TV Ad Spend Up 11.5% - Not Bad For The Channel The Internet 'Killed'

It seems the UK is a good place to be right now, as 8.2% ad spend growth for the first quarter of the year is outpacing the rest of Europe, according to the latest AA/Warc figures. Yesterday, Nielsen's Consumer Confidence report showed a sixth successive quarter of Brits feeling more positive about the economy, their income and their likelihood to make major purchases. In fact, the UK overtook Germany and was second only to the Danes in Europe for the feelgood factor.

Today's AA/Warc figures have several standout statistics. Mobile spend was up by just over a half, year-on-year, for Q1 this year and thus, although advertising as a whole was up 8.2%, Internet advertising, including mobile, was up 12.8%. As such, the UK is still on course to be the country where most is spend on Internet advertising per person this year and next. 



Behind these predictable, encouraging figures for Internet advertising -- particularly mobile -- there are some incredibly strong figures for traditional advertising. Outdoor saw a 9.7% rise year-on-year during Q1, and radio was up by 8.2%. Although it has already been overtaken by the Internet as the UK's largest single advertising channel, television saw perhaps the most spectacular growth, up by 11.5%. 

Coupled with today's news that although viewing figures are down by around 4%, ITV ad revenue has seen profits soar by 25%, it would seem fair to say that the lesson of the day is not to write off television. It accounted for around one in four pounds of all advertising budget spend in the first quarter. Had it not once been the country's biggest channel, it would be seen as a giant rather than the fading star it is often perceived to be. 

Regular readers of this blog will know how I am quick to counter the usual "tv is dead, digital is the new king" talk which is all too often trotted out at conferences and in headlines courtesy of media experts hypnotised by the internet's growth. The thing is, my experience of talking with digital start-ups is that nearly all aspire to sponsor television programmes because there is no quicker way to get a brand's name out there.

Strangely enough, it was a discussion I had recently with a major brand that was talking up the Internet and mobile growth which it claimed to be coming at the expense of television. However, when we looked through the figures, they just didn't stack up. Sure, the Internet -- and particularly mobile -- was growing at a huge rate of knots. And yet the leaps in revenue could not be shown to be coming from television, which is also growing, as these AA/Warc figures show. 

Instead there were two very clear things happening. Growth was being fuelled by new budgets that were going into digital a little more that television, but still television was growing. Where old money was being re-appropriated was exactly where you would imagine -- print. Look at any figures and it's usually clear that spend is up on television and Internet but down on print. 

So the good news for the UK is that customer confidence is on a high and advertising budgets are on the increase. The detail, though, for me is that television continues to be a very strong performer that shows great signs of growth. Next time you hear a "tv is dead" doom merchant, do feel free to remind them of this.

1 comment about "TV Ad Spend Up 11.5% - Not Bad For The Channel The Internet 'Killed'".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, July 28, 2015 at 9:39 a.m.

    It seems to be the same story here in The States, Sean. Totaal TV ad spending is still rising----though the broadcast TV networks are getting less of it, while digital's gains are being fueled largely by declining print ad pages as well as incomes from non-branding "promotional" and other budgets. There is some swing, however, of branding dollars into digital video buys, which may accelerate and cut into traditional TV ad budgets if digital sellers can sort out their ad viewability problems and get their CPMs into line with TV.

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