The top 5 wireless ads: AT&T owns 34% of the mobile industry's spend in March

FierceWireless has partnered with TV advertising measurement firm iSpot.tv to bring you a monthly snapshot of the wireless industry's advertising spending and digital engagement. The results below are for the top five biggest spenders among wireless industry brands in March.

The wireless industry spent heavily last month—increasing more than $40 million vs. February—with 19 brands running 93 spots 50,251 times. Amounting to a total estimated spend of $268.8 million, the ranking for March includes all the usual suspects, with Straight Talk Wireless edging out MetroPCS. In all, wireless industry commercials racked up more than 13.6 billion TV ad impressions last month.

Check out how these figures compare with November, February, and March.

Here are the top 5 ads for March in terms of total spending:

1. AT&T went especially hard in March, running 14 spots 12,259 times for a total estimated spend of $91.8 million. Accounting for more than 34 percent of the industry's spend in this period, AT&T had 3 of the top 5 ads with the biggest spend for the wireless category. The top ad, "Siri," received a push with an estimated media value of nearly $30 million, and aired 1,125 times in March. In all, AT&T's ads had more than 4.1 billion TV ad impressions last month.

2. Although slumping slightly compared to its spend in February, T-Mobile once again closed out the month as the second biggest spender in wireless. With an estimated spend of $40.5 million, the brand ran 12 ads 6,543 times in March, 2,250 of which ran during primetime. More than half of the spend went toward one commercial, "Not Us," which had more than 1 billion TV ad impressions in March alone.

3. Sprint moved up the ranks in March, jumping into third place. The brand aired 11 spots over 8,000 times, leading to over 2.2 billion TV ad impressions. The top spot, "Cut the Nonsense: Galaxy Forever," was aired heavily on Fox, CBS and NBC, while also showing up during AMC's The Walking Dead.

4. Verizon finished March a bit lower on the chart than usual, spending an estimated $37.2 million running 8 spots 7,038 times. Although still pushing "A Better Network as Explained by Another Really Big Win" the hardest, Verizon debuted 5 new ads in March, three of which featured British funnyman Ricky Gervais. So far, the new Gervais ads have aired 2,884 since the first one debuted on March 18. In all, Verizon's ads had nearly two billion TV ad impressions in March.

5. Straight Talk Wireless knocked MetroPCS out of our March ranking by running 3 spots 2,088 times for a total estimated spend of $21.8 million. By comparison, MetroPCS ran 12 spots 4,466 times, but went for lower value placements, closing out the month with an estimated spend of $16.1 million. Straight Talk Wireless' top spot, "Cell Tower," ran heavily during the 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament.

iSpot's data does not include co-promotions or local market data. Click here for more on iSpot.tv's methodology.

The company's software leverages proprietary audio and video fingerprinting algorithms to automatically identify and extract TV commercials, movie trailers and show promos.  

The company tracks hundreds of millions of explicit interactions with TV ads across roughly 100 million unique consumersThese interactions include video plays, searches and social activity. The company also analyzes online views across YouTube and iSpot.tv, searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo! and social activity on Facebook (including Facebook private views) and Twitter.

The company tags over 40 different dimensions of metadata, including brand, agency, actors, products, songs, moods, URLs and other pertinent data, to create its results.

The top 5 wireless ads: AT&T owns 34% of the mobile industry's spend in March
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