Experts will discuss the latest developments in targeted advertising, automation and the impact of industry consolidation on spot TV sales at TV2020 in New York on Oct. 16.
A forecast of a double-digit decline in spot revenue next year is the consensus of station groups and industry watchers surveyed annually by TVNewsCheck. The drop is due almost entirely to the lack of political advertising compared to this year. Otherwise, ad sales will be flat. The automotive sector, which accounts for about 25% of spot revenue, has been problematic this year, and there’s no clear sign that the category will improve to any notable extent in 2019.
The forecast of double-digit growth in spot revenue next year, the consensus of station groups and industry watchers surveyed by TVNewsCheck, is due almost entirely to expectations of heavy political advertising. Otherwise, ad sales will be flat with the auto, retail and fast food providing drags on the top line.
That’s the takeaway from the guidance provided by publicly traded station groups over the past several weeks in their 4Q earnings calls and by securities analysts. So, with core up slightly at best and political advertising not a factor, station groups will look to retransmission consent for overall revenue growth.
Auto advertising continues to move online with Standard Media Index reporting that digital media’s share of the category rose 20% in 2015 while spot TV’s slice was down 8%. A large percentage of that digital money is going to auto verticals and a few broadcast groups have opted for an “if-you-can’t-beat-’em-join-’em” approach and moved into that market as well.
TVN’s quarterly check of broadcasters and media analysts finds third quarter core spot is likely to come in 3% higher than it did in the same period last year. If political is included, the modest growth turns to a modest decline of 1.5%. The great positive is auto, spot’s No. 1 ad category, aided by telecommunications, insurance and fast food/casual dining.
A TVN check of broadcasters and media analysts finds second-quarter core growth may exceed 3% over the same period last year. The auto category is expected to finish flat or up slightly in the first quarter. Prospects for the telecom sector, spot’s No. 2 ad category, seem to be all over the map as battles between providers are waged on a local level, but are expected to land between flat and up 10%.