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Who Are the 5 Top Media Ad Spenders? [Exclusive Data]

Mar 7, 2017 11:30:00 AM

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Media companies have had a field day (or days) covering the chaos of the U.S. presidential election at the end of 2016, and its tumultuous aftermath. To capitalize, the media industry spent more than $92 million on digital advertising from January 1-January 30, 2017. And the spending wasn’t all by companies that cashed in on politics. After all, media is a broad category—and there’s new HBO shows to anticipate no matter what happens.

How do we know which media companies spent what? We used Pathmatics proprietary ad spend data—available when you try a demo—to identify media’s biggest spenders in January 2017. While most of the top five spenders had similar ad spending activities, CBS had its own unique strategy—which put the media company at the top of the industry for number of impressions. Yet, CBS was not the top spender. How’d the company do it?

Read on to pull back the curtain on January 2017 media brand ad spend.


1. NBC Universal Television

NBC Universal Television spent $6.2 million total on digital ads, about 7 percent of all media advertising dollars spent in this timeframe. Spending was allocated across desktop, mobile, and video. The company tallied 481 million impressions for that money, roughly 5 percent of all impressions generated by media advertisers.

NBC used almost $5.8 million of its budget on direct spend, indicating a preference for direct buys. The company garnered 416 million impressions from direct, or about 86 percent of all impressions garnered by the company in this period. 

Total Spend Total Impressions Direct Spend Direct Impressions
$6,195,300 481,174,300 $5,754,900 415,679,800
 
 

2. ESPN

ESPN spent $3.9 million in total on digital advertising, approximately 4 percent of all money spent by media brands during this period. Spend was allocated across desktop, mobile and video channels, generating almost 205 million impressions for its money - about 2 percent of all impressions generated by media advertisers.

ESPN used almost all its total budget on direct spend (more than $3.9 million), garnering 201 million impressions - or about 98 percent of all impressions generated by the company in January.

Total Spend Total Impressions Direct Spend Direct Impressions
$3,927,300 204,524,500 $3,916,500 201,349,100
 
 

3. CBS

CBS spent $3.5 million on digital advertising, just about 4 percent of all money spent by the sector’s advertisers during this period. Spending was spread across channels including desktop, mobile, and video (desktop and mobile). The company garnered 576 million impressions for its ad spend, just about 6 percent of total impressions generated by media advertisers.

CBS used about $2.1 million of its budget on direct spend. The company generated 78 million impressions from direct, or about 14 percent of total impressions garnered by the company in this period. 

Total Spend Total Impressions Direct Spend Direct Impressions
$3,528,600 576,341,400 $2,107,600 78,027,800
 
 

4. HBO

HBO spent $3.2 million in total on digital advertising, roughly 3 percent of all advertising dollars spent by media companies in this timeframe. Spending took place across desktop, mobile, and video channels, which garnered 145 million impressions, roughly 1 percent of total impressions generated by media advertisers.

HBO used more than $3 million of its total budget on direct buys, indicating a preference for direct relationships over programmatic. The company tallied 115 million impressions from direct, or about 79 percent of all impressions generated by the company during this period. 

Total Spend Total Impressions Direct Spend Direct Impressions
$3,212,900 144,815,300 $3,037,200 114,786,100
 
 

5. Starz Entertainment

Starz Entertainment spent almost $2.8 million in total on digital advertising, about 3 percent of all money spent by all media advertisers in this timeframe. Spending took place across desktop, mobile, and video channels. The company generated 123 million impressions for its ad spend, about 1 percent of total impressions generated by media companies.

Starz dished out more than $2.6 million of its total budget on direct buys. The company tallied 95 million impressions from direct, or about 77 percent of all impressions generated by the company during this period.

Total Spend Total Impressions Direct Spend Direct Impressions
$2,751,800 123,136,800 $2,638,300 94,962,800
 

**All trademarks & copyrights property of their respective owners. Image: Unsplash.
Source: Pathmatics US Desktop, Mobile, and Video Data, January 1st, 2017 - January 31st, 2017.


Could Your Digital Strategy Benefit from Competitive Intelligence?

While CBS only spent 18 percent of the top five spenders’ total budget, the company garnered 37 percent of the impressions. This is more than any of the industry’s other top five spenders. CBS also pushed 211 unique ad creatives, the second most after NBC’s 437 ad creatives. In addition, while the other top five organizations listed above spent 93 percent or more on direct advertising, CBS only put 61 percent of spend into direct.

Is CBS aiming for a different market entirely? What is behind the company’s unique digital ad spend? You can dive deeper into the publishing sites, specific creative and more with Pathmatics software.

Try a free demo of Pathmatics to see full ad spend data for brands. It’s like looking over your competitor’s shoulder.


 

Jordan Kramer

Written by Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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