February Ad Revs Slow, Digital And News Up

After months of strong gains, February's U.S. advertising slowed down in many categories, either flat or rising modestly.

According to Standard Media Index (see related story), the entire media market showed no growth -- flat versus February a year ago. Overall areas of gains include digital media, up 3.7%, with TV inching up 0.4% -- while broadcast was down 0.6% and cable TV was 1.4% higher.

Looking at specific media categories, digital video rose 26.6% on pure-play digital platforms, with pure-play social media also spiking, 9.9%. Ad network/ad exchange business was up 5.5%.

Digital media declines were registered in pure-play search, 1.7%; pure-play content, 1.9%; TV network/digital, 2.9%; pure-play digital radio, 6.4%; mobile ad network/ad exchange, 8.0%. Standard Media Index predicts “2017 is shaping up to be digital’s toughest year yet.”



TV news platforms continued to see strong results, now four months post-election -- up 11.7% across cable and broadcast networks. Cable TV news was up 7% overall and in prime-time had a 31% gain.

CNN was 12% higher; Fox News Channel, 18.7%; and MSNBC 22.5%. Average 30-second unit costs grew 73.5% for MSNBC; 48.4% for Fox ; and 24.3% for CNN. Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity” command the highest advertising 30-second unit cost $14,000 and $12,500 a spot, respectively.

CBS’ “Grammy Awards” price climbed 13% in February versus the same month a year ago -- to $890,725. ABC’s “Academy Awards” inched up 2% to $1.89 million.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” was the highest regularly scheduled TV series -- broadcast or cable -- $332,300 for a 30-second ad.

Looking across other media, all showed declines: Magazines, 12%; newspapers, 15%; radio, 31.3%; and out-of-home, 10.6%.

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