Study: Digital media ad spend up just 3% in April

Dive Brief:

  • Standard Media Index reports that the U.S. advertising market fell 1% in April with TV flat and digital media up just 3%, per a report in MediaPost.
  • “The digital market hasn’t rebounded from the viewability and safety concerns that came to the forefront late last year. Advertisers are yet to jump back in and show they are confident that these issues have been meaningfully addressed,” said James Fennessy, chief executive officer of Standard Media Index, in the MediaPost report.
  • By channel, the report found a mix of winner and losers with social media up 12%, ad network and exchange business up 10% and pure-play video up 6% while mobile ad networks and exchanges as well as the pure-play content business were both down 10%.

Dive Insight:

The digital media marketplace has experienced a lot of turmoil over the past few months and the latest report suggests that the impact on several meta trends continues to impact budgets, with a 3% growth for digital ad spend a tepid number in comparison to last year, when ad spending was up 20.3%.

Digital advertising took a foundational hit during late March and through April with the brand and agency boycott of YouTube and other Google properties over offensive content. The issue called into question the basis of how the digital ad industry conducted business and which party was responsible for ensuring brand safety in avoiding controversial online content. And that issue came just months after P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard put the entire industry on notice with a demand for transparency and a cleaner media supply chain.

A March forecast from Forrester also pointed to problems facing digital display forecasting a potential decrease in display spending as high as $2.9 billion in 2018.

The Standard Media Index report for April also found that broadcast spending was up 8% while cable was down 7%, although broadcasts’ gains came from the NCAA March Madness final three games which ran on broadcast (CBS) compared to cable (TNT) last year. Taking those games out of the mix, broadcast was down 5%.

Among industries for national TV spending, automotive was down 17%, telecom down 12% and food down 4%. Pharma was up 2% and fast-food gained 7%.

Filed Under: Social Media Trends Video Mobile