TV Ad Spending Drops in October: SMI

TV advertising dropped 9% in October, with cable's rate of decline below the medium's overall fall.

According to data from Standard Media Index, spending on cable decreased in 7% in October, versus a 9% downturn for the broadcast networks.

“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 selling season, scatter has become a bigger part of the television ad business. For broadcasters, 16% of their revenue came from ads sold in scatter—close to air date—versus 11% in October 2013. For its part, cable saw scatter account for 23% of revenue, up from 17% in 2013.

The declines came despite gains in the media, consumer electronics and pharmaceuticals categories.

Total ad spending in October was down 4% from a year ago, even as digital continued to grow. Programmatic digital was up 49% last month, while mobile grew 22%, video rose19%, display increased 17% and search expanded 16%.

Through the first 10 months of 2014, digital was ahead 11%

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

Jon Lafayette

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.