Digital ad revenue spikes in January; TV spending holding on

Michelle Clancy | 21-02-2014

The first month of the year saw strong growth in digital ad revenue spending, with a 15% year-over-year growth, says the Standard Media Index (SMI) Ad Spend Report for January 2014.

Even though digital's strong growth overshadowed that of total television ad spending, which had 9% year-over-year growth for January, it matched the growth of broadcast TV, which had an impressive 15% growth for the month compared to 2013.

SMI pools aggregated Ad Spend data from agency groups including Vivaki, IPG Mediabrands, Aegis Media and Havas Media, with a proprietary methodology that the company says captures approximately 60% of total agency spend, which it uses to extrapolate global macro and micro market dynamics.

Some key product areas showed interesting results. For instance, in alcoholic beverages, digital spending was up 58.2%, compared to a 1.6% television decline. Soft drinks fled TV in even bigger numbers, with non-alcoholic beverages showing 17.9% digital growth compared to a 33.1% television decline.

Beauty, grooming and personal care spending was up 23.9% for digital, compared to a 9% television decline, and restaurants increased spending in digital media by 36.1% compared to a 15.3% loss in TV spend.

Mobile spending mostly drove the digital growth in January year-over-year with a 91.2% increase.

In broadcast, CBS remained the share leader among top broadcast networks, and showed double-digit revenue growth for January 2014 year-over-year (27%). FOX meanwhile jumped to the No 2 shareholder spot, with 24.6% share and 8% growth over January 2013.

NBC came in strong with 29% year-over-year growth for January. NBC's growth for the month was driven by double-digit increases in ad spend in the financial services and automotive product categories.

In cable television, Discovery Channel showed the most growth (47% over 2013), followed by E! (40%) and HGTV (+35%). Discovery's success was driven by increases in ad spend in the retail and pharmaceutical product categories.

Other highlights from January 2014 among the top cable networks include year-over-year growth for History (30%), USA (25%) and A&E Network (25%).