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 -- CBS.com, 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.