SMI: TV Ad Spending Up 13% from March 2020

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NEW YORK—The TV ad market saw a significant turn in March, with ad spending levels increasing 13% over March 2020 and edging closer to pre-pandemic levels of spending, according to the latest findings from Standard Media Index.

SMI’s March 2021 Performance report covered all media ad spending in March 2021 as compared to March 2020, when lockdowns began and many live events were cancelled because of the pandemic.

The 13% increase that TV ad spending saw year-over-year put it just 6% below what the ad spending levels were for March 2019. Quite possibly contributing for the increase in ad spending was the return of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, both of which were cancelled in 2020.

After January and February saw less TV ad spending than their 2020 counterparts (prior to any pandemic impact), March 2021 was only the second time in the last year that TV ad spending surpassed the prior year; the other was August 2020 vs. August 2019, when it outspent the prior year by just 1%.

When looking at media overall, ad spending was up 22% year-over-year with 2020 and was even 6% higher than March 2019.

For more information, visit SMI’s website