U.S. Media Spend: Cable TV, Digital, Mags Record Upswing

U.S. media spending slipped a bit in August -- but is up for the year as a whole.

According to the Standard Media Index estimates, U.S. media spending was down 3% in August, but it is still up 7% for the year through August. SMI research comes from media agencies including VivaKi, Mediabrands, Aegis Media and Havas Media, which represent 60% of total U.S. media agency spend.

For the month of August, digital media had the best results -- up 16%. Digital media has gained 21% in year-to-date results.

Year-to-date digital video and the ad exchanges have seen the biggest gains -- up 56%. Mobile is 21% higher, and display has improved 18%. Display continues to have the biggest media spend share in the entire digital category, at 59.7%, followed by search at 17.5%.

After digital media, cable TV was next best for August, improving 12% (6% higher for the year); magazines gained 10% (up 15% for the year); and syndication TV added 6%, inching up 1% season-to-date.



Moving in the other direction for August was national broadcast TV, off 29%. Local broadcast TV gave up 26%; newspapers, lost 17%; and local cable was down 15%. Radio and out-of-home media also lost ground in August -- down 4% and 8%, respectively.

Overall year-to-date, TV still commands the largest share of media dollars -- 59.6% (cable TV has a 26% media share; national broadcast TV is at 21%).

SMI says the media spend decline in August was mostly due to the absence of NBC’s Summer Olympics, which ran in August 2012. This caused major declines across TV as a whole -- down 11%.

For the year so far through August, digital media commands the next largest media share to TV, 24.7%. This is followed by local broadcast TV, 8.1%; magazines, 5.5%; radio, 4.5%; out-of-home, 3.8%; syndication, TV 2.2%; local cable, 1.9% and newspapers, 1.5%.

Looking at individual TV networks, CBS commands a 28.7% share of TV network media spend: a 20% gain year-to-date versus the similar period in 2012. ABC has a 24.6% share, up 11%; NBC slipped 32% to a 20.2% share; and Fox was flat at a 15.3% media spend share. Univision has 5.5% TV share, for a gain of 17%.

Cable network ESPN has a leading 7.8% share of cable network media spend, up 1% for the year so far. TNT now sits with a 7.2% share, at 12% higher for the year. TBS, at a 4.8% share, is up 9%, while USA Network, with a 4.3% number, is flat versus a year ago and MTV, with a 3.6% share, is 9% higher than a year ago.

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