U.S. advertising market revenue in the third quarter of 2017 -- and for the month of September -- was virtually flat with the respective periods of a year ago.
Third-quarter media spend was up 0.6% and and September was 1% higher, and for the first nine months of 2017, the U.S. advertising market gained 2.3% over the same period a year ago, says Standard Media Index (SMI).
Digital media continues to be the main positive driver -- gaining 11% in the third quarter and 5% in September. Traditional TV was down 1% for September, and off 11% for the entire third quarter -- largely due to unfavorable comparisons to 2016, when NBC’s Rio Summer Olympics aired.
Only two TV segments showed growth in September -- local TV advertising 14% higher, and national syndication adding 4%.National broadcast was down 5%; national cable networks were off 2%; and local cable sank 12%.
National broadcast networks witnessed September declines in the automotive category -- 12%; telecommunications, 13% lower; and entertainment, down 20%. Improvements came from pharmaceuticals, up 4%; insurance marketers, adding 3%; and consumer electronics, 8% higher.
Cable networks saw automotive advertising spending dip 5% lower, while entertainment advertisers in cable were down 27%; and telecommunications were off 11%. Gaining categories include quick-service restaurants were up 7%; beauty marketers were 4% higher; and travel/tourism was 47% more.
Virtually all other traditional media was down as well for the month: Magazines lost 16%, newspapers were off 12%, and radio slipped 3%. Only out-of-home media had a uptick, adding 9%.
Strong digital media categories for the month include pure-play content platforms, up 13%; TV networks' digital sites, adding 10%; and ad network/ad exchange, up 8%. Among the categories that went lower were pure-play video providers, down 10%, and mobile ad network/ad exchanges, off 6%.