Ad spending continues to be on the up-and-up, with November figures showing an overall 10.3% gain compared to November 2020, with radio up 23% year-over-year, according to Standard Media Index (SMI) and MediaPost's U.S. Ad Market Tracker. Along with out-of-home advertising's 84% rise from the prior November, it's a sure sign that America has become more mobile over the past year as more listeners have returned to commuting following the worst of the pandemic.
Usually the highest-demand month each year in the U.S. ad marketplace, or just behind December, this past November was also the biggest month in aggregate ad spending in the five-year span represented in the current index. With the exception of the first two months of 2021, year-over-year spend has gained since November and December 2020, which were up 6% and 6.8% respectively, even with COVID raging.
The continued ad spend rebound jibes with updated forecasts from GroupM, IPG Mediabrands Magna and Publicis Media's Zenith, all of which revised their 2021 and 2022 projections upward.
Digital media, up 17% over November 2020, continues to drive most of this growth, with Google maintaining the largest share of ad spend, up 5% year-over-year, powered by travel, entertainment and media, and retail categories. Facebook, which also reached a three-year high in November, saw its growth driven by demand from consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutical, and entertainment and media advertising.
SMI and MediaPost's index is based on media buying data processed by the six major ad agency holding companies and several big independents, representing an estimated 95% of all national spending in the U.S.