Kantar Begins Reporting Search, Shows It Is Fastest-Growing Medium It Tracks: Overall Media Declines 4%

U.S. ad spending declined 4.0% during the first quarter, according to the latest estimates from competitive ad-spending tracking firm WPP’s Kantar Media. The quarter, which also happens to be the first in which Kantar estimates the volume and share of paid search as a medium, shows it also is the fastest-growing medium among the media that Kantar now tracks.

Search ad spending expanded 7.0% over the first quarter of 2014, indicating that the digital medium still has legs, although Madison Avenue seems transfixed by another form of biddable digital media -- programmatic display. While Kantar does not currently track the programmatic display ad marketplace explicitly, its overall estimates for display show it is actually eroding due to “lower CPMs” and “reduced page traffic.”

While Kantar Media North America Chief Research Officer Jon Swallen said it’s not possible to know the extent to which greater price efficiency from the programmatic portion of the display marketplace is a contributing factor, but the numbers speak for themselves. The overall display ad marketplace declined 8.7% during the first quarter.

Swallen noted that both Kantar’s paid search and display estimates reflect only “desktop” market shares, and that if mobile were factored into the equation the relative shares and growth rates likely would be very different. In fact, Kantar cites “mobile devices siphoning some desktop usage” as one of the main reasons that the desktop display marketplace is eroding.



Percent Change in Measured Ad Spending


  • ·    Media Type

(Listed in rank order of Q1 2015 spending)

Jan - Mar

2015 vs. 2014



  • Cable TV2


  • Network TV


  • Spot TV3


  • Spanish Language TV4


  • Syndication – National




  • Paid Search5


  • Online Display (PC Desktop Only)6




  • Consumer Magazines


  • B-to-B Magazines


  • Sunday Magazines


  • Local Magazines


  • Spanish Language Magazines




  • Local Newspapers


  • National Newspapers


  • Spanish Language Newspapers




  • Local Radio10


  • National Spot Radio


  • Network Radio


  • Hispanic Local Radio11








Source: Kantar Media: Figures are based on the Kantar Media Stradegy™ multimedia ad expenditure database across all measured media, including: Network TV ( 5 networks); Spot TV (748 stations in 125 DMAs); Cable TV ( 76 networks); Syndication TV; Hispanic Network TV (5 networks); Consumer Magazines (170 publications); Business-to-Business Magazines (296 publications); Sunday Magazines (8 publications); Local Magazines (29 publications); Hispanic Magazines (13 publications); Paid Search (Google & Bing search engines); Internet display (3,016 sites monitored at least one year); Local Newspapers (134 publications); National Newspapers (3 publications); Hispanic Newspapers (42 publications); Local Radio (692 stations in 36 markets); Hispanic Local Radio (85 stations in 24 markets);Network Radio (5 networks); National Spot Radio (205 markets); and Outdoor (183 markets). Figures do not include public service announcements (PSA) or house advertising

2. Cable TV figures are based on 71 English language networks and do not include any Hispanic cable networks

3. Spot TV figures are based on 668 English language stations and do not include any Hispanic stations

4. Spanish Language TV includes 5 Hispanic broadcast networks, 5 Hispanic cable networks and 80 local Hispanic TV stations

5. Paid Search figures are based on desktop text ads. Product Listing Ad format is excluded. Data are provided by Kantar Media’s AdGooroo.

6. Online display expenditures reflect the value of desktop display advertising only. Video ad formats and mobile ad formats are specifically excluded.

7. Magazine Media includes Publishers Information Bureau (PIB) data and reflects print editions of publications

8. Newspaper Media figures reflect print editions of publications

9. Radio Media figures only reflect commercial spot sales

10. Local Radio expenditures are based on English language stations in 36 markets

11Hispanic Local Radio expenditures are based on Spanish language stations in 24 markets

12FSI data represents distribution costs only. Data are provided by Marx ProMotion Services.

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