2017 Media Ad Spend Flat For Publishers

A new report from media ad sales platform Matrix Solutions reveals that media ad spend was flat for publishers in 2017.

Excluding political ad spend, ad spend in 2017 was nearly flat, with less than a 2% decrease from 2016, according to Matrix Solution’s first annual Advertising Spend Report.

“The stakes are higher than ever for media organizations looking to improve their bottom line,” stated Mark Gorman, CEO at Matrix Solutions. “Understanding where brands are investing provides media ad sales teams with a leg up in bringing in revenue more efficiently.”

Matrix Solutions omitted political ad spend from the study to "get a more holistic view” of the media ad sales industry year-over-year. 2016 was a presidential election year, and 2017 was not.

It is worth noting political ads made up more than 12% of the media industry’s advertising spend in 2016, totaling more than $1.5 billion, according to Matrix Solutions. That number decreased after the election to $220 million in 2017.

By platform, broadcast ad spend decreased by 2.9% and radio decreased by 1.2% in 2017 from 2016, while digital increased by 10.16%.

Digital media ad sales grew across nearly every category (such as auto, restaurants, home improvement and media), at an average rate of 13%.

Digital makes up 4% of all ad dollars, radio makes up 9.4%, and broadcast takes up 86.6% of the pie.

As for different industries, trade organizations increased their media-specific ad spend by 8.94% in 2017 compared to the year prior, but beverages decreased by 15.89%, and auto and restaurants also fell.

The media/communications (4.84%) and health and beauty (4.09%) categories experienced growth from 2016 to 2017.

Local advertising spending remained relatively flat with a -1% contraction, while national spending was down by more than $155 million (-4.15% contraction), excluding political advertising, which according to Matrix Solutions made up a significant portion of national budgets in 2016.

The report is based on data from Matrix Solutions' CRM platform. The company collected data from more than 10,000 active media buyers and sellers on its platform across the U.S., which amounts to $11 billion worth of media ad sales deals.

Matrix Solutions, which owns the Monarch ad sales platform, counts Meredith, Hearst, Univision, ABC, USTN, Newsy and Malone Media Group among its clients.

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