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Ad Market Up Mid-Single Digits In Q2 So Far, Says Brian Wieser.


Total global advertising growth in the mid-single digit range in the second quarter. That’s the call from respected media and advertising consultant Brian Wieser, based on Q2 results released this week from several of the biggest buyers and sellers of advertising. Wieser has been scouring earnings reports this week in his daily Madison and Wall newsletter to make some informal estimates on the ad market. While U.S. radio broadcasters face their own unique challenges, the big picture suggests large marketers are opening up their ad budgets to a greater degree than in the first quarter.


The former ad agency exec and media analyst looked at how much several of the world’s biggest marketers were investing in advertising and marketing: Unilever (brand and marketing investments up 10%), Kimberly Clark (marketing and related expenses up 12% with advertising expected to jump 20% during the course of the year), Nestle (advertising and marketing expenses up 7.5%), Hershey (advertising and related consumer marketing expenses up 14.9%), and LVMH (advertising and promotion spending up 24%). Others, including Coca-Cola, Danone, and Reckitt Benckiser, referenced increasing investments in marketing or related activities during their earnings calls.


Among the trends spotted are “strong growth from packaged goods companies – both in terms of revenues and advertising-related spending,” Wieser writes.


Among ad sellers, he looked at Meta (12% year-over-year ad growth), Alphabet (Google and YouTube ad revenue up 5%), Microsoft (ad sales down 2%), Snap (down 8%) and NBCUniversal (down 4.9%).


Based on second quarter earnings so far, Wieser says: “The overall advertising market should be considered to be growing at a mid-single digit level on an underlying basis.”


However, digital advertising is growing faster, “on track to grow by high single digits – or possibly better – for the full year, which would be slightly ahead of June’s forecast estimates from GroupM and Magna of around 8% each.”


Among traditional media channels, the chord-cutting of traditional pay TV subscriptions “accelerated during the quarter, falling by 12.6% year-over-year,” he notes. “This was similar to Verizon FiOS TV’s 11.2% decline and reinforces the fact that traditional TV is rapidly eroding for the operators as well as the advertisers who have historically depended on it.”


Assuming that the 20% of advertising that is focused on television falls by 10% or more, total advertising would be up by a mid-single digit range for the quarter, Wieser predicts. “Consequently, it’s hard not to conclude that media owners with poor results citing macro-economic weakness rather than share losses will likely be incorrect in their assessment of the state of the industry.”


As for audio, Spotify’s ad revenues were up 15% and the company noted that it expects its advertising business to grow faster in the third quarter than it did in the second. Outdoor advertising is also looking healthier.


How does broadcast radio fit into all of this? Cumulus Media gets radio’s Q2 earnings season going today (July 28). It is followed by Beasley Media Group and Entravision Communications (Thursday, Aug. 3), then iHeartMedia and Saga Communications (Tues., Aug. 8), and Townsquare Media (Weds., Aug. 9).

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