Demand for adding subscription streaming services in the U.S. is slowing down, according to new data from Kantar. In the second quarter just 3.9% of U.S. homes took a new subscription to a streaming service, Kantar said, down from 12.9% a year ago. The drop was the largest since Kantar started measuring. Kantar says 74.6% of U.S. households now have an SVOD subscription.
In the wake of a pandemic-disrupted year — and declining advertising business — just one of the six major TV platforms witnessed an uptick in ad dollars in 2020: local TV stations’ advertising. Local TV advertising was 8.3% higher to $16.25 billion, driven by record-high political advertising spend. Total TV advertising saw a decline of 8.9% to $66.8 billion in 2020, according to market and media research firm Kantar.
Looking to find standard data formats for ad campaigns, the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, along with Ad-ID, Advertising Research Foundation, IRI, and Kantar, will launch a joint initiative.
Bain Capital is in exclusive talks to buy a majority stake in WPP’s Kantar unit in a deal valuing the market-research business at about $4 billion including debt. The buyout firm’s proposal is subject to negotiation and there’s no guarantee that talks will result in a deal, WPP said Monday.
The company says broadcast and cable television political ad spending will remain strong, with broadcast attracting $3.2 billion and cable attracting $1.2 billion. Radio ad spending is expected to total $400 million. Kantar projects a significant increase in digital ad spending in 2020, with the channel receiving 20% of total political ad spend, or $1.2 billion.
On today’s earnings call, WPP CEO Mark Read acknowledged the company had a difficult quarter thanks to a string of major media account losses and underperformance on the creative side of the business. He confirmed widespread speculation that WPP would seek to sell a majority of data company Kantar, which has grown more slowly than other WPP businesses in recent years.
A promising “watermarking” technology that would bind the ad industry’s Ad-IDs with commercials and the programming content they run in has been selected by SMPTE to move on to the next stage of standardization, which would effectively make it the “UPC code” for media.
The ratings service will combine its TV viewing information with Kantar Shopcom’s purchase transaction data from loyalty cards, credit cards and debit cards.
The deal has Rentrak paying $98 million in Rentrak common stock, which equates to approximately 1.53 million shares, or 12.4% of Rentrak’s total shares outstanding. As part of the agreement, Kantar owner WPP will also purchase shares directly from the company for $56 million in cash, giving WPP a final stake of 16.7% of Rentrak’s stock.
The head of Kantar’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, Evan Tracey, says that in the just-completed election season, TV stations were still the No. 1 ad medium at $2.4 billion. Any money that moved from broadcasting to other media was solely because broadcasting could not meet all the demand, he said.