by   @mp_joemandese
Source:, May 2021

In the second month to report an explicit year-over-year comparison impacted by the COVID-19 ad recession, the U.S. advertising marketplace surged 52% over April 2020, another strong indicator that the ad recovery is sustainable.

The month, however, still has not caught up with April 2019, which was the best April since Standard Media Index has tracked the U.S. advertising via a market composite index, the U.S. Ad Market Tracker.

The April 2021 index is 7.4% lower than April 2019.

April 2021, interestingly, also is the first post-recession month to show stronger gains for smaller ad categories than the biggest ones, an indication that the recovery is gaining momentum across a broader range of advertisers.

While the top 10 ad categories’ ad spending jumped 44% year-over-year in April, all other ad categories surged 69.1%.

In terms of the media mix, the national TV advertising marketplace continues to rebound, but digital is driving most of the aggregate U.S. ad market recovery.

National TV ad spending increased 14.7% over April 2020, but is still down 32.1% vs. April 2019.

The U.S. digital advertising marketplace is up 82.7% vs. April 2020, and up 31.7% vs. April 2019.


Powered by Standard Media Index’s Cross Platform product, the Ad Market Tracker indexes the movement of U.S. advertising investment on a month-to-month basis. Data represented in the index is derived from actual spending by ad agencies representing more than 90% of all U.S. national advertiser investment. Baselined to a value of 100, the index is intended to be a simple way for readers to visualize the supply and demand of ad spending overall, and across the major media.