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.