Digital advertising revenue experienced double-digit growth in January, but TV held its own thanks to entertainment award shows like The Grammys.
The US ad market grew 10.8 percent in January 2018 compared to January 2017, according to a new report by Standard Media Index. Growth was driven by significant gains in National Television and digital platforms. Other ad mediums didn’t fare as well in January. Radio declined 6.1 percent, out of home went down 2.1 percent and print dropped 3 percent year over year.
It’s not surprising to hear that digital advertising is still on the rise, growing 16.8 percent year over year in January. Digital ad spend has been on a steady increase of around 12 percent since October. Social media saw the largest growth last month at 42 percent overall. Facebook and Twitter saw the most ad revenue growth in January at 55 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
National TV grew 7.1 percent year over year, with 11.1 percent growth in Cable and 2.7 percent in Broadcast. Scatter TV volume—ads purchased outside of Upfronts—saw a 50 percent increase over January 2017, thanks in part to the timing of entertainment award ceremonies. Several college football games and the annual Grammy Awards were both moved to January, which certainly helped. Standard Media Index notes that even without these events, underlying growth was still 5.3 percent.
The Grammys, excluding red carpet coverage, earned $61 Million in ad revenue for CBS, according to the report. This was 3.8 percent increase from last year. CBS reported a 40 percent increase in unique viewers of the show’s live stream over 2017. Despite 24 percent lower viewership overall, the cost of a 30-second spot increased 11.8 percent for the 2018 Grammys.
Riding high on public awareness of the #MeToo movement in Hollywood, the 75th Annual Golden Globes saw a 7.1 percent increase in ad revenue over last year, exceeding $32 million. A five percent drop in viewership didn’t stop a five percent increase in average cost for ad space.
“We see that even though audiences are falling, pricing for these major events continues to increase,” Standard Media Index CEO James Fennessy said alongside the findings. “We expect to see this trend continue as our research shows an impressive return for advertisers that support live programming. Premium video continues to be the powerhouse of ROAS and, given the fragmentation of audiences and safety issues on other mediums, this won’t change anytime soon.”
The automotive industry was the biggest ad spender on National TV last month, despite dropping three percent compared to January 2017. Insurance companies came in second in terms of spending and spent 22 percent more year over year. Rounding out the top five for National TV ad spending are Prescription Pharmaceuticals, Quick Service Restaurants and Food, Produce & Dairy with the largest spend in 2017. Standard Media Index predicts that advertising revenue for National TV will grow 1.6 percent in the first quarter, excluding the Winter Games.