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July ad market lifted by digital, TV drops 2%

Thriving digital and out-of-home ad sales in July propelled the ad market to record its largest uptick so far this year, global advertising data company Standard Media Index (SMI) said as it published its monthly data. Ad spending increased by +7 per cent year-on-year in the past month.

According to SMI data, the continued shift to digital advertising and the resurgence of out of home media kept the market in positive territory. Dollars spent on digital increased by +28 per cent and advertisers invested in the out-of-home sector (+32 per cent) with renewed vigour in July, reflecting recent trends.

Figures show that TV ad spend dropped -2 per cent compared to the same period last year and investment in cable rose only slightly by +1 per cent, while broadcast fell by -2 per cent in July. The result is despite a slew of high-profile TV events in July, including the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Special Olympics 2015 and ESPY Awards. “While TV’s numbers were down slightly, our July results are showing some stabilization at the top end of the TV market. The broadcast networks showed a slight uptick, if you discount Univision’s 2014 World Cup revenue. Fox’s performance improved significantly with the FIFA Women’s World Cup, attracting some very significant scatter dollars,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s chief commercial officer.

“The cable story is a mixed bag with some strong performances, while a handful of leading networks are really suffering due to double-digit ratings declines over the summer. The digital

sector continues to drive the overall market, with social almost doubling its revenues on an annualized basis and video also up more than 60 per cent.”

Advertiser categories contributing to the market’s healthy gains in July were pharmaceuticals (+28 per cent), non-alcoholic beverages (+24 per cent) and quick-serve restaurants (+15 per cent), which all had considerable growth on a year-on-year basis.

Interestingly, retail advertising dropped by -8 per cent YoY despite recent reports that back-to-school marketers are investing in heavy consumer outreach as early as July to keep up with shopping behaviour.

SMI July Ad Market Highlights
– While digital media continues to siphon dollars away from the TV upfront market (-5 per cent), the scatter market was able to attract double-digit growth and rise by +17 per cent in July after a slower growth rate in June.
– Advertisers took advantage of investing opportunistic dollars into the scatter market in July, so much so that scatter broadcast revenues increased by +54 per cent and a more modest +1 per cent for cable.
– In the upfront market, broadcast revenues dropped -13 per cent and cable stayed relatively flat (+1 per cent) in the month of July.
– Cable networks MTV and Discovery Channel attracted double-digit percentage increases in July, and TBS revenues rose again in July after some weak months earlier in 2015.
– Telemundo had double-digit year-on-year growth in July. Other top broadcast networks ABC, CBS and Fox all stayed relatively flat for month.
– The digital sector continued its vibrant growth in July. Social media sites (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) grew +93 per cent year-on-year, video sites were up +63 per cent, ad networks/ad exchanges rose by +29 per cent and internet radio revenues increased more than +36 per cent.

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