During this Upfront season, A&E announced they will be the first to purchase 'booking data,' from agencies, which will provide transparency into how TV dollars are allocated between the Upfront vs. Scatter markets. Currently, 2012/2013 SMI data revealed broadcasters booked two- thirds of sales at the Upfronts while one-third was left for scatter market, while the cable market saw a 60/40 split.
As TV spend increases, estimated to reach $80 billion by 2017, Morgan Stanley's Michael Swinburne has found that TV ratings are down 50% over the last decade. So what does this all mean?
Ashley Swartz believes, Scatter's value on a CPM basis will continue to increase , in alignment with SQAD predictions, while GRP's value will diminish due to market transparency. The risk to programmers is the potential diminishing return and value of the Upfront marketplace. As Scatter's value increases, she urges programmers to get more bullish on mobile, citing Flurry's report, which found 58 million 'eyeballs' where on mobile apps. during primetime television hours. Swartz concludes that if programmers do not embrace transparency and continue to focus on the short term gain of selling as much inventory as they can at the Upfronts, that they should look no further, than to the record industry for their future.
Ashley J. Swartz (Red Fury) is CEO and founder of Furious Minds. Contact Ashley at @redfurynyc, www.linkedin.com/in/ashleyjswartz.
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