An Open Letter to Overextended Media Buyers and Planners - Don Seaman-TVB

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Cover image for  article: An Open Letter to Overextended Media Buyers and Planners - Don Seaman-TVB

To our esteemed agency friends – a moment, please?

When developing your media plan, you have many considerations that you will have to ruminate over – targeting, reach, frequency, positioning, messaging, flexibility, GRPs, continuity, and wearout, just to name a few. That's on top of one of the more notable components – cost.

Can you honestly say which one is the most important?

To further complicate matters, there are dozens of reports, studies, and sources coming out every day that aim to make you rethink what you already know. Who has time in their day to read every new thing that comes out like that – and still hit their deadlines and GRP goals?

Chances are, the bottom line will eventually include efficiency and cost. But even that has its share of complications.

But what if you were provided with a real price list? Would that make things easier?

Here's a menu of choices for A25-54 CPMs in 2nd Quarter 2013:

Early Morning, Network Scatter: $23.78

Early Morning, Spot (210 DMAs): $16.20

Quick Math: A 47% premium for Network

Early News, Network Scatter: $25.75

Early News, Spot (210 DMAs): $23.12

Quick Math: An 11% premium for Network

Prime, Network Scatter: $50.20

Prime, Spot (210 DMAs): $50.39

Quick Math: Network costs 19¢ less

Late Night, Network Scatter: $37.19

Late Night, Spot (210 DMAs): $19.19

Quick Math: A 94% premium for Network

Before you dismiss this as a self-serving excuse to push an agenda-driven report in front of you disguised as groundbreaking research, you should know that this is all SQAD data – the industry standard pricing source. That means that this is actual anonymized unit cost and CPM data, collected directly from agency buying systems. It's not spin, it's fact.

Again, this comes with the understanding that there are many moving parts to developing a well-planned media buy. There are pressures and considerations that need to be evaluated, agendas to be adhered to, strategies to follow. Cost efficiency is far from the only consideration when producing and executing a successful plan.

The only thing that we ask is that when you come to the cost consideration for your media plan, remember this truism, proven through actual buying data: across the board, Spot TV is more efficient than Network Scatter.



P.S.: (For a more exhaustive explanation, go to our website to read our white paper, " Upending the Upfront / Scatter Duopoly: Spot TV's CPM Advantage Over Scatter Premium " on this topic.)

Don Seaman joined the TVB in January 2012 as Manager of Marketing Communications, where he is responsible for promoting and raising awareness of the TVB, and of Local Broadcast Television’s value propositions within the traditional and digital media industries. Don can be reached at

Read all Don's MediaBizBloggers commentaries at Local Matters.

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