U.S. Media Spend Up 7% In 2016, Digital Best Performer

U.S. ad spending slowed toward the end of 2016 -- especially in the last month.

December was virtually flat, with a 0.7% increase over December 2015, according to Standard Media Index estimates. For the year as a whole, 2016 was up 6.8% over the 2015. The last three months of the year witnessed a 4.3% rise over the same period in 2015.

While digital media was again the star performer among all media categories, it was only up 13.3% for the year. In 2015, it was 50% higher over 2014. When taking out the two biggest digital media platforms -- Facebook and Google  -- from the digital media category, the sector’s growth dropped to a gain of 8.7%.

In particular, digital media suffered in the fourth quarter, rising only 7.1%. Retail and telecommunications marketers cut back digital media, as retail digital spending dropped 3.5% and telco digital spending was cut down by 2.4%.

Where did those media dollars go? Back to TV.

James Fennessy, CEO of SMI, stated: “Retail, telcos, and consumer electronics [marketers] have not seen the outcomes they expected from digital and have moved back to the medium they have trusted for decades.”



TV spending had a 4.4% increase in 2016 -- 4.6% higher for broadcast TV and 4% for cable TV. Ad spending on TV entertainment programming slipped 1.8%, with sports 16% higher, in large part due to the Olympics. Ad spending on news programming -- due to the presidential election -- improved 14.1%

Among the broadcast networks, NBC was up 20% for the year (a large part being the Olympics); CBS added 3.2%; ABC sinking 2.2%; Fox falling 4.6%; and Univision declining 3.4%.

For the entire year in 2016, magazines were down 9.1%, with newspapers giving back 13.9% and radio virtually unchanged -- down 0.5%. Out-of-home advertising grew 6.9%.

1 comment about "U.S. Media Spend Up 7% In 2016, Digital Best Performer".
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  1. Bob Gordon from The Auto Channel, January 26, 2017 at 10:45 a.m.

    Where is the money going it sure isnt going to small publishers...after 20 years it looks like google has put us on the ropes... our adsense revenue which toped 30k per month 7 years ago  is now under 4k...the digital giant are sucking up ad revenue I guess unless the numbers are bullshit...with search and facebook taking 75% of the revenuey an analagous situation would be that back in the 1970's TV Guide and the local phone companies would suck up the majority of TV advertising...if that was the case there would be no prgramming to show...if Search and Facebook contiue this there will be no independent editorial sites to search. Buh Bye 

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