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Analyst: Cable Ads Up 5%, Broadcast Down 2% in 2013

Analyst Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research Group says he expects national TV ad spending to be up about 3% in 2013, similar to its gain of 2012, excluding the Olympics.

But Wieser expects cable to gain share versus the broadcast networks at a faster pace in 2013. He sees cable growing by 5%, with the broadcast networks down 2% for the year. Based on the latest information from the fourth quarter, he says cable networks finished 2012 up 5% and the broadcast networks up 1%.

Wieser says the ad growth will be driven by new brands seeking to differentiate themselves. “We have previously highlighted health care insurance as one such category that may emerge, but clearly consumer electronics categories are rapidly evolving and are themselves leading to the creation of new large brands which benefit from the use of TV,” he said in a research note. “At the same time, these same advertisers can and will allocate significant shares of their budgets to digital advertising, as this has become the dominant ‘engagement’ medium for most advertisers, effectively replacing the role that print-based advertising served for so many years.”

Digital advertising is expected to be the fastest growing form of advertising, up 13% to $41.2 billion in 2013.

“Online video — which we incorporate inside of the national digital total — will be up by 32% from $2.2 billion to $3.0 billion, according to our forecast,” Wieser says. “All digital advertising is generally benefitting from several factors, including a rising share of marketers in the economy who uniquely benefit from digital — e-commerce companies and small companies who operate at a national or global scale with the help of the Web — as well as from the ongoing budget shifts made by large brands towards digital media (especially online video, but increasingly including paid search).”