Kantar Media Begins Reporting Search, Shows It Is Fastest-Growing Medium It Tracks: Overall Media Declines 4%

by Joe Mandese, MediaPost  

U.S. ad spending declined 4.0% during the first quarter, according to the latest estimates from competitive ad-spending tracking firm WPP’s Kantar Media. The quarter, which also happens to be the first in which Kantar estimates the volume and share of paid search as a medium, shows it also is the fastest-growing medium among the media that Kantar now tracks.

Search ad spending expanded 7.0% over the first quarter of 2014, indicating that the digital medium still has legs, although Madison Avenue seems transfixed by another form of biddable digital media -- programmatic display. While Kantar does not currently track the programmatic display ad marketplace explicitly, its overall estimates for display show it is actually eroding due to “lower CPMs” and “reduced page traffic.”

While Kantar Media North America Chief Research Officer Jon Swallen said it’s not possible to know the extent to which greater price efficiency from the programmatic portion of the display marketplace is a contributing factor, but the numbers speak for themselves. The overall display ad marketplace declined 8.7% during the first quarter.
Swallen noted that both Kantar’s paid search and display estimates reflect only “desktop” market shares, and that if mobile were factored into the equation the relative shares and growth rates likely would be very different. In fact, Kantar cites “mobile devices siphoning some desktop usage” as one of the main reasons that the desktop display marketplace is eroding.

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