The message from media and tech companies is clear: advertising is back in a big way.
This week both Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPPand Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNBC that the ad market has improved from last year and continues to improve. We've seen that demonstrated in results from a diverse group of industry players, from tech giants to newspapers.
Now Wall Street is hoping to see those same strong numbers from the media conglomerates that report next week — CBS, News Corp, Time Warner and Viacom . Big spenders like automakers are back in the ad-buying game after sitting out the year-ago quarter. Along with financials and consumer products they're looking to TV and online ads to reach still-wary consumers and convince them to spend. (Track all the Earnings News Here)
Already we've heard positive second quarter ad results from a diverse range of industry players. Reporting earnings Wednesday,
Comcast said that local ad revenue on its cable channels grew 23 percent in the quarter — local was a category that was hit particularly hard during the downturn. Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp saw a rebound in online advertising, particularly at its Ask.com search engine, which posted 18 percent revenue growth.
Tech giants all posted stronger ad results.
Google's advertisers were willing to spend more on ads. Yahoo may be losing ground to Google, losing search ad revenue in the quarter, but its display ad business, grew 19 percent. And Microsoft's slowly-growing Bing helped bolster the behemoth's ad revenue.
Even the struggling newspaper business saw signs of life.
The New York Times still reported a six percent decline in quarterly print ads last week. But on the upside, digital ad sales grew 21 percent to help offset that. Gannett reported earlier this month that its print ad revenue decline is narrowing.
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