Broadcast TV Ads Gain Slightly In December, Cable Dips

Looking at the 2015 fourth-quarter period, broadcast networks continued to see rising ad growth in December -- but cable, spot television and syndication all had declines.

Broadcast networks inched up 1% in national advertising for December and 13% in the fourth quarter, according to Standard Media Index. Many point to strong NFL ad activity during the period.

Cable declined 4% during the month (up 4% in the fourth quarter), while spot TV was down 11% (2% higher in the fourth quarter) and syndication lost 7% (rising 4% for the overall last three-month period of 2015).

Local cable advertising -- a smaller TV segment -- grew 4% in December, up 17% for the fourth quarter. All TV was down 3% in December, but strong for the fourth quarter overall -- up 9%.

As part of the still-rising digital media category, SMI says TV network-based digital advertising activity --, and other network platforms, for example -- grew 14% in December and 20% in the fourth quarter. The performance for TV networks in the digital space was up 7% for the 2015.



Total digital advertising witnessed strong 34% growth in December and 35% in the last 2015 quarter. It also up 26% for the year.

Newspaper advertising continued to see improvement -- up 8% in December, 14% in the fourth quarter, and 7% for the year. However, a number of areas lost ground in December: Magazines were down 3% (off 5% for 2015); radio, giving up 1% (down 2% for 2015); and out of home, going backwards 4% (up 12% for the year).

Standard Media Index data comes from actual spending by ad agencies, representing about 80% of all U.S. media agency spending.

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