US advertisitng revenue up in first quarter

Some positive news out of the US today as advertising expenditures in the first quarter of 2010 rose 5.1% from a year ago and finished the period at $31.3 billion, according to Kantar Media. This marks the first increase in quarterly ad spending since Q1 2008 and the largest gain since Q1 2006, as the ad market finally experienced a long-awaited rebound.

After a three year slump, radio ad expenditures finally had a turnaround. National Spot Radio advanced 19% and was paced by higher spending from the telecom, financial service and auto categories. Local Radio (+4.6%) and Network Radio (+3%) were also up.

“With the economy turning from recession towards growth, marketers appear to be more confident about a pickup in consumer activity and have increased ad budgets to support their brands,” said SVP/Research Jon Swallen. “While the rising tide has thus far benefitted some media sectors more than others, Q1 spending hikes were broadly distributed across advertisers and categories and that’s an encouraging signal for the market going forward.”

Of the nineteen media types tracked by KANTAR, thirteen experienced a spending increase in the first quarter. At the forefront, Spot TV surged 22% on additional money from the automotive, retail, financial service and political categories. Despite this growth, current spending volume in Spot TV has only recovered to a level last seen in 1997.

Print media, on the whole, continued to lag the overall ad market. Consumer Magazine spending fell 3.9% from a year ago while Local Newspapers dropped 5.6%.

Thanks to All Access for this story