TV networks jam in more commercials despite vows to cut back

Notice more TV ads lately? You’re not imagining it. The amount of commercial time on cable TV keeps increasing as networks try to make up for shrinking audiences by stuffing more ads into every hour of television. That’s despite years of promises to cut back on ads. Last quarter, commercial time rose 1 percent, according to Michael Nathanson, an analyst at MoffettNathanson LLC. After declining in 2017, the volume of ads increased every quarter last year and expanded again in the first half of 2019, he says. Fox was the only major cable network group to lower its ads last quarter, cutting them by 2 percent, according to Nathanson’s analysis. As TV viewership declines and more consumers jump to streaming services like Netflix, media companies have only a couple of options to generate the advertising revenue that Wall Street expects: They can raise prices, run more commercials or do a little of both. “Look at the decline in ratings,” Nathanson says. “Everyone’s got pressure to make their quarterly numbers. Long-term, it’s a very bad decision, but you don’t want to miss your numbers and have your stock go down.” Media companies are adding more commercials because sponsors are more sensitive to price increases than to clutter, says Brian Wieser, global president of business intelligence at the advertising giant GroupM. And if a TV network were to cut the time allotted for commercials, it would need to boost advertising rates to make up the difference—a tough sell if... Continue reading at 'Advertising Age'

[ Advertising Age | 2019-08-02 17:18:39 UTC ]
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