TV woos advertisers who fled to digital
Television posts its best month since January 2014
November 19, 2015
Over the past year, some advertisers pulled back on their television budgets to funnel money into digital.
That led analysts to predict digital advertising could surpass TV as soon as next year, with the trend toward digital and away from TV only likely to increase as the years go on.
Only, funny thing: Digital doesn’t appear to be doing what the advertisers had hoped. Some of those who fled to digital are returning to TV.
The evidence comes in the latest report from Standard Media Index, which tracks ad spending on the part of 80 percent of U.S. agencies.
It found that in October television saw spending grow 10 percent over last year, lifting TV to its best month since January 2014.
“We have seen a number of categories of advertisers really ramping up their spend on TV following a sharp decline in the previous broadcast year,” James Fennessy, chief commercial officer at SMI, tells Media Life.
“These advertisers probably over-invested in digital and didn’t see the returns they were hoping for.”
Digital still saw substantial growth during the month, up 34 percent. But unlike in past months, that wasn’t coming at the expense of television.
“TV is clawing back share of dollars in some instances or growing as quickly as digital,” Fennessy says.
All of the Big Four broadcast networks plus Univision and Telemundo saw increases over last October, including double-digit percentage gains for ABC, CBS and NBC.
Pharmaceuticals drove part of TV’s improvement, with a 46 percent spending increase over last year. Automotive and fast food also saw healthy growth, each up 21 percent.
Fennessy predicts the bump for TV will keep up for the remainder of the year.
“We know the major networks were able to achieve some healthy increases in the summer’s upfront, and we also know scatter pricing is very strong, so we expect the coming months to deliver very healthy year-on-year gains,” he says.
Meanwhile, newspapers’ surprisingly robust fall continued, after a good September. Ad spending was up 6 percent, though its print cousin, magazines, was flat.
Radio took a hit in a non-political year, down 11 percent in October.
And out of home had a terrific month, up 19 percent over last year, rebounding from a September decline.