SMI: For Second Quarter So Far, Ad Spend Is Up But Not By Much.


The good news, according to Standard Media Index's U.S. Ad Market Tracker through May 2022, is that ad spending continues its year-over-year uptrend dating back to March 2021. The not-so-good news: the rate of monthly growth has been steadily falling since January, when ad spend was up 19.2%, with the estimate for May down to just 1.3%.


While an analysis from MediaPost calls May's overall trend “the most tepid growth since ad spending pulled out of its recession,” it also points out that May 2021's 54.7% year-over-year jump in ad spend was the second of a four-month period of at least 42% monthly growth compared to the COVID-driven ad disruption of a year earlier.


While radio’s ad spend during first quarter of 2022 was up 7% compared to that of 2021, radio's Q2 spend trend through May is off by 11% year-over-year. Television reflected the same trend for second quarter to date: down 10% vs. Q2 2021, as opposed to its 2% year-over-year gain in Q1 2022. Either way, radio has been off the pace vs. total media spend, which SMI reports as up 14% during first quarter and 3% for Q2 through May.


According to SMI's analysis, both the monthly and quarterly decelerations fall on the shoulders of electronic and print media, with both out-of-home and digital still in double-digit ad spend growth mode in Q2, although also at a lower rate than during Q1.

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