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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.


  • 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.

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