BOTTOM LINE: In this note we review recent announcements from national TV network owners related to their alternative data-driven (i.e. non Nielsen-based age-and-gender focused) ad sales. Comcast’s NBC Universal, Time Warner’s Turner Networks and Viacom’s Viacom Media Networks are among the leading national suppliers in this field, with products including ATP and NBCU+ (at Comcast), AudienceNow and TargetingNow (at Time Warner) and Vantage (at Viacom).
National TV is the biggest segment of the US television advertising industry, with $45bn in ad revenue during 2015 out of $66bn in total. In recent years, the narrative around national TV lost much of its resonance with marketers, and was captured in the medium’s tepid growth rates during most of 2014 and 2015 (although we note that many factors contributed to this outcome, with share gains from digital advertising much less important than other issues). Advanced efforts to incorporate alternative data-sets that align closely with marketer objectives are one tool the industry is focusing on in order to improve its position with the marketing community and at least retain growth rates that are on par with or better than overall industry levels in the future.
As we discuss in this report, conventional means of targeting will continue to dominate the industry for the foreseeable future, although evolving approaches are still important. The growing role of alternative data-driven sales will help sustain the relative importance of national TV advertising for many years into the future, as it will help networks establish better ad product development competencies and deepen relationships with marketers for many years to come.
FULL REPORT INCLUDING RISKS AND DISCLOSURES CAN BE FOUND HERE: TV Update 2-23-16.pdf
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