TV Ad Spending Rose 5% in April

SMI says Broadcast up 6%, cable up 7% on eve of upfront market

TV advertising revenue rose 5% in April, according to data from research company Standard Media Index.

The gain comes partly because of a hot scatter market leading into the upfront, when ads for the 2016-17 season will be bought and sold.

SMI says broadcast TV spending was up 6% in April. Broadcast is also up 6% so far this year.

Cable, which has been weaker than broadcast in recent months, was up 7% in April.

The rise comes despite a 4% decline in viewership.

Digital media revenues were up 15%--a slowdown from the prior few months.

The figures back TV executives’ claims that advertisers are shifting ad dollars back from digital to TV.

“SMI’s April data continues to show the re-emergence of TV as the industry’s strongest and most effective medium. We have seen digital’s growth slow over the past few months and know from feedback from advertisers and agencies that television is still the best place to find high quality, guaranteed audiences at scale,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s CEO. “Timing couldn’t be better for the major networks as a strong scatter market again in April should ensure they book healthy increases in the upfronts over the coming weeks.”

Among the broadcasters, Fox was the leader with a double0digit gain.  The other English-language networks posted smaller gains.
The top cable networks including ESPN, AMC, HGTV and Bravo, all with double-digit gains.

Spending from last year’s upfront was up 9% in April. Broadcast was up 7% and cable rose 9%.

Spending volume in scatter was up 8% in the quarter. Broadcast was flat, but cable TV scatter rose 13% compared to a year ago.

Syndication was up 13%. Spot TV was down 10% and local broadcast and local cable were up 6%.TV had a 54.2% share of all media spending, down from 56.7% a year ago.

Total ad revenues were up 7% in April from a year ago.

On the digital side, spending was up 5% on social media and 31% on video sites.