Of the nineteen media types tracked by Kantar Media, thirteen experienced a spending increase in the first quarter. At the forefront, Spot TV surged 22% on what Kantar analysts term a “torrent” of additional money from the automotive, retail, financial service and political categories. Despite this growth, current spending volume in Spot TV has only recovered to a level last seen in 1997.
Other television media types also performed strongly. Network TV expenditures received a boost from the Winter Olympics and finished the period up 11.6%. Cable TV (+8.2%) and Spanish Language TV (+7.2%) each benefited from selling more ad time and strengthened demand among across a broad range of package goods and retail advertisers.
Radio Ends Long Drought
After a three-year slump, radio ad expenditures finally had a turnaround. National Spot Radio advanced 19% and was paced by higher spending from the telecom, financial service and auto categories. Local Radio (+4.6%) and Network Radio (+3%) were also up.
Print Media Mostly Lags
Print media, on the whole, continued to lag the overall ad market. Consumer Magazine spending fell 3.9% from a year ago, while Local Newspapers dropped 5.6%. There was improvement in some narrow segments, as Sunday Magazine expenditures jumped 13.7% and National Newspapers increased 9.1%, primarily from gains at the Wall Street Journal, according to Kantar.
Top Categories Increase Overall Expenditures
Of the top 10 spending categories in the first quarter, only one – direct response – fell, down by 3.2%, according to other Q1 2010 ad spending data from Kantar. Overall, expenditures for the 10 largest advertising categories rose 7.8% in the first quarter and totaled $17.95 billion.
Automotive was the leading category by dollar volume and also had the highest growth rate among the top 10, with spending up 18.6% to $3,016.8 million, ending a streak of 18 consecutive quarterly declines. Manufacturers and dealerships reacted quickly to an improving sales environment by ramping up marketing efforts with TV, magazines and radio being the main beneficiaries.