TV Ad Spending Rose 5% in February

Advertising spending on TV was up 5% in February from a year ago, according to research company Standard Media Index.

Spending on broadcast was down 2%, though CBS had a huge month crowned by the Super Bowl.

Cable saw an 11% increase in spending. Among the strongest performers were HGTV, ESPN and TBS, with double-digit upticks.

Syndication, local, cable and spot TV all showed gains.

Ad buys made in the upfront were up 3%, with broadcast down 2% and cable up 8%.

As for the hot scatter market TV executives have been talking about, SMI’s data shows an 11% increase in February. Cable’s scatter spending jumped 21% from a year ago, but broadcast was down 2%

“While February continued to see ratings under pressure it looks like most of the cable networks have been able to wash a lot of their audience make goods through their systems and are starting to book some pretty healthy year on year revenue gains,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s CEO. ”TV continues to prove it’s the most powerful medium for reaching large, easily targeted and engaged audiences,”

Spending on digital media rose 21%. Digital’s share of ad dollars increased to 27% from 24% a year ago. Video sites were up 43%.

“Advertisers are also seeing that adding video to a TV buy multiples the effect and ROI of their campaigns and we’re seeing this in the very considerable and consistent growth levels delivered by video on both premium sites and through social platforms. We expect to see this trend accelerate through 2016 as measurement continues to improve.”

Across all media, advertising was up 10% in February, compared to a year ago. The gains come as consumer spending sputtered and retail sales have fallen for two consecutive months, SMI noted.

Radio spending was up 22%. And out of home was up 10%.

Newspaper and magazine spending were down.

The categories increasing spending in February were prescription pharmaceuticals, quick-serve restaurants, and food, produce and dairy.

SMI gathers its spending data from the computer systems at media agencies representing about 80% of total spending. GroupM is not a part of SMI’s data.

(Photo via Ervins Strauhmanis's FlickrImage taken on Sept. 19, 2014 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)

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.