Spurred by Winter Olympics, ad revenues up in Q1
Michelle Clancy
| 25 June 2014
Total advertising expenditures increased 5.7% in the first quarter of 2014 to $34.9 billion, according to data released by Kantar Media but for TV, it was the Winter Olympics that spurred the growth.

"The Winter Olympics delivered its expected windfall in the first quarter, adding about $600 million of incremental ad spending to the marketplace," said Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media North America. "But the nature of the event is that this money is narrowly distributed and doesn't benefit all sectors of the market."

Every measured type of television had expenditure increases in Q1. Network TV increased 14.5% with about one-half of this growth coming from the Winter Olympics. Higher spending on the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl also contributed to the gains. The Olympics also gave a boost to spot TV expenditures, which rose 7.0% during Q1. In addition, an early rush of political spending for key races in Alaska, North Carolina and Texas were a reminder that as November elections draw closer, political money will increasingly define and drive the spot TV marketplace.

Subtracting the Olympics' contribution, the growth rate for remaining expenditures was just under 4%.

When it comes to sectors, cable TV expenditures increased 6.2% in the first quarter on higher spending from a broad range of core categories. Spanish-language TV rose 18% in the period, primarily from gains at broadcast networks. Syndication TV spending was up 3.2% and received a hefty boost from pharmaceutical, insurance and restaurant marketers.

Meanwhile, Internet display expenditures grew 13% in the first quarter as financial, retail and insurance marketers raised their budgets.