With writers and actors on strike, TV ad impressions rose 1.4% in the third quarter, while ad spending dropped by about 6%, according to new data from measurement and analytics company iSpot.tv.
In its Q3 TV Transparency Report, iSpot estimates that there was $8.1 billion spent on 2.15 trillion TV ad impressions. The number of impressions was the highest since the fourth quarter of 2022, when there were 2.22 trillion impressions.
“Despite the absence of high-cost tentpole events, ads continued to reach and resonate with viewers tuning into favorites like Friends, NCIS and Everybody Loves Raymond,” iSpot said in its Q3 TV Transparency Report.
Among traditional TV networks, CBS had the highest share of impressions with 6.41%. ABC was second with 6.32%, followed by NBC with 5.12%, Fox News with 3.84%, Ion with 2.92%, HGTV 2.5%, Univision 2.45%, CNN 2.34%, Hallmark 2.29% and MSNBC with 2.25%
College football had the largest share of TV ad impressions with 2.09% edging out NFL football with 2.05%.
Streaming services were big advertisers on NFL and college football games. NFL games delivered 9% of all Q3 ad impressions for streaming services, followed by college football with 3.2%. Most of the streaming services that bought football are owned by media companies that have rights to televise NFL games.
Other shows with big shares of impressions were Law & Order: SVU, Good Morning America, NCIS, Friends, Today, ABC World News Tonight With David Muir, The Price is Right and House Hunters.
With the strikes eliminating first-run scripted shows, big TV advertisers had to get their impressions in less obvious places, iSpot said. Domino’s relied on crime procedurals and Friends reruns. For Liberty Mutual, 21% of impressions came on cable news networks and Downy got 24% of its impressions during daytime programming.
Progressive was the biggest advertiser in terms of impression share of voice in the quarter, edging out Domino's.
Other top advertisers in the quarter were Liberty Mutual, Downy, Subway, Burger King, Verizon, GOLO, Wendy’s and Chevrolet.
Different advertiser categories approached the unique Q3 TV environment with different media choices. Retailers turned to morning shows and drama reruns, consumer packaged-goods brands bumped up spending on daytime soap operas, pharmaceutical companies made headlines in news programming, while beer brands bellied up to women’s sports including the WNBA and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The most likable ad from Q3 was Dog Tested: Everybody In for Subaru. It also registered an above-normal score for brand recognition, but was slightly below norm for positive purchase intent.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.