Q1 2012 Ad Data: Strong Spanish-language TV, Magazines and Newspapers, +2.6% overall

Total advertising expenditures in the first quarter of 2012 increased 2.6 percent from a year ago and finished the period at $32.9 billion, according to data released today by Kantar Media, a  provider of strategic advertising and marketing information. The gain represents a modest rebound compared to flat spending in the second half of 2011.  Spanish –language media (TV, Magazines, Newspapers) was much stronger than the overall market with increases of 20,7%, 26,5% and 4,7%.

"After a sluggish start in January, the pace of measured ad spending quickly accelerated and grew at an average rate of more than four percent during February and March, the best performance in more than a year," said Jon Swallen, Chief Research Officer at Kantar Media North America. "Early figures from the second quarter indicate continued modest growth with improvement trickling down to media that have been lagging the overall advertising market."

Measured Ad Spending By Media

Advertising expenditures increased across every television media type in the first quarter of 2012 . Sports programming was the engine behind year-over-year gains of 7.4 percent in Cable TV and 7.0 percent in Network TV spending. More than two-thirds of this dollar volume growth came from sporting events, led by the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and NFL post-season games. Comparisons were helped by a calendar timing shift that moved ad money for the NCAA Final Four games out of April and into the very last day of Q1 2012.

Syndication TV budgets rose 15.7 percent and were aided by more hours of programming as well as audience ratings gains. Spot TV, benefitting from a biennial business cycle tied to political advertising and Olympics in even-number years, saw spending increase 2.5 percent versus a year ago.

Spanish Language TV expenditures were up 20.7 percent, reflecting higher automotive spending and larger allocations from a broad range of consumer packaged goods marketers. Other Spanish Language media types also posted gains, albeit from much smaller bases. Year-over-year spending in Spanish Language Magazines surged by 26.5 percent and Spanish Language Newspapers increased 4.7 percent .

Outside the Hispanic market, print media continued to lose ground. Expenditures in Consumer Magazines dropped 4.2 percent from a year ago and budgets in Sunday Magazines were off 4.6 percent due to cutbacks from auto manufacturers, food companies and prescription drug marketers. Local Newspaper ad spending fell 3.9 percent and National Newspapers declined by 7.7 percent, each hurt by substantial reductions from the financial service, travel and telecom categories. The losses in Newspaper spending were consistent with reductions in the amount of space sold.

Within the universe of 2,811 Internet sites that Kantar Media measured for at least a full year, display expenditures fell 4.1 percent during Q1. The overall spending reduction was primarily attributable to fewer display ads appearing on the average web page, with some offset from higher average CPMs. There was also a sharp split between popular, high-traffic sites, where spending was close to flat year-over-year, and the many small, long-tail sites, which saw an aggregate percentage decline in the mid-teens.

Outdoor advertising investments rose 4.6 percent, the eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases. Higher spending from core categories including Local Services, Retail and Restaurants were a prime catalyst.

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Marcos Baer @MarcosBaer

Marcos oversees editorial and sales. He is based in Portada's NYC headquarters. Prior to launching Portada in 2003, Marcos worked in both the media and finance sectors. He occupied leading roles at the Spanish edition of The Wall Street Journal, in Spain’s newspaper Cinco Dias and at SwissRe. He is an MBA, and a CFA. Marcos is a print junkie and also loves all things digital media. He also is passionate about everything related to New York City and loves to play tennis.


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