Shifting consumer viewing behavior and the pandemic-driven hit to broadcast and cable TV programming have upended this year’s TV ad spending. As marketers negotiated this new landscape, deficiencies with current measurement systems have become increasingly scrutinized.
How has the pandemic affected TV ad spending this year?
The re-emergence of live sports is bolstering H2 2020 TV spend but not enough to stem a year-over-year (YoY) decline versus 2019. Magna Global expects Q1 2021 TV ad spend to exceed Q1 2020, largely because March 2020 was precipitously down when the pandemic reached the US. This outlook depends, however, on when the virus is contained.
How is TV audience measurement currently being challenged?
The steady expansion of TV content viewing across multiple video platforms continues to test the limits of TV audience reporting with small samples, particularly for high-growth, albeit fragmented, connected TV (CTV) audiences.
How have big data TV viewing sources addressed this challenge?
Larger, more granular viewing data sets sourced from set-top box and automatic content recognition in smart TV devices, paired with consumer data, have enabled significant advances in targeting precision and outcome measurement. They’re also bridging the audience measurement gap between linear and CTV platforms considered critical for marketers seeking to reach cord-cutters.
What are some limitations of big data TV sets?
Set-top boxes and automatic content recognition capture household tuning but not how many people are viewing. There may also be challenges to adequately represent viewing in pay TV, broadband-only, and over-the-air homes. Data processes and metric definitions often vary across big data providers.
WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report provides an update on the pandemic’s impact on TV ad spend and accelerated shift to CTV viewing. Gaps for measuring rapidly changing viewing habits are detailed as well as possible solutions.
KEY STAT: US TV spending will drop 15.0% this year to $60.00 billion. TV ad dollars are expected to recover in 2021 through 2024 but will remain below the $70 billion threshold.
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