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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.

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