The U.S. advertising marketplace roared back in April, climbing 52% over April 2020, the first full month walloped by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However ad spending has yet to return to April 2019 levels, according to Standard Media Index’s U.S. Ad Market Tracker.
April 2019 was the best April since SMI has tracked U.S. advertising using a market composite index. The April 2021 index is 7.4% lower than April 2019, according to MediaPost, which reported the April Ad Tracker numbers.
April 2021 is the first post-recession month where smaller ad categories had bigger gains than the largest ones, which MediaPost says is an “indication that the recovery is gaining momentum across a broader range of advertisers.” The top 10 ad categories' ad spending leapt 44% year-over-year in April, while all other ad categories soared 69.1%.
Digital is driving most of the U.S. ad market recovery although the national TV advertising marketplace continues to rebound. National TV ad spending increased 14.7% year-over-year in April but remains 32.1% lower than April 2019. Meanwhile, U.S. digital advertising shot up 82.7% vs. April 2020, and gained 31.7% over April 2019.
The numbers come from SMI’s core database, which accesses actual spend from the world’s largest media agency buying groups and independents and reflects $90 billion in ad spending across all media types.