8.5%) and travel (+4.9%) spending heavily as well. On the opposite side, entertainment (-11.2%), consumer electronics (-2.6%), and financial services and insurance (-1.7%) decreased their advertising budgets in 2015. Retail, the largest vertical by share, spent 2.9% more in 2015 than in the previous year.

There are plenty of reasons for optimism in the UK advertising industry, and the good news is they are not just related to macroeconomic factors. The healthy UK economy, improved wages and low inflation props up advertisers’ confidence, but it’s the much-improved digital advertising technology, the embrace of mobile communications by marketers, and a data-driven approach to customer segmentation that’s changing the game. Here’s hoping it will bring just as solid – if not better – figures in 2017.

Signs of Gold in the Year Ahead

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

The year 2016 is still in its infancy, but there are already strong signs that it will be a winner on several fronts for media companies. Our fourth quarter 2015 data is now available, and together with full-year results, there are some strong indicators that TV network ad spend will rise by mid-single digit percentages this year, compared with 2015.

That’s assuming that NFL games will continue to flex their ratings muscle; the Summer Olympics will capture broad attention, and political advertising – which traditionally flows most liberally into spot – will have a halo effect for broadcast and cable channels, and most definitely for digital.

I’m also betting that TV networks will enjoy growth in upfront dollars this year, given the huge increase in scatter spend during the last quarter. And the strong magnetic pull of digital will gain even more momentum, as many cable networks continue to face ratings challenges and advertisers scout out even more alternative opportunities.

TELEVISION

Almost without exception, ad spend results for both the broadcast and cable networks in December 2015 was slower than earlier months in the fourth quarter, as advertisers washed through their make-goods after robust October and November spending.

However, scatter spending was still extraordinary both for the month of December and full quarter, when compared to the same time in 2014. Consider that:

  • Among the broadcast networks, scatter grew a whopping 47% in Q4 and 36% in December.
  • Cable channel scatter rose 13% for the quarter, although in December it was down 2%.
  • Averaging cable and broadcast networks together, scatter was up 28% in Q4 and 14% in December.

Six of the top 20 cable networks, ranked according to ad expenditure, bucked an overall cable trend of declining dollars in the fourth quarter.

The strongest ad spend performers included:

  • ESPN, which was up during the quarter and in December, undoubtedly buoyed by Monday Night Football and college football;
  • ABC Family and Discovery, which found gold with Gold Rush, was up in the double-digits for December and Q4;
  • AMC (the only network to post a rise in December over the quarterly results) up 16% and 17%;

The biggest winner in the broadcast network comparisons was Fox, home of the Empire series phenomenon. The second highest ad-spend winner in the fourth quarter was ABC.

NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES AND OUTDOOR MEDIA

The immediacy of newspapers and their continuing success as digital news sources really started to pay off throughout 2015, and the media category was a standout during the last quarter as well: up 14%, compared with 7% for the entire year.

By way of comparison, magazines lost 1% ad spend for the quarter, and were down 5% for full year 2015.

Out of home posted stronger results than newspapers for the quarter: up 18%. However, it was down 4% in December.

DIGITAL

We’ve come to expect nothing but stellar results for digital ad spend growth, and the final chapter of 2015 provided no surprises. The category enjoyed an overall rise of 35% in Q4 and hardly any slowdown in December, up 34%. That’s better than the category’s performance for the entire year, up 26%.

There were some excellent stories among the digital media as well. For example:

  • Social media sites nearly doubled in ad spend during the fourth quarter, up 94%, and they averaged 71% growth for the entire year.
  • Pureplay video sites, like Hulu and YouTube, collectively gained 77% in the fourth quarter, an improvement over 52% for the year.
  • Internet radio sites were up 63% for the fourth quarter and 42% for the year

The digital radio (i.e. podcasts) results are in stark contrast to broadcast radio’s results: up 4% in the fourth quarter, but down 2% for full-year 2015.

It remains to be seen if the bright beacons of light in the fourth quarter will cast a glow over 2016 overall. But with huge waves of political dollars crashing to shore and the strength of live Summer Olympic and NFL games on the schedule, chances are it will include some outstanding results.

NZ: A Record CY Sees the Market Nudge $1bn

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

New Zealand’s agency market has set a new benchmark high in the 2015 calendar year driven by an exceptionally strong period of advertising growth in the December quarter.

Total advertising spend soared 4.3% above the previous calendar year to $960.3 million with most of the higher spend directed to the media of digital and outdoor.

But it wasn’t a year of smooth sailing for the New Zealand market with lower demand experienced mid-year before the country’s Rugby World Cup win seemingly inspired a significant December quarter turnaround.

In that period, SMI is reporting a 9.2% increase in actual ad spend, with five of the market’s ten largest product categories reporting very high double digit increases in their media investments over that quarterly period.

Leading the market higher in this period was the airlines/travel agents category (with those advertisers collectively growing bookings 35.6% QoQ to become the fifth largest spending category in this period), while government spending was also markedly higher (+24.9%).

Indeed, the strength of the market was underscored by the fact that the largest category of retail advertising was delivering reduced demand over the longer financial and calendar year periods (-4.8% and 5.3% respectively) but managed to rebound in the December quarter (+1.0%) before growing a healthy 6.3% for the month of December.

SMI’s data also shows the complexion of the NZ media market continues to change, with the country one of the fastest growing in terms of spending onto Digital media.

Total digital ad spend soared 43.3% in December year-on-year period to account for 30% of all market spend for the first time, and grew 32.6% over the full calendar year.

As a result, TV ad spend now accounts for 37.8% of all NZ ad spend and outdoor 10.8%.

For more detail or subscription queries, please contact SMI’s AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Schulze: jschulze@standardmediaindex.com“>jschulze@standardmediaindex.com

Ad Market Ends 2015 on a High Note

New York, 25th Jan 2016 – Advertising spending delivered strong gains in December as U.S. consumers’ opinion of the economy improved to the highest level since July. The total market rose by 9% for the month, helping cement positive growth for the overall quarter, according to new Standard Media Index (SMI) data.

Following two vibrant months in the fourth quarter, television ad volumes dipped -3% year-on-year in December. The decline was primarily caused by challenging ratings seen across many networks, and potentially affected by advertisers’ decision to ‘front-load’ their spend at the beginning of the holiday season.

In the digital sector, the market jumped by 34% in December compared to the same time last year– a result that echoed growth rates seen consistently throughout 2015. SMI said the key drivers were content sites (21%) sites and programmatic spending (40%), which together made up the majority of digital ad dollars.

SMI’s data also recorded a steady increase in newspaper advertising during December, but the magazine, out of home and radio sectors all suffered and posted slight declines. All media sectors ended the fourth quarter with solid year-on-year growth, with the exception of magazines.

“Rising consumer confidence and a positive start to the new broadcast year delivered a strong fourth quarter, which lifted the total market into positive territory following a lackluster first nine months of the year,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s chief commercial officer.

“The overall market results were definitely underpinned by excellent NFL ratings and the new dollars from fantasy leagues. On the downside, we see that soft ratings, especially in cable, combined with challenges around digital’s effectiveness causing concerns and this impacted December’s results.”

SMI’s latest data showed that ad investment remained in line with U.S. consumer sentiment figures recently released by the University of Michigan, which showed that sentiment rose in December to its highest level since July 2015. It was lifted in part by low inflation, modest gains in income and cheaper gas, which has boosted Americans’ purchasing power.

The figures reinforce that as consumers spend more, advertisers are chasing them in the hope of capturing more of their hard earned dollars.

SMI DECEMBER AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Reporting on 80% of national ad spend, SMI data showed that broadcast ad spend grew by 1% in December 2015 and cable shed -4% in a year-on-year comparison.
  • Television delivered strong results in the fourth quarter; total bookings were up 9% YoY for the period. Broadcast rose by 13% compared to the same time last year and cable jumped by 8% on a YoY comparison.
  • There was robust spending in the scatter and upfront markets. The markets closed out the fourth quarter with a 28% and 6% YoY increase respectively.
  • A look at the top six broadcast TV networks showed that ad revenues increased by a combined 2% YoY in December. Ad revenues for the same group of networks ended the fourth quarter up by 14%, when compared to Q4 2014.
  • Cable networks ESPN, AMC and Discovery Channel were standout performers in December, all attracting double-digit percentage increases in December. Other major cable networks fared less well due to poor ratings in the month which resulted in double-digit percentage declines for many of the leading networks.
  • Ad spend volumes were strong across digital media. Investment in the sector was up 34% for December, beefed up by increasing advertising spend on video sites (74%), internet radio (64%) and social media sites (75%). The digital market holds a 40% share of the total advertising pie in December.
  • SMI’s data showed that ad dollars flowing to the out of home sector dropped by -4% year-on-year in December.
  • In the print market, newspaper spending heated up with 8% YoY growth in December, however the magazine market fell -3% when compared to 2014.
  • Radio ad revenues decreased by -1% YoY in December when compared to the same time last year, despite growth on the medium’s digital platforms.
  • The top growth categories for December on a year-on-year performance basis were prescription pharmaceuticals (41%), food, produce and dairy (28%) and telecommunications (19%).
  • Interestingly, SMI’s retail category dropped by -2% in December, traditionally the busiest retail spending month. At the same time, the Commerce Department released figures which showed retail sales slipped 0.1%. Some reports suggested unseasonably warm weather undercut sales of winter apparel.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

Australia’s Ad Market Strikes Out: Grows 4.5% to a Record CY High in Uncertain Times

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Australia’s advertising market has come into its own over the 2015 calendar year, defying expectations and an uncertain economy to deliver an outstanding 4.5% increase in advertising expenditure, taking the size of the media agency market to a colossal $7.9 billion.

Normally advertising expenditure is closely tied to economic sentiment, but with the latest RBA data showing the Australian economy growing at 2.5%, our advertisers have obviously grown their media investment at a much higher rate.

And it’s also been a year of consistent growth with higher ad spend delivered each month, with all of those small gains adding to an extra $338.6 million being spent on Australian media this year.

Benefiting from the windfall has mostly been the major media of outdoor, digital, radio and cinema media, all of which are also reporting record levels of calendar year advertising expenditure.

And in the year in which growing online bandwidths fuelled a whole new level of competition for TV eyeballs from the advertising-free subscription video-on-demand industry, Australia’s television media grew its agency advertising bookings by 0.2% from 2014 (and was only $85 million short of the record level of ad spend achieved in the 2013 Federal election year).

SMI’s product category data details at least in part how our advertising market kept ahead of economic growth, and it was probably unsurprisingly mostly due to the competitive stimulus from new products and services.

For example, the highly competitive automotive brand market – which has just reported a record level of car sales in 2015 – invested an extra $60.6 million in advertising in 2015, And off the back of this growing market the related auto dealers/parts/commercial category grew its ad spend by $29.7 million.

In a similar vein, ongoing competition within the gambling industry saw advertising for those new products and services increase by $65.6 million this year.

And an increasingly competitive movie market ensured growth in SMI’s movies/cinema/theme parks category of $43.2 million in 2015.

When those dollar increases are totalled, higher competition from individual markets alone has delivered 57% of the `new’ ad spend achieved in Australia in 2015.

Add onto that an extra $26.1 million from state election-based advertising, new Communications products growing that category’s spend by $24.7 million and higher spending from the travel sector and the picture of Australia’s advertising growth starts to come together.

The result has been a stand-out 2015 year from an advertising expenditure perspective.

And most pundits expect that with a federal election, a Census and the Rio Olympics all occurring in 2016 the growth in Australian advertising expenditure is set to continue into 2016.

SMI’s data, which details the monthly movement of ad spend across all media, media sectors, vendors and 39 product categories, will again be a critical tool for media stakeholders seeking to capitalise on the fast-evolving market in 2016.

Year in Review (January – November 2015): The Best Comes Last

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

The year 2015 may have started out with a whimper, but it’s ending with a bang for media companies judging by their ad spend results.

Agency bookings for October and November were significantly better than the previous months. In fact, Standard Media Index’s findings show that November’s results for total media ad spend was 23% higher than the same month last year. That is an amazing 16% higher than the previous record-breaking month within the last six years. (SMI has been tracking agency bookings in 2009.)

As we flip the calendar to a whole new year, it’s likely that the upbeat trend will continue, with media companies benefiting from the Olympics in Rio next summer, higher upfront pricing than broadcast year 2014-15, the political election cycle and the likelihood that ratings will remain strong.

Results for the first nine months of 2015 were dampened by several factors. There were no Olympic or World Cup games. The 2014-15 upfront market was disappointing. And digital, while drawing new dollars to media as a whole, kept chipping at away other sectors, like television, print and radio.

Standard Media Index’s extensive database shows an equal split between media “winners” and “losers” for the January to October period. When judging the first 10 months against the same period last year, the comparison shows:

  • Digital up 23%;
  • Out of Home up 11%;
  • Newspapers up 4%;
  • TV down 3%;
  • Radio down 5%;
  • Magazines down 6%.

The TV sector has undergone a spectacular change more recently. Comparisons between November 2015 to November 2014 show:

  • The local/MSO cable category grew 28%;
  • Syndication rose 25%;
  • TV networks’ digital business rose 21%;
  • Cable networks were up 18%;
  • Broadcast networks up 15%;

Advertisers spread some love in other media categories as well. When looking at November 2015 Vs. November 2014, SMI’s results show:

  • Total digital was up 37%;
  • Within digital, pureplay social was up 116;
  • Newspapers grew 22%;
  • Radio rose 24%;
  • Out of home zoomed 44% higher.

There were several positive trends this year related to certain types of advertisers. For example when looking at the first 10 months, automotive vehicles and dealerships showed ad spend revenue rises in three TV sectors in comparison with the same period in 2014:

  • Cable networks (4%);
  • Local/MSO cable (7%);
  • TV digital (3%).

In the same period, pharmaceuticals and prescription advertisers showed growth for three TV groups:

Broadcast networks (30%); Cable networks (12%); Syndication (26%).

And insurance was a standout for three TV groups:

  • Cable networks (6%);
  • Spot TV (39%);
  • Syndication (4%).

The upfront market for broadcast year 2014-15 was like a bad head cold that didn’t clear up until it was all over. The broadcast networks were down in upfront spending from the first quarter through the third quarter – although the negative numbers progressively improved, from a negative 16% in Q1 to minus 2% in Q3.

Broadcast network scatter was progressively worse as the year went on, moving from 3% growth in Q1, to flat in Q2 and then down 9% in Q3.

Cable networks’ upfront ad spend was a little better, but they were in negative territory for the first two quarters (down 8% and 1%, respectively). And in Q3 the cable networks were flat. In scatter, cable networks were up single-digit percentages in all three quarters, moving from up 7% to 5% then 2%.

But what a difference a few months can make. In November, broadcast upfront dollars and cable networks grew in the double-digits.

Of course, the negative comparisons in the first three quarters are at least partially due to two huge events in 2014: the Sochi Winter Olympics and the World Cup. And they also reflect the huge and growing allure of digital solutions.

SMI’s analysis of the first nine months of broadcast year 2014-15 (October 2014 to September 2015) revealed that digital ad spend was up 16%, growing by $1 billion in the period. Some of that revenue was completely new and organic growth, but a significant amount was siphoned from other media, mostly from TV.

While the digital erosion could accelerate in the new year, the combination of a stronger upfront, political dollars and the Summer Olympics in Rio should make 2016 a very rewarding year.

Ad Market Surges 23% in November, Delivers Record Number

New York, 17th Dec 2015 – The start of the holiday season and a robust TV market delivered a record-breaking month for the U.S ad market in November,according to Standard Media Index’s (SMI) latest data.

The total market grew by more than 23% in a year-on-year comparison in November, driven by dollars flowing into a lively television sector (up 17%) which saw double-digit increases across every part of TV. Cable rose 18% and broadcast jumped by 15% YoY for the month.

Strong network ratings in November propelled TV’s big gains. As the football season continued to gain momentum, 30 million viewers tuned-in to CBS on Thanksgiving Day for the most-watched game of the NFL season and NBC’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade broadcast was the fall’s most-watched non-sports telecast.

Late night TV ratings and new programming also continued to fare well with audiences. NBC’s ‘Tonight Show’ delivered the second best monthly ratings average in seven years.

While TV showed no sign of a slowdown following its vibrant start to the broadcast year, growth rates were also significantly higher across the entire advertising market. Digital (37%), out of home (44%), newspapers (22%) and radio (24%) all recorded excellent year-on-year increases.

“Strong consumer spending in the lead up to the holidays coupled with a strengthening TV market, driven by the power of NFL ratings, has delivered the highest monthly advertising spend seen since SMI started tracking agency bookings in 2009. November’s result is a staggering 16% higher than the previous record month, demonstrating the faith major brands have in the ad market to drive brand awareness and sales,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s chief commercial officer.

“All sectors have been swept up by this positive momentum and we expect this trend to continue, particularly if solid TV ratings continue to attract the high pricing that the scatter market is currently commanding.”

SMI’s latest data echoes consumer spending trends in November, which rose solidly as the holiday shopping season got off to a brisk start according to a Commerce Department report.

SMI NOVEMBER AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Reporting on 80% of national ad spend, total television bookings remain down 1% for the overall calendar year-to-date.
  • All other parts of the TV sector including local/MSO cable (28%), syndication (25%) and spot TV (11%) posted healthy gains in November.
  • SMI’s data recorded a robust month for upfront ad spending. The market rose by 13%, driven by broadcast’s 9% growth and cable’s 16% increase.
  • The overall scatter market delivered a 33% YoY gain. Broadcast ad volumes spiked by 44% and cable delivered a 24% increase.
  • The top six broadcast networks saw ad sales growth in November 2015. CBS, ABC, NBC, Univision and Telemundo all showed healthy rises, thanks to their fall sports and new entertainment programming roster.
  • Cable networks ESPN, HGTV, FOX, TBS and Food Network continued their strong performance again in November with significant double-digit percentage rises.
  • The SMI digital market continues to deliver double-digit growth (37% YoY) for November 2015. The drivers of this growth are social media sites (116%) and video sites (92%).
  • Content sites (20%) and programmatic media (41%) make up the majority of digital ad dollars.
  • SMI’s data showed that the out of home sector recorded a 44% year-on-year increase in November.
  • In the print market, newspaper spending expanded by 22% YoY in the past month, however the magazine market grew at a slower rate (3%).
  • Radio ad volumes enjoyed an exceptional month and rose by 24% YoY.
  • The top growth categories in a year-on-year performance for November were prescription pharmaceuticals (+65%), quick service restaurants (+47%) and food, produce and dairy (+33%).
  • Interestingly, SMI’s data showed a significant increase in prescription pharmaceuticals advertising in November as doctors’ groups began campaigning for a crackdown on direct-to-consumer advertising by pharmaceutical companies.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

International Ad Spend Soars 7.2% Higher in Q3

New York, 15th Dec 2015 – Advertising demand within some of the world’s largest markets has moved significantly higher in the third quarter of 2015, with total growth of 7.2% the highest seen since the Sochi Winter Olympics-inspired 11% quarterly increase recorded in early 2014.

By market, the UK has delivered the highest percentage growth of advertising spend in the quarter with total demand lifting 9.8% over the same quarter last year, no doubt at least in part due to the country hosting the Rugby World Cup in September.

But the large US market also delivered substantial growth of 7.4%, with double digit expenditure gains at each of the digital, out of home and newspaper media.

And while the smaller NZ market also benefited from the Rugby World Cup and ad spend within the Australian market is at record highs, the exchange rate has impacted the level of USD growth reported by those markets.

The outdoor and digital media were the only two major media to report quarter-on-quarter gains in each of the US, UK, Australian and NZ markets in the July to September period, with the trends the most pronounced in the US and UK.

SMI’s international category data shows the stronger demand is mostly due to large increases in ad spend by pharmaceutical advertisers. They collectively grew ad spend 35% on the same quarter a year ago) and advertisers in the computers/software market (+65% QOQ).

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

Fast Food is One Big ‘Happy Meal’ For Cable Networks

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

The quick service restaurant business is as vibrant as a yellow and green Subway sign these days. As fast food workers across the nation have demonstrated for higher wages, Kentucky Fried Chicken has tested out home delivery in California to bump up sales. And McDonald’s has been busy fighting itself out of a slump, recently introducing the McPick 2 deal, two food items for $2.

We dug into our actual ad spend data and the results tell us exactly how quick service restaurant advertisers are spending their marketing dollars.

When it comes to advertising, the category has certainly had its ups and downs, but it’s been stand-out ‘happy meal’ for cable networks, which pulls in more QSR dollars than any other media sector. And fast food is getting even happier for several media sectors as 2015 progresses.

During the last four broadcast years, QSR has consistently held a 5% share of all ad spend on cable networks. In fact, fast food was only one of three Top 10 cable network ad categories that showed positive ad revenue growth during broadcast year 2014-15, up 8% in comparison with QSR revenue in 2013-2014.

The category hasn’t been in the Top 10 rankings for the broadcast networks in recent years, however QSR just pushed into the top tier for TV’s digital sales, in the No. 10 position during the 2014-15 broadcast year, with a 4% ad spend share for that media sector.

Lower gas prices over the last year probably had a positive impact on consumer spending at quick service restaurants, but the first half of 2015 showed some dips in ad spending for television as a whole: down 2% in the first quarter, followed by down 7% in the second, in comparison with the same respective periods during the previous year. But then it swung into positive territory in Q3, rising 7%.

Broadcast networks fared worse than TV as a whole: down 15% on the previous year and then 28% for the first two 2015 quarters, respectively. However, the dip was less severe in Q3, with a decline of 7%.

In comparison, cable networks are showing much more strength in the QSR category this year. Although ad spend dipped a mere 1% in Q2, spending was up 13% in the first quarter, and then up 20% in Q3.

Two other noteworthy media sectors with consistent fast food growth this year have been radio and digital as a whole. In fact, both exhibited double-digit percentage rises for each successive quarter. Radio’s best quarter, on a revenue growth basis, was Q1, up 33%.

For total digital, Q3 was the most phenomenal, up 56%. And that was also TV digital’s best quarter this year: up 47%.

Print media’s revenue in the QSR category is much smaller than TV or digital, but both magazines and newspapers showed significant QSR growth in the second and third quarters. Magazines were up 56% and then 78% for the two periods, respectively. And newspapers bumped up 35% followed by 62% during the same two quarters.

With McDonald’s charging back, and gas prices still low as consumers hit the shopping malls before the end-of-year holidays, chances are that the fourth quarter will prove vibrant for QSR. For cable, it certainly seems to be the gift that keeps on giving.

US Advertising Market Drops in October, Driven by Soft TV Upfront Spend

New York, 04th Dec 2015 – Advertising spending in newspapers as well as the burgeoning digital media sector were the only sectors to grow during the first month of Q4, according to the latest report from Standard Media Index (SMI), which is the industry standard in real-time advertising data.

The start of the new quarter turned out a soft result for the US advertising market overall, which fell -4% in October over the same period in 2013, and is largely attributed to a weak start to the new TV season.

“SMI’s latest data shows advertisers held back dollars in October which caused a decline across the market, driven by a slow start to the new TV season. We anticipate that falling commodity prices will flow through to more money in consumers’ pockets in the coming months and ad dollars will begin to follow,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s chief commercial officer.

Despite dropping -10% compared to the same month last year, SMI’s data shows auto advertisers bought up the bulk of ad space across the market, with automotive topping the categories that attracted the most advertising dollars in October.

SMI OCTOBER AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Television ad spending showed a considerable drop with a -9% fall over the same period last year. Marketers reduced their spending on both cable (-7%) and broadcast television (-9%), and media (48%), consumer electronics (+32%), and pharmaceuticals (+7%) were the top three fastest growing categories within overall TV in October.
  • In cable TV, SMI analysis shows that the networks were weaker this October when compared to the same time last year, however AMC was up +33% off the back the hit series The Walking Dead.
  • In cable television for October 2014, scatter now represents 23% of all broadcast revenues, growing from 17% in 2013. In broadcast, scatter now holds 16% of all ad revenues and is also up from 11% last year.
  • Advertising investment in the digital sector continues to grow at breakneck speed, with double-digit ad increases across programmatic (+49%), mobile (+22%), video (+19%), display (+17%) and search (+16%) for the first ten months of the year. Overall, digital gained +11% in October.
  • Across social media channels, YouTube performed strongly in October and grew its ad revenue by +45% year-on-year.
  • Newspapers, one of only two media sectors with positive growth this month, gained +4% CYTD and +5% for the month of October. Of all newspaper titles, advertisers shelled out the most dollars to The Wall Street Journal which performed exceptionally with a 80% increase in ad revenues in October. It holds 11% of the total newspaper revenue.
  • For October 2014, the radio market radio saw a -4% decrease driven by a drop in ad Network Radio revenues (-15%).

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

Auto Advertisers Go Off the Beaten Track

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

It’s hard not to love automotive advertising if you’re involved with TV network ad sales. It consistently ranks No. 1 for broadcast networks and No. 2 for cable channels, when judged according to total revenue, according to SMI’s Q3 data.

Outside factors are favorable: interest rates for new cars have been extremely attractive; new light vehicle sales have been on a steady climb; and gas prices have dropped.

Yet if you look under the hood of this category by delving into our data, it’s clear the ad sector is providing some challenges for the networks – although there has been some improvement in the most recently completed quarter.

First, let’s look at auto within the larger context of the Top 10 ranked ad categories when judged according to overall ad spend and how buying habits have changed.

In broadcast year (BY) 2013-14, eight out of the top 10 ad categories for cable channels showed revenue growth. The same held true for broadcast networks. In BY 2014-15, only three Top 10 cable channel ad categories showed revenue increases; only two grew for the broadcast networks.

Auto was among the sectors that suddenly went negative in 2014-15. For broadcast networks, it averaged a 15% revenue decline during BY 2014-15. The previous year it increased by a whopping 19%.

Auto exhibited the same up-year/down-year pattern for cable channels, but with less dramatic movements: a rise of 6% in 2013-14, followed by a decline of 2% in 2014-15.

Admittedly, a large part of the decline during the last broadcast year can be attributed to a double whammy that took place in 2013-14: the World Cup and Winter Olympics in Sochi.

There’s also been a strong directional current toward digital, and that tug was markedly different in 2014-15 than it was the year before.

Within TV networks’ digital properties, auto revenue zoomed up 28% in 2013-14, only to decline 2% in 2014-15. For total digital, which includes social media sites, video sites (such as YouTube) and ad networks/exchanges, auto grew by 26% and then moved up 16% in the same years, respectively.

More recent, quarterly information shows that auto buyers are shifting their spending patterns even further. The third quarter 2015 was broadcast networks’ best quarter this year for auto results, with an ad spend decline of 4%, compared with the same period in 2014. In contrast, it dipped 21% in Q1 and 7% in Q2.

Meanwhile, cable networks lost ground with auto revenue in the second quarter, but then registered 5% growth in third quarter 2015.

Not surprisingly given what is happening across the sector, total digital’s auto spend has grown rapidly in 2015, with the best spend results in Q3, up 26%. The major networks’ digital assets were a major contributor to this growth which is a real highlight for the networks and is forecast to grow exponentially in the coming year.

Some networks have a huge bright spot on their calendars next year: the Summer Olympics in Brazil, which will be a magnet for auto advertising. The challenge for linear television will be to find new and innovative ways of attracting auto advertisers and their customers in an increasingly fragmented market.

Fresh off the back of soft results for many media owners in the third quarter of this year, the start of the new broadcast year has delivered...

Nov 24, 2015

Television Roars Back to Life at Start of New Broadcast Year

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Fresh off the back of soft results for many media owners in the third quarter of this year, the start of the new broadcast year has delivered some very heartening news for the television industry. Strong ad sales results for both the broadcast and cable sector helped the market to its best result of the year, with the total market up 15% compared to the same period last year.

It has been widely reported that the major networks booked some healthy increases for the new broadcast year and we are now seeing actual results as agency booking data becomes available. Broadcast ad revenue was up 12 percent over last October, while cable revenues jumped 9 percent. We saw upfront volumes jump 11 percent and scatter volumes increase by a very healthy 19 percent for broadcast.

We put these terrific results down to a few factors. Firstly, the prior broadcast year was a disappointing one for television and we believe a lot of advertisers are now returning to this tried and trusted medium. We saw some major advertiser categories pull back substantially on their television spend in the prior year and push significant dollars into their experimentation with different forms of digital. While this strategy has reduced overall spend significantly, the feedback from a number of major brands has been that digital’s effectiveness has been questionable. Viewability, targeting and engagement have all been issues and there is a feeling that too many ad dollars moved out of television too quickly and these are now returning as advertisers look for an environment that best supports their brand’s objectives.

Secondly, new original programming, a series of presidential debates and a new football season that is on fire have all driven big gains for the major networks. Scripted dramas like NCIS, The Big Bang Theory and Empire have been huge hits for audiences and the major networks have delivered excellent double-digit percentage audience gains for their NFL coverage. Fantasy sports advertising has really contributed to these healthy gains as the football networks have been booking tens of millions of dollars on a monthly basis from the major players in this space.

We also saw digital media continue its strong growth trajectory with an increase of 34 percent on the same period last year. Big winners in digital were social, which jumped 129 percent, video increasing 70 percent and internet radio, 47 percent. Digital now commands a 31 percent share of the major advertisers’ spend and we expect this share to continue to increase in the coming months and quarters as the industry addresses viewability and measurement.

The key advertiser categories contributing to these very encouraging results were non-alcoholic beverages, jumping 51 percent on the same period last year, pharmaceuticals, which saw 50% growth and entertainment, which climbed 24 percent YoY.

What our most recent data tells us is that that the sky isn’t falling after all in terms of the demise of television advertising. The start of the broadcast year has shown that TV is making a strong comeback as advertisers realize they get what they pay for and it continues to be a very powerful medium for brand building. We have insights coming in the near future around how key categories are allocating spend and who the winners and losers are in a fast-evolving media market. Stay tuned and thanks for investing your time in SMI’s insights.

SMI’s commitment to product development has now seen us add significant improvements to our New Zealand data, with the refinement of key categories resulting in eight new...

Nov 09, 2015

SMI’s Expanded NZ Product Category Ad Spend Data

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

SMI’s commitment to product development has now seen us add significant improvements to our New Zealand data, with the refinement of key categories resulting in eight new product categories made available from the September data release.

Each of the travel, automotive and banking/finance categories – which are consistently among NZ’s five largest-spending categories – were improved by being split into more discrete and valuable data pools.

And these have yet again highlighted never-before-seen differences among key verticals, with the differences within the travel category especially interesting.

With the former travel category now split into two new categories: tourism/accommodation/travel products and airlines/travel agents/websites we can now clearly see how these growing categories create differing media plans.

While both are strong supporters of the free-to-air TV and pure content sites media in New Zealand, from that point their media plans vary markedly.

The larger airlines/travel agents/websites category has its next largest spend with social networking sites and is also a large supporter of national radio.

In contrast, the tourism/accommodation/travel products segment has dramatically grown its search spend in the past calendar year, making it a larger media for these advertisers than the next largest of posters/billboards, while social networking ranks as its third largest.

But the one common element among these categories is they are both on strong growth trajectories, with the airlines/travel agents/website category growing ad spend 24% in the latest CYTD to $46.3 million and tourism/accommodation/travel products lifting spending 38.4% to $10.3 million.

More detail on the key media sector splits and growth trends for these categories is shown on the charts below.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

SMI Reports Record Australian Ad Spend in September 2015

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Standard Media Index has revealed the ongoing strength of the Australian agency market with total advertising expenditure for the month of September now at record levels.

SMI this week added an extra $19.5m in late digital bookings for the month of September and as a result bookings for the digital media are now showing year-on-year growth of 13.6% to $165.2m.

Those extra digital bookings have lifted the total market figure for September to a record level of $720.9 million, up 0.2% on the same month last year.

And as previously reported, the record expenditure occurred despite the absence of the AFL Grand Final in September 2015 when it was broadcast in September 2014.

“Australia’s advertisers continue to grow in confidence and back innovation in Australian media, and as a result we are seeing record high levels of advertising spend in this market in 2015,”SMI’s AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Schulze said.

“Each of the three largest product categories for which we report advertising spend – automotive brand, retail and food/produce/dairy – delivered strong year-on-year growth in their marketing budgets in September.”

And apart from digital, the outdoor and radio media also reported strong growth in ad spend in September.

SMI also has clear visibility on the product categories driving digital’s growth and reported that the domestic banking category was one of the key drivers of September’s digital gains after lifting its digital ad spend +27.2% in September to $11.9 million.

The food/produce/dairy category is also reporting huge digital growth of 53.6% to $6.7 million.

However, some categories are continuing to reduce their digital ad spend, with those including communications (digital ad spend fell 17.8% YOY in September) and other financial services (-12.2% YOY).

September Ad Market Uptick Despite Soft TV Spend

New York, 20th Oct 2015 – Accelerating digital media spending kept the advertising market in positive territory in September as declining television ratings impacted ad spend, said Standard Media Index as it published its latest results today. The overall market rose by +6% year-on-year.

The advertising sector was lifted by double-digit rises in digital (+29%) and newspaper (+18%) spending in September, however the start of the 2015-16 television season failed to deliver ad dollars to the market, dropping by -4% YoY, despite a much-hyped programming line-up that included high-profile new late night TV presenters. All television sectors saw declines.

SMI’s data showed that the ad market delivered +9% year-on-year growth for the third quarter, which is a strong increase as it faced comparisons to the 2014 quarter which generated over $500 million in FIFA World Cup ad revenue.

“September’s results again show that a healthy ad market continues to be driven by a robust digital sector. Television is experiencing considerable rating challenges and this is definitely flowing through to revenue,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s chief commercial officer.

“The hope is that new season programming will drive audiences back to the traditional networks but we haven’t seen this just yet. Social, video and internet radio are going gang busters and we don’t see this trend changing anytime soon. Newspapers continue to find new and innovative ways of monetizing their reach, which is showing up in strong quarterly results. Magazines, on the other hand, continue to struggle and the downward trend has been consistent for quite a few quarters now.”

The overall ad market’s substantial quarterly growth comes as many analysts are forecasting consumer spending to fall sharply in the July-September quarter to an annual pace of about 1.5 percent from 3.9 percent in April-June.

Television ad revenues stayed flat year-on-year for the third quarter, in line with falls in C3 ratings across the board. Major television events like the Republican Party presidential debates and the NFL and College Football season kick-offs were unable to boost TV network revenues enough to deliver gains.

SMI SEPTEMBER AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • In September, cable TV fell by -5% and broadcast TV ad spend slipped by -4% year-on-year. Syndication fell sharply by -14% in the month.
  • Reporting on 80% of the total national ad spending from global agencies, cable TV stayed relatively flat for the quarter and broadcast TV declined by -3% year-on-year. Overall television spending stayed flat in Q3 when compared to the same time in 2014.
  • For the full 2014-15 broadcast year, SMI’s data recorded a -4% decline for the television sector. All parts of the TV sector were down, except for Local/MSO cable (+3%).
  • The best performers of the broadcast networks in September were ABC, Univision and Telemundo, which saw healthy single-digit revenue rises. ABC and Telemundo were the only broadcast networks to post positive gains for the quarter.
  • Cable networks AMC, HGTV, Food Network and ABC Family attracted significant double-digit percentage increases in September, thanks to new programming and seasonal trends. Scripps and AMC both delivered solid growth numbers for the quarter and were the only network groups to deliver a positive result.
  • Broadcast TV advertisers invested more heavily in the scatter market in September compared to the same period in 2014. The market grew by +3% YoY. Cable scatter spending saw a steep -11% year-on-year decline for the month, which contributed to a -5% decrease for the overall scatter market.
  • Total buys were lower in the upfront market during September. Single-digit drops in both broadcast and cable TV contributed to a -4% year-on-year decline.
  • Ad revenues in the digital sector jumped by +29% for September and +27% for Q3 YoY. Social media websites (+105%), video sites (+67%) and internet radio (+56%) posted significant increases and propelled growth for the sector in the month.
  • Despite vigorous growth in previous months, the out of home sector posted a -16% year-on-year drop in September. However, it finished +16% up for the third quarter.
  • In the print market, newspapers recorded a stellar month with +18% growth however the magazine market saw a -11% YoY decline. Newspapers finished up +16% for the quarter but magazines dropped -9% in the same period.
  • Radio ad revenues decreased -3% year-on-year in September when compared to the same time last year.
  • SMI’s September data shows that the top three growing product categories are prescription pharmaceuticals (+41%), household supplies (+20%) and food, produce and dairy advertisers (+6%).

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

The digitisation of the world’s media has been revelatory for advertisers, creating numerous new opportunities for marketers to connect with consumers in more dynamic ways. But there’s...

Oct 20, 2015

Improved Digital Data Unlocks New Digital Knowledge

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

The digitisation of the world’s media has been revelatory for advertisers, creating numerous new opportunities for marketers to connect with consumers in more dynamic ways.

But there’s also been a downside, and to date that’s mostly been in the inability to accurately measure the actual amounts spent on Digital advertising, and to gain the knowledge of where those dollars are being directed across an increasingly diverse digital landscape.

Indeed, even just verifying that a digital ad actually appeared can often be a difficult exercise.

SMI has always seen part of its mission to be filling data gaps in the market, and to that end we have gone a long way to improving visibility within digital ad spend by creating detailed product category data which is viewable across all major media and media sectors, including digital.

That means, for example, we can accurately report which product categories are the highest spending in keys sectors such as social networking, exchanges, content sites etc and how those spending patterns trend over time.

But now SMI’s Australian data is set to further enhance that visibility by providing category ad spend by sub-category.

And that means further visibility on key categories for the digital media, giving many marketers their first view of actual digital spend in their more discrete competitive market by being able to drill further into their category’s advertising behaviour.

Let’s use as an example the travel category. In the past three years, SMI’s category data has shown that travel advertisers have grown their digital media budgets from 21.7% to 28.2% of the total.

We’ve also been able to show that within that digital spend the travel category’s total spend on social networking has grown from 5.1% to 9.7% in the same period and the industry’s spend on exchanges (programmatic buying) has shot up from 1.9% to 19.5%.

And now we’re able to view those trends at a sub-category level and see for the first time that it’s the two travel sub-categories of airlines and travel agents/websites that are primarily responsible for the growth in exchanges, while travel agents/websites have significantly reduced social networking within their digital media plans.

Other travel sub-categories for which SMI now has data include government tourist bureaux and hotels/accommodation.

This data is hugely important to marketers as it provides them with the first real guide on actual digital ad spend in many new key areas.

For example, within communications we can now see digital ad spend within the sub-categories of mobile communications, internet and general services; in insurance we can now split out digital spend for the competitive health insurance market and the specialty retail category can now be broken down into apparel, luxury fashion, baby/children’s products/stores and sport retail.

It’s a new world of digital ad spend data, and it’s exclusive to SMI.

TV Posts Big Gains at Start of New Broadcast Year

New York, 18th Oct 2015 – With the fall TV season in full swing and the NFL season starting to build, television ad sales in October catapulted the U.S. ad market to record its best month this year, according to global data company Standard Media Index’s (SMI) latest data released today.

Total ad bookings in the market rose by +15% in October, boosted by robust television ad sales which helped almost all parts of the TV sector grow in the double-digit range and kick off the 2015-16 broadcast year with a bang.

A hefty jump in national TV advertising was responsible for the sector’s growth in the past month. Cable (+9%) and broadcast (+12%) ad revenues rose markedly in a year-over-year comparison thanks to higher upfront pricing, a vibrant scatter market and a strong start to the football season.

In tandem with TV’s positive results, SMI’s data showed digital media (+34%), out of home (+19%) and newspaper (+6%) spending also spiked to round out the month.

“Everyone had a gut feeling that quality original programming, a solid upfront and great football ratings were delivering strong numbers and now we have the results to back this up. The performance of national television is very exciting given the doldrums we were in over the summer. Media owners are justifiably looking forward to a bumper holiday season,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s chief commercial officer.

“While recent C3 ratings continue to be soft, the networks seem to be doing a great job of demonstrating to brands that their C7 performance and well-engaged and targeted audiences more than make up for any shortfalls.”

Interestingly, SMI’s market insights showed that the strong October result is the best performance for broadcast TV since January 2014.

SMI OCTOBER AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Reporting on 80% of national ad spending from global agencies, total television bookings were up +10% for October, but remain down -3% for the overall calendar year-to-date.
  • SMI’s data recorded a stellar month for upfront ad spending. The market increased by +11%, signaling a strong result off the back of this year’s upfront negotiations. Broadcast was up +10% and cable grew by 12%.
  • The scatter market delivered a 19% YOY gain for broadcast but was flat for cable.
  • All four major networks saw ad sales growth in October 2015. CBS, ABC and NBC – helped by its broadcast of the 2015 Presidents Cup – all showed double-digit rises thanks to the rising popularity of new fall TV programming.
  • Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo both saw healthy growth in October.
  • Cable networks ESPN, MTV, HGTV and ABC Family attracted significant double-digit percentage increases in October.
  • Ad spend volumes across digital media jumped by +34% for October. Social media websites (+129%), video sites (+70%) and internet radio (+47%) beefed up growth for the sector. The digital market holds a 31% share of the total advertising pie.
  • Advertising on content sites such as Yahoo.com (+22%) and programmatic media (+35%) make up the biggest share of the digital market in October.
  • SMI’s data showed that the out of home sector recorded an +19% year-on-year increase in October, rebounding with the robust growth seen earlier in 2015 despite a sharp drop in the previous month. It has a 3.5% market share of SMI’s total ad spend.
  • In the print market, newspaper spending heated up with +6% YoY growth in October however the magazine market was flat.
  • Radio ad revenues took a -11% dive when compared to the same time last year.
  • The top growth categories for October in a year-on-year performance basis were non-alcoholic beverages (+51%), prescription pharmaceuticals (+50%) and entertainment (+24%).

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

In recent weeks, I’ve been probing into the best practices around tune-in advertising and delving into those practices that have arisen rapidly since analysts began to study...

Oct 12, 2015

Not Your Father’s Tune-In

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

In recent weeks, I’ve been probing into the best practices around tune-in advertising and delving into those practices that have arisen rapidly since analysts began to study set top box data to know what really works and what doesn’t. It’s all part of a series published on Media Village, which you can read here.

The first parts were about the extraordinarily powerful synergy among media, and how a single medium strategy can bomb. In the second part, I reported practically an entire tune-in best practices guide from an interview with Charlie Fiordalis, the Chief Digital Officer of Mediastorm, an innovative and leading tune-in agency.

In this guest post, I’ve used SMI’s data to study the actual year-to-year latest trends in tune-in spending.

In an industry whose total spending records have always been clouded by the use of rate card data rather than actuals, SMI is definitely part of the data revolution being experienced by all sectors.

First the only qualifier to my analysis: this data refers to paid media spends, and do not include the equivalent value of a network running a tune-in spot for one of its own programs for free, which is estimated to be larger than the entire paid spend category reported here. In other words most of the tune-in GRP are judged to be in the unpaid category, and virtually all of that TV advertising, plus a bit of unpaid digital using the network’s own (and sister networks’) digital inventory.

Here then are the trends for how networks have been spending their actual green tune-in money, first half 2015 vs. first half 2014, in the U.S.

Total spending is up +17% year over year for paid tune-in. The biggest increase, +31%, is in television itself. The other increase is in digital, up +25%. Magazines are down -24%, radio down -11%, newspapers down -6%, and out of home down -4%. Despite the value of synergy and positive ratings lift results seen in virtually all of these media categories, TV and digital are being found to be the most impactful per dollar on TV ratings for network programs. However because of synergy the amounts in the other media types are not expected to ever disappear entirely. The need for ad dollars, not just from this category, are expected to drive print-centric and outdoor-centric media owners to launch and expand their own screen media ventures in order to continue to ride the gravy train.

Within TV paid tune-in, every single subcategory is up:

U.S. FIRST HALF 2015 VS. FIRST HALF 2014 PAID TV TUNE-IN FOR NETWORK PROGRAMS

  • +341% Broadcast Network TV
  • +47% Ad Sales House (e.g. Simulmedia)
  • +22% Cable Network TV
  • +13% Local MSO Cable
  • +8% Broadcast Spot TV
  • +1% Syndication Source: SMI

Possibly the reason that broadcast network is up so much has something to do with the fast reach factor I have examined in recent blogposts. Higher rated fare tends to get reach higher and faster and this tends to improve a campaign’s recency i.e. amount of exposure soon before the shopping trip/promoted program’s airing. The reduction in rules limiting the extent to which networks are willing to mention day/date and time period in airing a competitor’s tune-in advertising must also have had something to do with these gains. MSO inventory used to offer the only competitive airtime that would accept day/time mention and now it is beginning to be more widely accepted.

Within digital, just as in TV, every subcategory is up in spending on paid tune-in for network TV programs:

U.S. FIRST HALF 2015 VS. FIRST HALF 2014 PAID DIGITAL TUNE-IN FOR NETWORK PROGRAMS

  • +156% Pure Play – Social
  • +34% Pure Play – Internet Radio
  • +28% Pure Play – Video
  • +14% TV Network – Digital
  • +11% Pure Play – Content/Search
  • +10% Ad Network/Ad Exchange
  • +5% Print – Digital

Standard Media Index delivers the most accurate digital ad spend data to marketers.

Oct 08, 2015

Exclusive Digital Ad Data Brings Deeper Visibility to Market

Sydney, 07th Oct 2015 – Standard Media Index (SMI) has today announced it will bring deeper visibility to the Australian digital advertising marketplace through its exclusive partnerships with the nation’s largest ad agency groups.

From this month, marketers will be able to obtain the most accurate view of digital advertising spend available in the market through SMI’s new data, which makes it possible to uncover insights about major advertiser categories’ behavior with previously unseen granularity.

The new agreement between the global advertising data company and its agency partners means SMI will deliver digital data for 96 new product sub categories – including mobile communications, cosmetics and wealth management/superannuation – to its subscribers to fill large data gaps in the digital market.

All data is also exclusive to SMI, so the company will make it available directly to advertisers that are keen for accurate data to better understand how their digital plans compare to that of their competitive set.

“This is arguably one of the most significant developments for Australia’s digital media in recent years,” said Jane Schulze, SMI’s Australia/New Zealand Managing Director.

“Unlike all other media, the fact that most digital media is bought on a performance (cost per…) basis means it’s been impossible to get accurate detail on spend by product category. SMI has always provided digital ad spend data for the 37 categories that we report on across all media but for digital we are now almost trebling the number of categories for which we have ad spend detail.”

Ms Schulze said the new digital detail was especially useful for the retail market – where 19 new sub categories such as discount stores, department stores and office/hardware retailers were now available– while the travel category will now feature never-before-seen detail on digital ad spend across sub categories such as airlines, hotels/accommodation and travel agents/websites.

“We’re empowering our subscribers with the most accurate view of digital trends in the market, enabling them to undertake even more advanced analytics of the digital market,” she said.

Example: Travel Sub Category Digital Spend Trends CYTD 2012-15, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Apart from providing a new level of sub category detail, SMI can also accurately report which of the sub categories are the highest spending in key digital sectors such as social networking, exchanges and content sites. All this data is also available back to January 2007.

Example: Social Networking Spend, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Apart from providing a new level of sub category detail, SMI can also accurately report which of the sub categories are the highest spending in key digital sectors such as social networking, exchanges and content sites. All this data is also available back to January 2007.

The new data is also being made available to SMI’s media subscribers on a premium subscription tier, with key clients now being given trial access to the new digital sub category spend data.

“This latest enhancement means SMI has subscribers can uncover more unique insights around media, industries and category performance to focus sales efforts, influence pricing and strategy, and grow market share,” Ms Schulze said.

“SMI remains firmly focused on innovation, and this is but another example of the great work we’ve undertaken with our agency partners in the past two years to add even more valuable insights into the fast-evolving media landscape.”

SMI captures 99% of total national Australian agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

Unravelling the Complexities of the Australian Retail Market’s Digital Ad Spend

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

The broad retail category is undoubtedly one of the most influential for a host of major Australian media, but within this vast landscape are numerous micro-economies each with their own peculiarities. And that’s especially evident when it comes to their investment in digital advertising.

In recognition of the difficulties in understanding the Australian market, last year Standard Media Index’s media agency partners agreed to split what was then SMI’s largest category into five more discrete groupings: food/alcoholic retailers, home furnishing/appliances, specialty retail (retailers of their own brands), QSRs and we redefined retail more finely to be sellers of a variety of products (mostly department and hardware stores, chemists etc).

This decision has added significantly to the level of market knowledge on retail spending as a whole.

For example, in the most recent month of August total Australian agency spend was up 3.3% YOY even before late digital bookings were received.

But that higher demand came despite lower spending from SMI’s five retail-related categories, with their combined total bookings down 2.8%. However, that top-line figure masked large demand differences among the five with retail bookings growing 13.4% YOY while spending for the four other categories declined by amounts ranging between 4.3% and 15.5% .

And the level of complexity grows further when these categories’ ad spend is analysed by digital sector.

For example the retail category is the only one of the five to spend the majority of its digital budget on search, although that total is declining as it moves more dollars to social networking.

In contrast, food/alcoholic retailers are delivering huge growth to the search sector (more than doubling that spend in the last calendar year) while continuing to grow their investment in content sites and so far reporting relatively modest increases in spending onto social networks.

And it’s restaurants (mostly QSRs) that are the only retail-related category to deliver the majority of its bookings to the exchanges, or programmatic, market with that total quadrupling in the past calendar year (while at the same time massively reducing their television budgets). At the same time they’ve also doubled their spending onto digital’s mobile vendors while maintaining expenditure onto content sites.

But the most similar Australian digital spending patterns are evident among the specialty retail and home furnishing/appliances categories, with each of them investing the bulk of their digital budgets in content sites followed by search and then exchanges.

This data is another example of SMI continuing to add to the market’s knowledge base by providing actual ad spend data to better inform media sales teams, marketers and the industry’s data scientists.

August Ad Market Records Highest Growth This Year

New York, 17th Sep 2015 – Back-to-school marketing and summer TV ratings delivered eyeballs and dollars to the U.S. ad market in August, according to the latest monthly data from global advertising data company Standard Media Index (SMI). Ad volumes rose by 10% in the overall market in August when compared to 2014. The month’s results beat out July to clock the highest growth this year to date.

Ad spending increased across all media sectors, except magazines, with seasonal spending like back-to-school and summer advertising behind the big gains. Out of home media and digital advertising attracted the largest year-on-year rises in the market, with the increased investment equating to double-digit growth for each sector.

SMI’s August data showed that television experienced moderate growth (+3%) for the first time in six months, thanks largely to strong results in local and cable TV. Broadcast TV ad revenues declined on an annualized basis.

“A strong back-to-school market has delivered the most robust month for the ad market this year to date. We saw big jumps across local and cable TV, and sectors like out of home, newspapers and radio delivered significant year-on-year gains, as marketers’ targeted consumers through local advertising,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s chief commercial officer.

“Digital continues to record big double-digit percentage gains and the majority of these dollars are coming from new advertisers, rather than stealing share from traditional media. Unfortunately, broadcast TV didn’t join the party in August due to programming shifts which had a big impact on the performance of the sector.”

The firm’s figures show that department store retail spending jumped +44% year-on-year and attracted the largest growth amongst advertiser categories for the month, as back to school purchasing hit its peak.

Other product categories contributing to the monthly gains were quick-serve restaurants (+38%), prescription pharmaceuticals (+34%) and telecommunications (+23%), which recorded strong double-digit increases to round out the final summer month of 2015.

SMI AUGUST AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Reporting on 80% of the total national ad spending from global agencies, SMI’s data showed that cable TV grew by 3% and broadcast TV ad spend dropped by -6% year-on-year in August.
  • Thanks to back-to-school advertising, local TV recorded a 17% YoY increase and its ad revenues were responsible for boosting the overall TV market.
  • Hispanic broadcast networks continued to outperform English-language networks in August. English-language networks suffered from the absence of dollars around the 2014 Emmy Awards, the late start to the College Football season and coverage of the U.S. Open, which aired on ESPN as part of a new agreement. All events affected the sector’s year-on-year comparisons.
  • Cable networks TNT, TBS and Food Network attracted double-digit percentage increases in August, and DIY-channel HGTV revenues spiked in line with seasonal trends.
  • AMC Networks also fared well thanks to the launch of Fear the Walking Dead, which was a ratings bonanza in primetime for August.
  • Broadcast TV advertisers invested more heavily in the scatter market in August compared to the same period in 2014. The market grew by +16% YoY. Scatter was flat for cable.
  • It was a mixed month for the upfront market. Broadcast TV pulled back by -12%, however cable TV spent +4% more in the upfront market than this time last year.
  • Total buys in the digital sector spiked by +21% in August YoY. Social media websites (+87%), video sites (+33%) and internet radio (+26%) were the key drivers of growth for the month.
  • Traditional media sector out of home posted a +41% year-on-year increase in August as it continues to grow at a fast rate.
  • Out of home was joined by newspapers which grew by +11% for the month. Both are mediums commonly employed by back to school marketers.
  • Radio ad revenues increased by +9% in August, however magazine spending fell -10% on a YoY basis.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

Digital Keeps UK Ad Spend Market Afloat in Q2

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

The U.K. advertising market has experienced two completely opposed quarters so far this year. Record-breaking figures in Q1 were delivered thanks to a boost of ad dollars flowing around the 2015 general election.

The knock-on effect of election-related advertising helped television reach double-digit growth and pushed the total market up by 8%, which is in contrast to a slow-paced second quarter. SMI’s results show that the second quarter was relatively flat, and only due to the continued popularity of digital advertising did the market escape a larger drop than the -1.7% SMI recorded for the UK.

Another contributing factor to the television sector’s soft results was the absence of dollars invested around last year’s Football World Cup. The effect of event left a hole in the sector, which declined by -2.8% in Q2. On the flip side however, digital ad spend grew even more than expected by analysts and improved +12.3% when compared to the same period in 2014. Programmatic digital advertising (+18.1% growth) played a key role in digital’s overall growth as it grew nearly twice as fast as traditional direct placements, which rose by +9.3%.

Only the out of home market managed to come close to the performance of digital publishers, growing by +7.5% in Q2, thanks in part to the increasing impact of digital technologies in the outdoor space. The print market had yet another difficult quarter, as newspaper and magazines declined -27.8% and -17.7%, respectively, and radio showed a more moderate drop at -4%.

Despite the slowdown of ad investment in Q2, there is good reason to believe that the U.K. advertising market will end on a healthy note with solid growth in the pipeline. The market’s performance in Q1 topped the charts of all major European markets and, since SMI has a window into July and partial August data, we can see that the market is already attracting considerably stronger figures than in previous months. With the Rugby World Cup set to start in September, this major sports event should be a welcome boost especially for television media owners.

Hopefully, the forecast is bright and ad dollars around this event will lead the way to a healthy Christmas season, where digital is likely to keep breaking records and may finally reach 50% of total advertising investment in the UK.

Vibrant July Ad Market Lifted by Digital and OOH

New York, 19th Aug 2015 – Thriving digital and out-of-home ad sales in July propelled the ad market to record its largest uptick so far this year, global advertising data company Standard Media Index (SMI) said today as it published its monthly data. Ad spending increased by +7% year-on-year in the past month.

According to SMI data, the continued shift to digital advertising and the resurgence of out of home media kept the market in positive territory. Dollars spent on digital increased by +28% and advertisers invested in the out-of-home sector (+32%) with renewed vigor in July, reflecting recent trends.

Figures show that TV ad spend dropped -2% compared to the same period last year and investment in cable rose only slightly by +1%, while broadcast fell by -2% in July. The result is despite a slew of high-profile TV events in July, including the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Special Olympics 2015 and ESPY Awards. “While TV’s numbers were down slightly, our July results are showing some stabilization at the top end of the TV market. The broadcast networks showed a slight uptick, if you discount Univision’s 2014 World Cup revenue. Fox’s performance improved significantly with the FIFA Women’s World Cup, attracting some very significant scatter dollars,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s chief commercial officer.

“The cable story is a mixed bag with some strong performances, while a handful of leading networks are really suffering due to double-digit ratings declines over the summer. The digital

sector continues to drive the overall market, with social almost doubling its revenues on an annualized basis and video also up more than 60%.”

Advertiser categories contributing to the market’s healthy gains in July were pharmaceuticals (+28%), non-alcoholic beverages (+24%) and quick-serve restaurants (+15%), which all had considerable growth on a year-on-year basis.

Interestingly, retail advertising dropped by -8% YoY despite recent reports that back-to-school marketers are investing in heavy consumer outreach as early as July to keep up with shopping behaviour.

SMI JULY AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • While digital media continues to siphon dollars away from the TV upfront market (-5%), the scatter market was able to attract double-digit growth and rise by +17% in July after a slower growth rate in June.
  • Advertisers took advantage of investing opportunistic dollars into the scatter market in July, so much so that scatter broadcast revenues increased by +54% and a more modest +1% for cable.
  • In the upfront market, broadcast revenues dropped -13% and cable stayed relatively flat (+1%) in the month of July.
  • Cable networks MTV and Discovery Channel attracted double-digit percentage increases in July, and TBS revenues rose again in July after some weak months earlier in 2015.
  • Telemundo had double-digit year-on-year growth in July. Other top broadcast networks ABC, CBS and Fox all stayed relatively flat for month.
  • The digital sector continued its vibrant growth in July. Social media sites (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) grew +93% year-on-year, video sites were up +63%, ad networks/ad exchanges rose by +29% and internet radio revenues increased more than +36%.

* Out of home spending in July beat out June as the strongest month in the year to date. Advertisers invested +32% YoY more compared than the same time last year.

  • Newspapers grew by 3% in July while magazines and radio dropped on a YoY basis.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

Why Cake and Data Layering are More Similar Than You Think

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Not too long ago, a friend of mine remarked “this right here is the truth” at their slice of decadent cake, an expression of just how satisfied their taste buds were with the multi-layered masterpiece in front of them.

Well, the same goes for data.

Real and unadulterated data is the closest source to the truth when answering the basics, such as the ‘who, what, when, where, why and how’ on any given subject. Finite numbers in the form of currency, counts or percentages are the first layer in the foundation of fulfilling curiosity.

With the growing number of data-related resources available, decision-makers have numerous data at their disposal for the pure mission of getting closer to the truth and uncover a multitude of past and even predictive information.

All this access to data is wonderful – and is explored in a recent post ‘The media industry’s answer to ‘Big Data’‘ – but it can be limited at times and have the potential to do more, which leads to the question of “how do I make the most of this information?”

The SMI client engagement team sits at the front seat of the crystal ball when it comes to knowing where advertisers are putting their dollars. We are constantly looking at our data in tandem with other relevant data sets to bring it fully to life, revealing as actionable insights as possible.

LAYERING IN ACTION

One example of how data can be layered for extra (and valuable) insight is through ‘power ratios’, which we undertake for one of our major cable network clients.

To do this, we combine our ad spend data with audience ratings to deliver some great insights on audience monetization, ranking and trends. A Power Ratio effectively measures a media company’s advertising revenue in comparison to the audience share it controls. It shows how much revenue a media company earns compared to how much it should earn given its market share.

Here’s an example of what a power ratio calculation looks like:

Company Revenue Share / Audience Share =

(Company Revenue/Total Market Revenue) / (Company Audience/ Total Market Audience)

  • If PR > 1 = a greater amount of revenue received from the company’s audience share
  • If PR < 1 = the company is not efficiently monetizing its audience share.

EVEN THE ARTS FIND DATA COLORFUL

Combining data and technology to uncover truths is not only limited to the media and marketing sectors. In thinking about this piece, I stumbled upon a neat project by Duke University and the North Carolina Museum of Art, see more in this Times piece.

Bringing together art curators and mathematicians, the museum and university project layered talent and expertise together to find new ways to not only conserve masterpieces but to dive deeper into their history and truly demonstrate the combined synergy of the disciplines.

In our experience, being proactive and open about combining different data sets can be much more revealing than a single set and lead you to uncover a thought you may have easily missed.

Just like a delicious mouth-watering layered cake… it brings the truth!

Do you have any of your own data-layering examples?

Where is Digital Advertising’s Growth Coming From?

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

Just over a week ago, SMI unveiled the results of a US data analysis, and it whipped up some conversation and spirited opinions amongst industry peers and media. The new analysis was fueled by a question constantly on the lips of the advertising marketplace – ‘what is driving the growth of digital advertising?’

In a bid to shed some light on what’s behind the growth, we looked closely at the flow of advertising dollars across the media landscape through the first nine months of the broadcast season (October ‘14 – June ‘15), compared to the same time period last year.

The SMI team went to work crunching the numbers and applying data science to the highly-accurate data at our fingertips, ultimately determining that digital ad spend was up about $3 billion year-over-year.

It’s important to note that SMI captures actual ad spend directly from the booking systems of six of the largest media buying groups in the US (close to, but not 100% of the market), so we extrapolated our data to provide a full-market picture of what is going on across the advertising ecosystem.

ANALYSIS RESULTS

With the research results in, our report showed that organic growth for digital totaled $1 billion and affirmed that it was siphoning share away from other media, with the bulk of it coming from television.

The question of what is driving the growth of digital advertising can be looked at through various lenses. On one hand, the analysis allows us to understand how much of this digital growth comes as a result of declining spend on other media platforms versus new organic growth. See more in the chart below.

The other lens looks at what areas of digital are growing faster than others. This second piece is closely tied to the work we do directly with media clients to help them understand the types of sites and ad networks that are really performing well.

SMI’s analysis fueled some debate when it was released because it showed that just over a billion dollars were ‘leaving’ national TV and flowing directly into digital. An important factor to note when looking at the data is that 2014 was a big year for special sporting events, which attracted big ad dollars, such as the Sochi Olympics and 2014 Soccer World Cup. Ad Age put it perfectly when accounting for these events in a recent article:

While the shift to digital accounts for a portion of the 8% annual decline in broadcast spend, endogenous factors (ratings declines, a weak fall scatter market, tricky year-to-year comps) played a role as well. For example, NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics generated $1.1 billion in ad revenue, while ESPN’s stewardship of the FIFA World Cup netted $529 million in sales.

BIG SPORTING EVENTS

Since we published our initial analysis, we have taken some steps to estimate the impact of those major sporting events. While it is difficult to gauge the true effect of these events across media platforms and then remove them for the purposes of an analysis like this, we can estimate in very broad strokes that the national TV market was much closer to flat on a year-over-year basis, when removing the estimated ad spend that came specifically from the Olympics and World Cup.

One thing we are confident of is that these new full-market figures are the most accurate estimates of the true impact that digital media is having on the evolving ad sector, since we are looking at the actual booking data from major agencies.

And the other thing we know for sure is that digital is up big, and it continues to grow in any year-on-year analysis that we conduct. The only question that is up for debate is how much of this growth is being ‘stolen’ from other media or is truly organic. It all depends on how you look at it.

The Media Industry’s Answer to ‘Big Data’

How Much Ad Revenue is Digital Really Stealing from Traditional Media?

New York, 29th Jul 2015 – With marketer demand for digital media exploding, a new Standard Media Index (SMI) analysis has been able to pinpoint with a high level of accuracy just how much the shift to new media has cost the traditional channels.

To conduct this analysis, SMI looked closely at the flow of advertising dollars across the media landscape through the first nine months of the broadcast season (October ‘14 – June ‘15), compared to the same time period last year.

Given SMI’s 80% footprint of total national U.S. agency spend, these new full-market figures are the most accurate estimates of the true impact that digital media is having on the evolving ad sector, thanks to SMI’s ability to capture actual booking data from major agencies.

For this analysis, SMI used its actual ad spend data and extrapolated it to full-market in order to provide a new level of marketplace insight.

The following chart shows the drivers of digital advertising growth over the first nine months of the 2014-15 broadcast year, and the key takeaway is that digital’s growth has come from a combination of dollars being pulled from all other media types, as well as significant organic (new) growth.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

NOTE: All YoY figures include the impact of the 2014 Winter Olympics and FIFA World Cup ad spend.

Here are the specific data points represented in the above chart, along with more color into how the National television spending contraction is broken down:

  • Digital ad spend: Up $3 billion YoY (+16%)
  • National TV: Down $1.1 billion (-4%)
  • Broadcast: Down $960 million (-8%)
  • Cable: Down $140 million (-1%)
  • Upfront: Down $1.7 billion (-8%)
  • Scatter: Up $600 million (+12%)

Other media Other TV (Local/Synd): Down $400 million (-6%) Print: Down $350 million (-6%) Radio: Down $150 million (-4%) Organic Digital Growth: $1 billion YoY

Key Takeaways:

  • The overall market is up about $1 billion dollars YoY (+1%), with this money representing digital’s organic growth.
  • The results show that digital is siphoning share away from other media, with the bulk of it coming from television.
  • On the national TV front, the scatter market has clawed back about 35% of the ad revenue lost in the soft 14-15 upfront, however the remainder of those dollars have flowed into digital.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

Do Key Category Declines Reflect Economic Malaise or is it More?

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

SMI recently released its second quarter ad spend data, and while the overall performance story has been relatively consistent month to month (TV is declining, digital is up and overall market is relatively flat), digging into performance at the ad category level shines a much more nuanced and compelling light.

The most interesting shift from this past quarter came from two of the biggest and most important categories to television networks, retail and entertainment (i.e. movie advertising), which saw substantial year-over-year drops in Q2.

Retail ad spending was down 16% in Q2’15 from the year prior, and entertainment softened even more – falling a whopping 25% in the quarter. Of course, what makes retail and entertainment advertising trends so telling is not just that they represent such a large piece of the advertising pie, but also that these categories in particular are so representative of discretionary consumer spending and a sign of what is going on in the broader economy. In the case of entertainment advertising, it is also reflective of shifting strategies that enable marketers to better engage with their target audiences.

Whether you read the Journal or watch CNBC, it’s clear that the market is waiting for retail sales to rebound – and it is just not happening. As a result, retail advertisers are holding back their TV spend in a big way. Yes, retail ad spending coming from upfront dollars was down 10% in the quarter, but the fact that retail spending in the more opportunistic scatter marketplace was down 40% clearly shows that retail marketers are not willing to chase consumers that they see are not spending money (at least via the mass reach vehicle of traditional television).

Entertainment ad spending – primarily those dollars spent promoting new film releases – is in a bit of a different place than retail. Given that entertainment spend coming from upfront dollars is down 27% YoY in the second quarter, this would indicate that movie studios are making much more calculated decisions (far in advance) to siphon dollars out of TV and into various digital marketing platforms. TV scatter spending from the movie studios is down as well (by 18%), so this is clearly a sign that the tides are changing for the movie industry, and not simply just a sign of weak consumer spending.

Speaking of digital, as you may have already guessed, both retail and entertainment advertisers moved dollars from TV into digital in droves – with digital spend from retail brands up 14% in Q2, and entertainment up 22%. Bottom line: there’s a lot going on right now – both on the economic and strategic front – and the results the market is seeing with these two critical ad categories certainly has TV ad sales executives fighting hard to reverse these trends. Time will tell if they can do it.

Pundits hoping for a strong June to help deliver a strong end to the quarter will be disappointed with SMI’s latest numbers. June 2015 delivered the same...

Jul 22, 2015

June ad market suffers with absence of World Cup dollars

Digital and Out-Of-Home Star in May Ad Market

New York, 17th Jul 2015 – Digital and out-of-home media were the key drivers of growth within the advertising sector in May, boosting the total market by 2%, according to Standard Media Index’s (SMI) data released today.

Digital’s growth, which leapt +24% in May on a year-on-year basis, continues to keep the ad market in positive territory. Digital ad types across the board delivered healthy double-digit gains, with social media sites jumping by close to 60% and almost half of the digital spend bought programmatically. Digital’s share has expanded by five percentage points to 30% of all spend in the calendar year-to–date.

SMI’s data also shows that out-of-home ad spending bucked recent trends and grew by 8% in May on a YOY basis.

“May’s results are a mirror image of the last few months. Digital continues to surge at the expense of other media. TV ratings were soft in May and we see SMI’s numbers following in lock step with these results. Digital video continues to grow, and as audience measurement on mobile devices improves, we are confident that these gains will accelerate and positively impact the spend going to the major networks,” said SMI’s chief commercial officer James Fennessy.

Television continues to face a challenging ad market, with broadcast falling by -8% for the month and -7% for the quarter so far, in comparison to 2014. Cable fared a little better, contracting by -3% in May and -4% for the quarter-to-date compared to last year.

Continuing the trend of previous months, major advertiser categories including telecommunications, automotive and financial services grew significantly in digital at the expense of all other media types.

SMI MAY AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • NBC was the only broadcast network to deliver positive growth (+2%) for the month of May.
  • ABC Family was the pick of the cable networks, delivering +16% growth, and advertiser demand was higher for niche networks Food Network and HGTV, as well as cable players AMC, ESPN and Lifetime, which all showed healthy single-digit gains in May over 2014.
  • The digital sector attracted significant year-on-year increases across social media sites (+56%), internet radio (+44%), pure-play video sites (+29%) and TV networks’ digital offerings (+10%).
  • Ad revenues in the scatter market stayed relatively flat for both broadcast (+2%) and cable (-1%) in May year-on-year.
  • In print media, newspaper ad revenues dropped by -1% for the month, while the magazine market declined -12% YOY in May. Radio advertising revenues slipped by -12% for the same period when compared with the previous year.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

June Ad Market Hit by Absence of 2014 World Cup Dollars

New York, 20th Jul 2015 – The advertising market showed some positive signs by growing +2% in the second quarter, despite a flat June, global advertising data company Standard Media Index (SMI) reported today.

While the digital sector rang up +14% growth in June, the absence of ad dollars from last year’s 2014 FIFA World Cup affected major television networks on a year-on-year basis. TV revenues dropped -6% compared to the same period last year. SMI estimates that last year’s sporting event generated over $500 million in television ad revenue in June and July.

“June’s overall numbers were negatively impacted on a year-on-year basis by last year’s World Cup. However, there are some underling factors that are contributing to a deeper malaise,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s chief commercial officer. “Soft ratings and ongoing measurement issues continue to impact television’s results and we also saw a slight slowdown in the explosive growth from digital, which points to marketers focusing more closely on return on investment.””

Television dollars were down -5% year-on-year for the second quarter, in line with falls in across the board C3 ratings, signaling that this year’s TV offerings have failed to replace the large advertising expenditure that was committed to last year’s World Cup.

SMI’s latest data highlights the fact that ad spending has remained in line with consumer-spending figures recently released by the Commerce Department, which showed that consumer-spending grew by +2.6% in Q2 after shrinking in the first quarter. The figures indicate that as consumers spend more, advertisers are chasing them in the hope of capturing more of their hard earned dollars.

SMI JUNE AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Coming off a World Cup year, television ad spend was down -16% for broadcast, while cable TV dropped -1% in June.
  • Reporting on 80% of the total national ad spend from global agencies, SMI data showed that broadcast ad spend declined by -10% and cable shed -3% year-on-year for the second quarter.
  • A look at the top four broadcast TV networks showed that ad revenues dropped by a combined -9% in June.
  • Cable networks ABC Family and BET attracted double-digit percentage increases in June, and TBS recovered with a strong June after a number of relatively weak months.
  • Advertisers pulled back on investing opportunistic dollars into the scatter market in June, which saw a -3% drop. SMI recorded a -4% scatter decline across broadcast and -2% for cable.
  • Upfront dollars continued to track at -9% for Q2 after last year’s soft selling season. Upfront broadcast revenues dropped -19% and -1% for cable in the month of June
  • While digital’s percentage of the total ad market is up four points in June, the sector failed to grow at a similar rate as in previous months. The slower growth is attributed to relative softness in what had been a very hot ad network/ad exchange marketplace. The sector grew by only 17% compared to double that rate in April and May.
  • Advertising on social media sites (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) and video sites, such as YouTube and Hulu, continue to grow consistently at +37% and +43% respectively.
  • The top three growing product categories for June were pharmaceuticals (+17%), consumer electronics (+13%) and beauty, grooming and personal care
  • Out of home advertising experienced its strongest month in the year to date, with a 16% increase, after recovering from losses earlier in 2015.
  • Radio, Magazines and Newspapers all dropped on a YOY basis.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

UK Ad Spending Up +5% to Kick Off Year, Despite Soft TV Market

New York, 17th Jun 2015 – Digital and out-of-home media were the key drivers of growth within the advertising sector in May, boosting the total market by 2%, according to Standard Media Index’s (SMI) data released today.

Digital’s growth, which leapt +24% in May on a year-on-year basis, continues to keep the ad market in positive territory. Digital ad types across the board delivered healthy double-digit gains, with social media sites jumping by close to 60% and almost half of the digital spend bought programmatically. Digital’s share has expanded by five percentage points to 30% of all spend in the calendar year-to–date.

SMI’s data also shows that out-of-home ad spending bucked recent trends and grew by 8% in May on a YOY basis.

2014 UK AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

Television showed growth in all four quarters of 2014 to increase by+5.3%, despite a slight deceleration in the final quarter of the year (+3.0%). Subscription TV (+8.9%) performed significantly better than free to air (+4%) in 2014, and the differences were even larger in Q4 (+9.1% vs +0.9%). The TV sector’s winner was ITV, which holds 43% of the ad spend share, and grew +9.9% YoY in 2014. It was followed by Channel 4 at +3.9%, and Sky, which increased by +6.4%.

After showing single-digit growth figures in Q3 for the first time in years, digital ended 2014 with a +16.1% upswing in Q4. It increased +15.5% YoY in 2014.

Within digital, investment in social media advertising grew by +38.4% in 2014, video increased by +34.8% and mobile gained +22%. Direct display advertising declined slightly by-2.3% due to an increasing portion of display advertising being bought programmatically. Programmatic grew +65.4% this year and +67.1% in the final quarter.

Twitter’s ad revenue in the UK grew by +76.9% in 2014, with Google (excluding search) at +34.7%, and Facebook increasing +28.1%. Amazon and Expedia saw their advertising revenue grow by +46.3% and +54.8% respectively.

In another challenging year for the print market, newspapers declined -8.1% in 2014, whereas magazines dropped -10.2%. The final quarter of the year was especially hard for the print industry, with newspapers and magazines dropping -16.8% and -17.8% respectively.

Within newspapers, the free distribution titles (+2.3% YoY) performed significantly better than paid for press, which lost -11.9% in 2014. The major print media owners in the UK offset the negative impact of declining print advertising budgets by attracting strong investment into their digital portfolios: DMG Media (+28.1%), Telegraph Media Group (+18.3%), The Guardian (+28.4%), Time Inc. UK (+18.9%), Hearst Magazines (+29.7%), and Conde Nast (+23.2%).

Radio recovered well from a slow 2013 and grew +9.1% this year, whereas out of home gained +9.5% and cinema saw zero increase (-0.1%).

BEST AND WORST PERFORMING CATEGORIES IN 2014

Toys and video games manufacturers spent +33.7% more in advertising than they did last year to emerge as the best performing category, followed by gambling and lotteries (+26.4%) and travel, tourism and hospitality (+14.3%).

Alcoholic beverages (-5.3%), consumer electronics (-4.4%) and media (-3.6%) all declined considerably.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

SMI’s recently released April data echoes the feedback we are consistently hearing from media owners and commentators, which is that traditional media remains very much under pressure...

Jun 04, 2015

Ad market remains flat in April, digital media surges

After an outstanding first quarter that saw U.K ad spend grow by 7.3%, the absence of marketing dollars flowing around last year’s Football World Cup has manifested...

May 28, 2015

One step back, two steps forward for U.K ad spend

Ad Market Stays Flat in April, Digital Media Surges

New York, 21st May 2015 – The U.S ad market remained relatively flat in April despite being boosted by intensifying digital media revenues across programmatic, social media and video sites. Standard Media Index (SMI) said the total market rose by +1% both for the month and also for the calendar year-to-date, according to its latest report out today.

Despite every other sector slowing or showing little movement for the month, digital ad bookings jumped by a healthy +21% on a year-on-year basis.

While SMI recorded declines for the television sector (-6%) in April, ad revenues for spot TV and local/MSO stations attracted healthy single-digit gains.

“SMI’s data reinforces what most commentators are saying, which is that traditional media continues to remain soft as brands expand their investment in digital. We see large traditional TV advertisers, like retail and financial services, move significant dollars into digital at the expense of their television spend. The encouraging news for content owners and creators is that a lot of this money is finding its way into digital video as advertisers look to align their brands with premium content,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s chief commercial officer.

SMI’s category data showed that TV’s largest advertisers shifted dollars away from the sector and invested heavily in digital media in April. Traditional TV advertisers food, dairy and produce (-14%), retail (-12%) and financial services (-4%) all pulled back on TV spending but recorded double-digit growth in digital.

SMI APRIL AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • In April, cable and broadcast TV fell by -7% and -8% respectively. In the overall television sector, TV bookings dipped by -5% in the broadcast year-to-date (BYTD).
  • CBS and ABC were the best performing broadcast networks in April, with both reporting similar ad revenue numbers in 2015 over 2014.
  • In cable, Discovery Channel grew by +17% in the month and the Food Network and HGTV also saw single-digit growth.
  • Digital continued its vibrant growth in April. Social media grew +70% year-on-year and video (+44%), ad networks/ad exchanges (+35%) and internet radio (+32%) all saw double-digit growth.
  • Across the TV sector, ad revenues within the scatter market continued to strengthen for both cable and broadcast TV, growing by +5% and +18% in April year-on-year respectively. For the broadcast year-to-date, scatter ad spend is up +16% in cable TV and up +19% across the broadcast networks.
  • Last year’s soft upfront continued to manifest itself in decreased upfront ad dollars in the current marketplace. Cable (-9%) and broadcast (-12%) revenues took a hit in April.
  • In print media, newspapers ad revenues increased by +1% in April however the magazine market declined following a -4% decrease in spend. Advertiser interest in out of home rose by a healthy +7%, however radio advertising weakened by -12% in the month.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

In a pleasing start to the year for the Australian advertising market, agency demand for media has reached record-high levels in the first quarter of 2015. SMI...

May 19, 2015

Digital and outdoor shine in record first quarter

It’s that time of year again – the upfronts – when media sellers and buyers schmooze over fancy finger foods and colorful alcoholic libations, while television executives...

May 05, 2015

The new ‘Upfront’ reality?

With retail consumer spend strengthening almost +1% in March after a slow holiday season and some other positive signs of life for the economy, advertisers are also...

Apr 28, 2015

TV and Digital Rise in Q1

UK Ad Market Jumps 4.9% in Q1, Powered by TV and Digital

London, 27th Apr 2015 – Television advertising revenues spiked by +8.8% in Q1 to round out a vibrant quarter for the overall market, according to global advertising data group Standard Media Index (SMI). The total ad market rose by 4.9% in Q1 year-over-year.

Within the TV sector, subscription TV revenues surged +13% year-on-year to grow twice as fast as the free-to-air television market, which increased +5.8% in the first quarter. The quarter also saw subscription’s share of the TV market rise by two points (27.3%) and free-to-air drop by the same amount. The free-to-air market now represents 72% of all of TV spend.

Reporting on 65% of the total national ad spend from global agencies, SMI’s latest data also showed that digital media emerged as the other major driver in the ad market’s growth in Q1, as spend rose steadily by +8.6% year-on-year.

Digital’s revenues were steered mostly by programmatic advertising, which grew +39% in Q1, alongside large increases across social networking sites (+29.5%). Showing strong double-digit growth, pure play video sites were up by +28% and TV networks’ digital properties grew by +16.7%.

“SMI’s figures for the first quarter reflect two realities: TV is still showing tremendous health as a medium for providing mass reach, and marketers will keep growing their digital budgets in order to more accurately target their audiences” said Sue Fennessy, SMI’s chief executive officer.

SMI’s largest advertiser category, retail, which holds an 11% share, experienced +10.9% growth in the first quarter. Computers and software (+33.5%) and travel and tourism (+14.5%) were the fastest growing categories over the same period.

Within the print market, ad spend on magazines sunk by -17.5% and newspapers dropped by – 16.1% in the first quarter compared to last year. In the other media sectors, radio advertisers dropped off by -1.7% and out of home ad revenues were down by -1% in Q1.

SMI captures 99% of total national Australian agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

National TV Ad Market Uptick in March Lifts Q1 Results

New York, 17th Apr 2015 – The television market bounced back slightly in March as advertisers increased spending to close out the first quarter, according to a new report from global advertising data group Standard Media Index (SMI) today. The overall ad market rose by +1% for the quarter year-over-year.

SMI’s figures show March ad investment in both cable (+1% YoY) and broadcast TV (flat YoY) bucked recent trends and didn’t soften, which could be seen as a positive sign for upfront negotiations due to take place in the coming months.

Taking out major sporting events like the Sochi Winter Olympic Games a year ago, Q1 TV revenues showed solid growth in both broadcast (+7%) and cable (+4%) when compared to the same period last year.

“A nice uptick in scatter dollars fueled national TV growth in March, which is certainly a good sign for the health of the ad marketplace. The solid growth figures when you remove the impact of the winter games from last year provides reason for networks to be more optimistic heading into upfront season,” said Scott Grunther, SMI’s executive vice president of media.

Reporting on 80% of the total national ad spend from global agencies, SMI’s latest data shows that in addition to TV, digital drove the growth of the overall ad market in Q1(+23%). Digital’s market share of total ad dollars also jumped 5 points in Q1 against last year.

Automotive, the largest advertising category, remains soft, down -3% for the quarter, while consumer electronics and business services and recruitment both jumped +17% to emerge as the fastest growing categories.

After a very soft holiday season, both for consumer spending and ad spending, retail ad spend also jumped up by +17% in March to coincide with reports that retail sales rose by +0.9% in the past month.

SMI Q1 AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Despite a recovery in March, overall television ad bookings dipped by -6% to round out the quarter (coming off an Olympics year) and ad spend was down -4% for the broadcast-year-to-date (BYTD)
  • Including sports spending, Cable TV ad dollars saw a modest rise (+2%) in Q1 but ad spend on broadcast TV was down -12% for the period.
  • Showing no sign of slowing, advertisers boosted their spending in the scatter market across both broadcast (+13%) and cable (+9%) in the first quarter. The overall scatter market saw an +11% spike.
  • Last year’s soft upfront continued to manifest itself in decreased upfront ad dollars in the current marketplace. Cable was up slightly (+1%), but broadcast upfront revenues continue to show declines YoY (-16%).
  • Removing the impact of the Olympic Games last year, NBC experienced the most significant increase in its non-sports ad spend, up almost +30% for the quarter.
  • A look at the top cable networks showed that AMC, ESPN, MTV and the Food Network saw advertisers ramp up investment in Q1.
  • Digital’s robust growth was steered mostly by ad networks and ad exchanges which rose 39% in Q1, alongside large increases in social networking sites (+41%) and pure play video sites, such as YouTube.com and Hulu.com (+38%).
  • Within the print market, ad spend on magazines sunk by 7% and newspapers dropped by +2% in the first quarter compared to last year. Radio was also on the losing end with advertisers dropping off by -1%, but there was better news for out of home as ad revenues rose by +1% in Q1.SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

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Global Ad Spending Soars to Record Levels in 2014

New York, 12th Mar 2015 – Digital has emerged as the only media to deliver strong increases in advertising spend across all major international markets, as global advertising data group Standard Media Index (SMI) reported a record level of combined spend from three of the world’s largest markets.

But the data also detailed significant variations in demand among the major media within the U.S., U.K. and Australian media, highlighting the increasing complexity of the global advertising market.

Standard Media Index, which aggregates actual ad spend data from the world’s largest media agencies, has studied the performance of these top markets using its unparalleled insight into how dollars are moving across the media landscape.

2014 GLOBAL AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

“Despite all the challenges facing the global media in 2014, advertising expenditure continued to grow in each of these key markets, fuelling a 4.6% increase in their combined spend over the previous year,” said Sue Fennessy, SMI’s global chief executive officer.

“Unsurprisingly, ad spend in the U.S. took the top spot in 2014. It accounts for 33.5% of the world’s total spend and advertising investment is set to reach $182.7 billion in 2015. With equally vibrant ad markets, the U.K. and Australia also feature within the top 10 biggest spending nations to attract a combined a $36.8 billion.”

But Fennessy said advertisers and media investors needed to closely monitor each market as their demand profiles were increasingly varied and complex.

“Digital was the only globally consistent growth media in 2014,’’ Fennessy said. “Demand for TV grew in the U.S. and U.K. but fell in Australia; outdoor bookings grew in Australia and the U.K. but fell significantly (-14.0% YOY) in the U.S. and spending onto newspapers grew in the U.S. but fell in Australia and U.K. There’s little consistency and it proves any ‘one size fits all’ approach to global media planning will not deliver the best results.’’

  • Largest percentage growth in 2014: Of the three major markets in which SMI publishes data, the U.K. delivered the largest percentage growth in 2014, increasing by +5.7%, followed by the US (+5.0%) while the Australian market stayed flat. The lack of movement in the Australian market in 2014 was mostly due to the national election held in 2013, lifting government category expenditure to near-record levels for the 2013 year.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

  • Fastest growth rate: The U.S. agency ad market was the best performer over the past five years, delivering the fastest growth rate on a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) basis. The U.K. and Australia also enjoyed positive CAGR between 2009 and 2014, which underscores the long-term strength and buoyancy of these advertising markets.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

  • Key category trends: SMI’s ten largest global categories also reported combined growth of 4.6% in 2014, exactly in line with the total market. Within those ten largest categories the highest gains came from pharmaceuticals (+11.1%) and telecommunications (+9.9%) with the largest decline in Beauty/Grooming and personal care sector. But many of the smaller categories made up for that loss in bookings with above-market growth, for example, from the fuel and gas utilities market (+32% YOY) and non-alcoholic beverages (+11.8%).

GLOBAL MARKET HIGHLIGHTS MEDIA GROWTH TRENDS IN 2014

  • Digital: All major markets delivered double digit increases in digital ad spend in CY2014, although the U.S. market’s exponential digital growth (+18.4%) in 2014 was greater than in any of the three markets, and above the combined total (which grew 17.8%). Across the board, spending within programmatic delivered the highest growth in each market. Social networking remains strong globally. In the U.K., it grew by 37.4%.
  • TV: While growth steadily continues in the U.S. and U.K, TV’s share of the total media pie is reducing over time as digital continues its rise. But in all three markets advertisers are increasingly supporting major TV networks’ video offerings. In the U.S., NBC.com and ESPN.com saw rapidly growing investment in the fourth quarter of last year.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

  • Cable TV: Advertisers’ spending on cable TV was vibrant in the U.S. and U.K. throughout 2014 but dipped 3.6% in Australia.Cable TV: Advertisers’ spending on cable TV was vibrant in the U.S. and U.K. throughout 2014 but dipped 3.6% in Australia.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

  • Radio: Radio delivered higher bookings in Australia and U.K. in 2014, but declined 3% in the U.S. in 2014.
  • Outdoor: Significant growth in outdoor ad spend in the Australian and UK markets (+7.2% and 8.6% respectively) was unable to be replicated in the US (14.0%).
  • Newspapers: To round out 2014, there was a glimmer of hope for the newspaper industry in the U.S. It recovered slightly from their consistently poor results with a 1.6% increase for the year, but Australia and the U.K. didn’t follow.

GLOBAL MARKET HIGHLIGHTS CATEGORY TRENDS IN 2014

  • Automotive: Auto advertisers represent the largest of all SMI Global product categories, and while this market continued to grow in 2014 (booking were +3.2% YOY), Auto’s share of the total market peaked in

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

  • Financial Services: Spending by financial services advertisers remains buoyant globally across these top three markets (growing 4.9% collectively in 2014), which also meant the category slightly grew its share of total spend.

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

SMI captures national media spend across the U.S., U.K. and Australia, gathered exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual ad spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

All figures shown in this release are based on USD denominated amounts.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

U.S. ad market ticks up in January, but TV remains soft

, US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

While TV is experiencing a slow start to the year, SMI’s latest numbers show that digital spend jumped +30% from the same time last year, and now commands 27% of all national ad spend. This is up dramatically from only 19% share just two years ago. A key driver of this growth is digital video, which has emerged as the fastest-expanding segment of the digital market, thanks to leading networks making more of their inventory available to consumers through their digital platforms. This trend is only set to accelerate as media owners focus on tapping into new audiences and the advertisers trying to reach them.

Unfortunately, while digital continues to accelerate and attract new advertisers, the month of January continued the sluggish start to the TV broadcast year. SMI’s figures show upfront spend down in the mid-single digit range from this time last year, and while the scatter market is relatively strong, it is not yet making up for those lost upfront dollars.

In January, we saw the scatter market grow a healthy +39%, an upswing that helped the cable sector deliver +5% growth from the same period last year. This gain was primarily driven by ESPN, which grew +29% year-on-year, thanks to the ratings bonanza they experienced for the first ever college football playoffs. The biggest spender in scatter was the automotive sector, with advertisers spending over four times more than they did in January last year. Other key categories driving the scatter market were toys and telecommunications, both more than tripling their spend. We have also seen CPG come back strong in the scatter market, and we expect category spend to increase in the coming months as the economy continues to strengthen. A number of the top networks have successfully leveraged these insights to target advertisers and increase revenue.

On the broadcast TV front, things have not been too rosy. Overall, the sector fell -6% from the same period last year.

General softness in ratings and a move from January to February of the Grammy’s on CBS drove this result.

Hispanic broadcasters bucked this trend, with Telemundo performing very strongly and Univision also posting a solid increase on their 2014 numbers. Our data is showing a much stronger February and we expect the broadcast networks overall to post substantial year on year gains.

The magazine market was flat over the same period last year, but solid growth was delivered by Time Inc. and Hearst. These two market leaders not only experienced nice growth over 2014 results, but also managed to grab solid market share increases off the back of their strong performance.

Newspapers were down -4% over January last year, but the Wall Street Journal bucked this trend by delivering a solid double-digit gain. These strong results helped them continue the share growth they have been enjoying over the past three to four months.

It will be exciting to see how the market fares in February and March as the TV networks prepare for the all-important spring upfront. A robust scatter market, coupled with increased spending from auto and CPG, will set some up some very interesting market dynamics as we head into this busy trading period. Stayed tuned for SMI’s February data release and marketplace results in mid-March.

Standard Media Index recently released its full year ad market figures and the results confirm what advertisers, agencies and media owners have been feeling for some time...

Feb 19, 2015

Ad market ends on a sluggish note in 2014 despite hopeful first half

US Ad Market Stalls in Q4 2014, Led by Lackluster TV Sector

New York, 20th Jan 2015 – US ad spending stayed flat in the fourth quarter of 2014, driven by another soft performance in the television sector, said Standard Media Index (SMI), which reports on actual spend data from the world’s largest media agencies.

Despite zero growth in Q4, the total US ad market grew +6% over 2014 led by the surge of digital media such as mobile, video and programmatic.

The results, released in SMI’s Q4 report, showed that digital was the clear front-runner with an estimated $7.6 billion spent across its channels this past quarter, propelling the sector to grow by more than +15 %.

Reporting on real spend data, SMI also estimates that national broadcast TV spend reached $4.8 billion in Q4, causing total revenues to take a hit by -2%. In cable TV, the networks reached a combined $6.8 billion but still saw a -1.6% drop in Q4.

Despite a -9% drop, automotive remains the category to attract the most ad dollars in Q4. SMI also saw retail dominate ad spend in December.

Q4 AD MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Television ad spending softened by -2% in Q4, however a relatively strong December lifted the quarter. The performance of broadcast TV players was a mixed bag in Q4. NBC, the largest broadcast TV network with a 27% share, maintained steady growth for Q4 (+3%) as did CBS which was also up +2%. Telemundo led the growth among the top broadcast networks in the same quarter by growing +5% year-on-year.
  • Some of the major networks suffered in Q4, with Fox declining -12%, Univision down – 6% and ABC softened by -2%.
  • The scatter market drove TV ad investment in Q4 with strong growth at +28% YOY. Categories showing their support for scatter were non-alcoholic beverages (+204%), toys and video games (+200%), and computers and software (+195%).
  • Leading the cable TV pack, share-leader ESPN grew +3% in Q4 alongside cable TV network groups AMC (+28%) and Viacom (+2%). In December, the NFL Network grew its US national ad bookings by +61%.
  • Digital ad spend continued to soar in Q4 within programmatic (+71%), mobile (+17%), display(+12%), search (+12%) and video (+11%) all attracting double-digit growth as advertisers poured more of their budgets into the sector. Overall, digital surged +15% in the quarter.
  • The quarter saw more digital ad dollars thrown at the major TV networks’ video offerings. NBC.com and ESPN.com saw rapidly growing investment (+104% and +70% respectively) in Q4.
  • In print media, the magazine market was down -8% in Q4 on the year before. A more positive performance came from newspapers, which grew +2% in 2014 despite dropping -3% in the past quarter.

SMI captures 80% of total U.S. agency spend exclusively from the booking systems of five of the six global media holding groups, as well as leading independents. It reports monthly on actual spend data and is the clearest picture of the flow of dollars across the sector.

SMI’s interactive index offers an unrivaled look into U.S ad market movements, making it possible for readers to identify and isolate emerging trends.

The tracker is based on the actual media dollar volume processed from SMI’s pool of agencies, representing about 70% of the major agency holding companies. Take a dive into advertising spend trends, from 2009 until now, and keep up to date as the data is refreshed monthly.

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