The latest report from Kantar Media contains few surprises, on the surface. U.S. ad spending increased 2.6% during the first quarter of this year and reached $32.9 billion. The details in Kantar's report contain intriguing data points that are worth a look, though.
In comparing this year’s first quarter ad spending to the same period last year, TV stands out as the market leader in terms o f growth:
- TV 7.6%
- Outdoor 4.6%
- FSIs 3.0%
- Radio 0.8%
- Internet 0.4%
- Magazine ‑3.6%
- Newspaper ‑4.3%
What’s behind the big growth in TV? National syndication at 15.7% and Spanish language TV at 20.7%. Spanish language newspapers reported a 4.7% rise in ad revenue, as marketers seek to connect with Hispanics, but that wasn’t enough to bring the overall newspaper sector into positive territory.
For some readers, Kantar's data proves useful because it allows analysts to look for trends from one year to the next. This is because the company measures the same properties. But when considering digital ad spending, this strategy is limited. The firm only tracks display ads on 2,811 websites. This incomplete picture of the online universe makes it difficult to draw generalizations about that sector.
But Kantar's numbers can give media properties a hint about where they'll be making their sales for the rest of this year. In addition to politics and the Olympics, the top ad spending categories so far have been automotive, retail and local services. These clients all make good sales prospects. Everyone should keep in mind that the fastest-growing sector is also fourth on Kantar’s list of overall spending – financial services.[Source: Kantar Media Reports. KantarMediaNA.com. 18 Jun. 2012. Web. 25 Jun. 2012]