×

TV Ad Spend Falls In October As Movie Studios Cut Commercials

After suffering through a lackluster “upfront” market, TV is still trying to tune in advertising this fall while Madison Avenue embraces the digital world.

Advertisers cut spending on both cable and broadcast TV in October as movie studios, makers of beauty and grooming products and financial-services firms spent less on the two media than they did in the year-earlier period, according to Standard Media Index, a company that tracks U.S. ad spend by examining the bookings of media-buying firms that it says represent 80% of the market.

The dip came as overall U.S. ad spend fell 4%, Standard Media Index said. The data is likely to prompt more concern over the state of TV advertising, which typically picks up as the end-of-year holiday season approaches.

Overall ad spend on TV fell 9% during the month, according to Standard Media Index, with ad spending on broadcast falling 9% and ad spending on cable falling 7%.  Advertising of new releases, sports and live events was off 21% on TV, and off the same for advertising of beauty, grooming and personal-care products. Financial services advertising on TV fell 12%, Standard Media Index said.

Wall Street has been sensitive to the issue, with several media companies posting weaker ad-revenue results in the recently ended third quarter.  Broadcast and cable networks both saw their overall take in this year’s “upfront” market – when U.S. TV networks try to sell the bulk of their ad inventory – dip as Madison Avenue placed more emphasis on new forms of advertising in social-media venues and on mobile devices, among other areas.  At independent research firm MoffettNathanson, “we now expect online to take further share at the expense of TV ad dollars, and less so from whatever remains of print budgets by 2016,” said analyst Michael Nathanson, in a November report.

To be sure, some advertisers increased spending on TV during the month. Makers of consumer electronics increased TV ad spend by 32% while marketers of pharmaceuticals augmented their TV ad spend by 7%, said Standard Media Index. Even so, the most growth in October – 48% – came from media companies themselves, said Standard Media Index, and that was largely the result of TV networks and stations airing more promos for their own programming.

TV advertisers seem to be holding on to their money longer, rather than committing the majority in advance, which had been the norm in previous years.  In October, Standard Media Index found that so-called “scatter” advertising, or advertising purchased closed to air date, represented 23% of ad revenue, up from 17% in October 2013. In broadcast, scatter advertising accounted for 16% of all ad revenue, up from 11% in the year-earlier period.

Meanwhile, digital advertising spend grew during the month. Standard Media Index estimated digital ad spend grew 11% in October.  Ad spend for the first ten months of the year rose 49% for so-called “programmatic” advertising that is purchased via online systems based on narrowly defined target characteristics; 22% for mobile; 19% for video; 17% for online display advertising and 16% for Internet search advertising.

The only entity capable of defeating the pernicious trend seems to be the undead. Ad spend on AMC, the cable network that runs the widely-viewed horror serial “The Walking Dead,” increased a whopping 33% in October, Standard Media Index said, as audiences tuned in for the latest burst of original episodes of that show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More TV

  • Luna Nera Netflix Italy

    Italy's Women Filmmakers Set to Make Waves

    The Berlinale in recent years has been a prime launching pad for Italian films directed by women, which though fewer in number to their male counterparts, make up a considerable portion of the country’s representation on the festival circuit — Alice Rohrwacher (“Happy as Lazzaro”) at Cannes, Susanna Nicchiarelli (“Nico”) at Venice, and Berlin regular [...]

  • Love Me Scandinavian Cinema

    Scandinavia Ups Its Game With So Many Markets for Its Fare

    When the Nordic entertainment group, one of Scandinavia’s largest media groups, announced last month during the Goteborg Film Festival that it was pulling out of non-scripted content to focus on scripted drama, and film production and distribution, it underscored two market trends in the Nordics: Subscription-based services, whether local or global, are driving the region’s [...]

  • Louis Hofmann in Prélude

    Berlin: Louis Hofmann Cast in Damian John Harper's 'Fresh' (EXCLUSIVE)

    German star Louis Hofmann is set to topline Damian John Harper’s upcoming drama “Fresh,” a German-language adaptation of Scottish writer Mark McNay’s novel of the same name. Hofmann plays a young man who must emancipate himself from his tyrannical older brother. Unlike the book, which is set in the outskirts of Glasgow, the film’s story [...]

  • Steve Stark

    Steve Stark Named President of Newly Formed MGM/UA Television

    The newly formed MGM/UA Television label has found a president in Steve Stark, who previously served as MGM’s president of scripted television production and development. MGM Worldwide Television Group chairman Mark Burnett made the announcement late Friday, adding that Stark has extended his contract with the studio as part of his new role. “We are [...]

  • Bad Education

    TV News Roundup: HBO Sets Premiere Date for Hugh Jackman's 'Bad Education' (Watch)

    In today’s TV News roundup, HBO Films set the premiere date for “Bad Education” starring Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney and “Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda” tapes Chris Harrison and Sage Steele as hosts. CASTING “The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison will host “Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda” alongside co-host Sage Steele of ESPN, ABC announced. [...]

  • Randall Park Ed Helms

    Randall Park, Ed Helms to Host Hybrid Alternative-Scripted Series 'True Story' for NBC

    Ed Helms and Randall Park are attached to co-host a hybrid scripted-alternative series titled “True Story” at NBC. The hour-long show has received a six-episode order. It is based on the Australian series “True Story with Hamish & Andy.” In the series, everyday Americans sit down with Helms and Park to share their most extraordinary [...]

  • Annie MurphyGlamour Women of the Year

    'Schitt’s Creek' Star Annie Murphy Cast as Lead in AMC's ‘Kevin Can F— Himself’

    “Schitt’s Creek” star Annie Murphy has been cast as the lead in AMC’s upcoming series “Kevin Can F— Himself.” The dark comedy centers around Murphy’s Allison, Kevin’s wife, who escapes her confines and discovers her rage. “Kevin Can F– Himself” probes the secret life of a type of woman we all grew up believing we [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content