TV Ad Spending Drops in October

Advertising spending on TV was down 9% in October, according to new data from Standard Media Index.

The broadcast networks showed a 9% decline and cable was down 7%.

"SMI's latest data shows advertisers held back dollars in October which caused a decline across the market, driven by a slow start to the new TV season. We anticipate that falling commodity prices will flow through to more money in consumers' pockets in the coming months and ad dollars will begin to follow," said James Fennessy, chief commercial officer at SMI.

With a weak upfront, scatter has become a bigger part of the television business. For the broadcaster, 16% of revenue came from ads sold in scatter—or close to air date—compared to 11% last year. For cable, scatter was 23% of revenue, up from 17% in 2013.

Some categories increased their TV spending, including media, consumer electronics and pharmaceuticals.

SMI gets its revenue data directly from the computer systems at media agencies representing about 80% of total spending.

Total ad spending in October was down 4% from a year ago. Digital advertising continued to grow. Programmatic digital was up 49%, mobile was up 22%, video was up 19%, display was up 17% and search rose 16%.

So far this year, digital is up 11%.

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.