U.S. Ad Spend Rises In May, Digital Up 16%

Reversing a slight April decline in U.S. advertising spending, May posted a 7% gain over the same month in 2016.

Digital media returned to its strong double-digit percentage gains -- up 16%, according to Standard Media Index. Big gainers here were social media up 59%; mobile ad networks 20% higher, search 18% more and content advertising, 15% higher.

Total TV spend grew 7% in the month. National TV improved 2% -- with broadcast up 1% and cable adding 2%. Spot TV buying tacked on a big 21% hike and syndication added 12%. TV networks’ digital advertising business grew 15%.

Other media showed weakness: magazines down 21%; newspapers, 23% lower; radio flat; and out-of-home off 5%.

May’s overall 7% gain was a sharp improvement from the month before, which had an 1% decline in U.S. ad spending in April -- with digital media up 3% and all television ad spending flat.

Looking at individual TV programming for May, advertising on sports programming on national networks dropped 5% (due to fewer NBA and NHL games) and broadcast prime-time entertainment was 4% lower.



For May in prime time, overall CBS was down 1%, with NBC off 4%, ABC losing 6%, and Fox sinking 8%.

Cable news networks continue their sharp gains -- up 16.9% collectively in advertising spend for the month. MSNBC scored strongest results -- rocketing 43% higher. Fox News Channel grew 14%; CNN, adding 12%.

SMI also said HGTV climbed 16%, while Food Network was 15% higher, E! added 15% and Discovery was 12% higher.

Another overall network winner in the month was Telemundo, up 17%.

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