U.S. National Ads Rise 5% In Q2, Digital Adds 12%

The U.S. national advertising market improved 5% in the second quarter of this year -- with digital media registering another quarterly double-digit percentage gain, according to Standard Media Index.

Digital media -- the strongest media performer -- grew 12%, versus the same period the year before. In February, it was up 18% and 17% in January. Social media grew 45%. Video-only websites were up 21%. Content and TV websites each added 18%, and search was down 5%.

Right behind digital, out-of-home media posted a 9% gain while national TV was virtually flat, inching up 0.2%. Radio was down 1%; and print sank 22%.

National TV benefited from the World Cup, televised on Fox and Telemundo, during the period. Without that special sporting event, national TV revenues were down 1%.

There was 4% less revenue from TV upfront deals made in the summer of 2017. At the same time, TV networks witnessed stronger near-term ad sales in the scatter market, up 11%. Direct-response advertising was flat.



TV networks saw a 3.4% decline in the average price for 30-second commercials. But there was a 2.5% gain in the number of 30-second spots to 3.4 million. TV networks issued 4% fewer makegoods, also known as audience-deficiency units (ADUs).

Looking at the biggest national TV advertising categories, prescription pharmaceuticals grew 19%, while automotive was down 12%, food products were off 5%, quick-service restaurants gained 3% and insurance added 9%.

SMI data comes from “raw” invoices of five of the seven major media agency holding groups -- actual dollar amounts spent on each ad buy. This makes up 70% of the national TV market, with the remaining 30% being “modeled” using occurrence data.

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