While the market was up 2.8%, the media research company notes that the first-quarter growth rate was the slowest since 2011.
National TV witnessed only a 0.9% hike. Broadcast networks were up 2.4%, while cable networks sank 0.7%. SMI says the automotive industry was a major factor, with a decline of 12.4% in spending.
Looking at broadcast prime time, the four big networks -- CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC -- had a collective 1.5% decline in national advertising revenue.
There was an overall 2.5% decline (broadcast and cable) in scatter TV revenues -- with cable networks sinking by a double-digit declines in scatter money. But cable witnessed strong growth for its news networks -- revenue for CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel improved by 16.0%.
Digital media was only up 6% in the period -- the category’s first-ever single digit percentage gain in the period. In 2016, digital was 19% higher in the first quarter versus the same period a year before.
Search advertising was a major factor -- only rising 3%. Conversely, advertising on social media continued to be a robust 25.9%, with digital video advertising also climbing by strong levels: 28.2%.
Older traditional media witnessed major declines, with radio down 13.4%, magazines, off 10.9% and newspapers sinking 21.4%.