U.S. Ad Market Sinks 1% In April

The U.S. advertising market remained relatively flat for April -- with digital media up a scant 3% and TV flat.

Big gainers for digital media include social media, 12% higher; advertising network/ad exchange business, up 10%; and pure-play video, gaining 6%; digital TV network business, adding 3%; and search up 2%, according to Standard Media Index.

Losers in the digital space came with mobile ad networks/exchanges down 10%; pure-play content business also off 10%; digital business from print companies 3% lower; and Internet radio down 2%.

“The digital market hasn’t rebounded from the viewability and safety concerns that came to the forefront late last year. Advertisers are yet to jump back in and show they are confident that these issues have been meaningfully addressed,” stated James Fennessy, chief executive officer of Standard Media Index.



Heading into the next season’s upfront TV advertising market, where second-quarter activity is seen as a signal to many executives, showed broadcast adding 8% but cable down 7%.

Broadcast's big gain came almost entirely from the final three games of NCAA’s March Madness men’s college basketball tournament on CBS. A year before, TNT ran those games. SMI says taking those games out of the picture meant a 5% decline for broadcast.

Three cable news networks continued to gain in advertising revenue -- as well as viewership. Ad gains for Fox News Channel grew 12%; CNN, 16%; and MSNBC, a whopping, 63%.

Local TV did much better: Local spot cable added 20% with local broadcast spot TV  up 4%. National syndication dipped 6% in the month.

Looking at specific national TV advertising categories a big  decline came from automotive vehicles/dealerships, down 17 %. telecommunications business dropped by 12%, and food lost 4%.

Increases came from prescription pharmaceutical advertising, 2% higher, and fast-food restaurants, adding 7%.

Older traditional media platforms continued to slide: Magazines were down 16% for the month; newspapers, 21% lower; radio, losing, 17% and out-of-home slipping 8%.

All TV ad spend comes from SMI’s AccuTV -- a product that combines 70% of total national agency spend exclusively, with data model for the remaining 30%. Non-TV data comes from 70% of all national agency spend.

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