U.S. Ad Market Up Five Percent In Second Quarter

The U.S. advertising market gained five percent in the 2018 second quarter, reports advertising intelligence firm Standard Media Index (SMI). The quarterly growth comes despite a modest decline in national TV when factoring out the World Cup. SMI reports that digital showed the strongest performance, growing 12 percent, followed by out-of-home, up nine percent; one percent declines in national TV and radio, and a 22 percent drop in print.

National television revenues declined in the second quarter as the average paid unit cost for a 30-second commercial fell 3.4 percent, although this was partially offset by a 2.5 percent increase in the number of 30-second spots—to 3.4 million—and a four percent reduction in the number of unpaid spots.

Entertainment television’s revenue was flat in second quarter—down 0.4 percent—but SMI reports growth in primetime original programming. Cable News continued to be a boon for national TV in second quarter. The five cable news networks grew a combined 16 percent year-over-year for the quarter. Meanwhile, broadcast news is down six percent in the quarter, and the sector has lost revenue every month so far in 2018.

Revenue from sports fell 6.6 percent in second quarter year-over-year when excluding the World Cup. The sector’s revenue saw significant losses from changes in basketball schedules—both at the professional and college level—and this year’s NBA Finals only lasted four games compared to five last year, causing the series to earn 12 percent less revenue.

Across national TV, the prescription pharmaceutical industry spent the most on advertising in second quarter, growing 19 percent year-over-year. The industry increased spend in entertainment by 25 percent and news by 14 percent, while decreasing on sports by 28 percent. Rounding out the top five in spending were autos (down 12 percent), food, produce & dairy (down five percent), quick-serve restaurants (three percent) and insurance (nine percent).

Looking at advertiser categories across all platforms, each of the top five categories increased their spending compared to last year. The telecommunications industry was the largest spender in Q2, increasing two percent year over year. That is followed by autos (10 percent), prescription pharmaceuticals (17 percent), quick-serve restaurants (23 percent) and specialty retailers (one percent).

filed under August 2018
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