Q2 2020 Digital Video Trends

COVID-19 Upends TV Advertising

About This Report
COVID-19 has altered the relationship between TV viewership supply and advertising demand.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

This is the latest installment in an ongoing series of quarterly video overviews focusing on monetization, audience, platforms and content. On the radar this quarter: how TV and digital video advertising have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

How has the pandemic affected TV and digital video ad spending?

We estimate that US TV ad spending will decline between 22.3% and 29.3% in H1 2020. US digital video ad spending could increase by as much as 7.8% during H1 2020—or decrease by as much as 5.2% vs. H1 2019.

What does this mean for the upfronts?

The upfronts are in limbo. Compared with last year, advertisers’ upfront TV spending could decline by one-third in 2020, according to surveys.

Did any company in the video space have a good quarter?

Netflix did. It added 15.8 million subscriptions worldwide, the most it ever added in a single quarter.

How is video streaming viewership changing?

For the first time, more than half of US consumers’ digital video time will be spent with subscription over-the-top (OTT) services this year.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report covers key events in the digital video industry based on data, trends and business activity in Q2 2020. It includes our first-ever forecasts for live sports viewers and digital live sports viewers.

KEY STAT: US TV ad spending will decline between 22.3% and 29.3% in H1 2020, according to our April 2020 forecasts.

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Ross Benes


Eric Haggstrom
Forecasting Analyst
Chuck Rawlings