Networks fret as ad dollars flow to digital media

Published by the NY Times 5/10/15 – It will be interesting to see how much advertisers are willing to spend on traditional media this year. The question isn’t how much [there will be plenty of advertising time purchased] but will the decline continue? I believe so.

Where are you putting your budget?


With the number of digital alternatives growing quickly, the television industry is bracing for what many expect to be an anemic upfront market.

Beginning Monday, television networks will roll out the red carpet for marketers during the annual bazaar known as the upfronts, trying to lure them into committing tens of billions of ad dollars for the coming TV season. If things go well, the networks will sell as much as 75 percent of their advertising time in the negotiations that follow a week of flashy presentations and star-studded parties.
But behind that lavish veneer, the mood at some television networks is nervous and the sales pitch urgent.
That is because broadcast and cable companies are asking marketers to open their wallets at a time of great anxiety in the industry, when TV ratings have collapsed and networks are fending off fierce competition from digital outlets.
Television viewing has plummeted 9 percent so far this season compared with the previous season, according to MoffettNathanson Research. To explain the drop, some industry executives and analysts point to the rapid increase in the amount of time people spend watching Netflix and other streaming alternatives. Netflix viewing accounted for about 43 percent of the decline in traditional TV viewing in the first quarter of this year, according to MoffettNathanson.