TV ad spending was down 3% in the first quarter compared to a year ago, when the Olympics generated about $600 million in incremental spending, according to new figures from Kantar Media.
Broadcast was down 9.2% Kantar said, though if you stripped out the effects of Olympic spending, broadcast was flat. Spending on cable rose 4.1% and Spanish language TV was up 4.8%, but spot TV was down 6.8% and syndication was 4.9% lower. Overall ad spending in the first quarter was down 4%, including the effects of the Olympics.
“First-quarter results are skewed by comparisons to last year and the $600 million of incremental spend generated by the Sochi Olympics,” said Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media North America. “Excluding the impact of special events, core ad spending measured by Kantar Media was down about 2% in the period. Even after taking into account assumptions about the growth of spend on other unmonitored media, it has been a relatively slow start for the ad market in 2015.”
Kantar included paid search in its advertising totals for the first time. Search expenditures were up 7%. Kantar said online display advertising on PC desktops was down 8.7%. The research company does not measure other forms of digital advertising, which other sources say are growing at rapid rates. Magazines were down 8.7%, newspapers were down 15.4%, radio was flat and outdoor was up 2.9%, according to Kantar.