While the big four carriers fight each other for winning customers hearts and minds, the TV and other media outlets rejoice, as ad spending is big and money keeps flowing from the carriers' deep pockets. In October, AT&T closed their lead for the third consecutive month on TV ad spending, accounting for about one-third of the industry total ad spending last month, according to a report from TV advertising measurement firm iSpot.tv and brought up by Fierce Wireless, an industry monitor website. As such, AT&T also dominated the budget in August and September, while T-Mobile was the top spender for July.
According to the report, the second largest wireless carrier in America ran 24 different ads in the period, with a huge focus on "Son", a piece aired 334 times across 26 networks, on which 118 airings were during primetime, the most expensive time to run an ad. "On the Go" was another piece that got some good attention, being aired 1,600 times with 485 of them during primetime. Verizon, the market leader, came right in second spending $13.9 million on their "Emoji" ad featuring the new iPhones. This piece ran for only 2 weeks while appearing 1,002 times across 42 networks, with 422 of them being during primetime. T-Mobile came in next by letting go of $10.1 million on their "iPhone 6s Arrival" ad which aired 907 times. Additionally, the company focused on their extended network coverage with the 700 MHz A Block spectrum, which offers a better signal penetration and overall connectivity.
Sprint came in next and, although their overall spending was the fourth largest, the company put the biggest amount of money on a single ad with $16.8 million on their "Time Machine" video featuring their "iPhone Forever" program which lets customers upgrade to a new phone from Apple every year. Interestingly enough, the carrier ran seven other ads last month and five of them were in Spanish. Another big fish in the game was Cricket Wireless, the AT&T-owned prepaid provider, as they spent $11 million with ads in the period with their "Summit" ad promoting the entry-level $35 a month plan. The last two months of the year are likely to be interesting too, since smartphones are becoming desired items and the carriers are expected to take advantage of the holiday season boost in sales.