Digital and TV Drive Big Gains in U.S. Ad Market

The U.S. advertising market grew by 10.8% in January 2018, compared to January 2017, a just-released study shows. The increase was driven primarily by growth in the digital and national television categories, according to the report from Standard Media Index, an advertising intelligence firm.

In January 2018, ad revenue in digital grew by 16.8%, and 7.1% in TV, with 11.1% growth in cable and 2.7% in broadcast. Meanwhile, out-of-home (such as billboards) fell 2.1%, print declined 3% and radio saw a 6.1% decrease.

Digital ad revenue has grown on a year-over-year basis every month since Standard Media Index first began tracking the data in 2009. While its growth rate slowed in the second half of 2017, it’s held steady at about 12% since October.

In the digital category, platforms that saw the most growth included social networks, at 42%. Facebook’s year-over-year growth was 55%, while Twitter rose 30%, the study found. Video sites grew 10% in January, an increase driven in large part by premium video providers. Hulu saw a 20% increase in ad revenue, while Vevo’s revenue almost doubled.

Entertainment programming helped to boost TV advertising, with 12% year-over-year growth fueled by the Golden Globes on January 7, the Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 21, and the Grammys on January 28. Revenue was also enhanced by a 5.3% increase during the NFL post-season, and advertising spend on cable news grew 25% year-over-year.

The top TV advertisers by category were insurance (22% increase), quick service restaurants (10%) and prescription pharmaceuticals (4%). While automotive spent the most on ads, the amount actually declined by 3% year-over-year. Food, produce and dairy fell by 10%.

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