US TV ad spending grows, especially for Spanish-language

Gabriel Miramar-Garcia ©RapidTVNews | 19-06-2012

In the U.S., total advertising expenditures in the first quarter of 2012 increased 2.6% from a year ago and finished the period at $32.9 billion, according to research from Kantar Media. Spanish-language TV however well outpaced the general market growth.

The overall gain represents a modest rebound compared to flat spending in the second half of 2011. But Spanish language TV expenditures were up 20.7%, reflecting higher automotive spending and larger allocations from a broad range of consumer packaged goods marketers.

When it came to overall TV spending, advertising expenditures increased across every television media type in the first quarter of 2012, albeit not in such numbers as the Hispanic market saw. Sports programming was the engine behind year-over-year gains of 7.4% in cable TV and 7% 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% 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% versus a year ago.

"After a sluggish start in January, the pace of measured ad spending quickly accelerated and grew at an average rate of more than 4% during February and March, the best performance in more than a year," said Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media North America, in a statement. "Early figures from the second quarter indicate continued modest growth with improvement trickling down to media that have been lagging the overall advertising market."

Incidentally, 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% and Spanish-language newspapers increased 4.7%.