TV Ad Spending Drops 6% in April

SMI Data: Big Marketers Spending More on Digital

As the networks begin to negotiate upfront advertising buys for the 2015-16 season, the latest figures show that spending for the current season so far is down 5% year-over-year.

Broadcast and cable were down, according to Standard Media Index, while spot TV and local TV were up by single digits.

The April results show TV spending down 6%, in line with previous months. The decline is the result of a weak 2014 upfront and a move by marketers to shift some of the dollars previously earmarked for TV to digital media, especially online video.

Spending on digital media is up 21% so far this year. Spending on digital video jumped 44%.

“SMI’s data reinforces what most commentators are saying, which is that traditional media continues to remain soft as brands expand their investment in digita,” said James Fennessy, chief commercial officer at SMI. “We see large traditional TV advertisers, like retail and financial services, move significant dollars into digital at the expense of their television . encouraging news for content owners and creators is that a lot of this money is finding its way into digital video as advertisers look to align their brands with premium content.”

The data from SMI shows that food advertisers are spending 14% less on TV, retailers are spending 12% less and financial service marketers are down 4%. All of those categories are posting double-digit growth in digital spending.