The fractionalization of TV media has seen to this, even as worldwide TV ad spending continues to command the greatest share of all media. U.S. ad-supported cable shows can now, on occasion, draw more viewers than broadcast network shows. While broadcast networks still regularly beat cable networks, their individual shares of viewership have sunk dramatically.
This more-even playing ground provides more viable options and steadier predictable workflow for the big media buying agencies.
With no media content company having dominating leverage, buying agencies and their marketing clients can turn their attention to more pressing new-media areas.
The majority of the digital media market is in a few hands. Google controls around 75% of the digital search market, and Facebook dominates social media.
About 22% of global ad spending now comes from digital, according to eMarketer. The share is projected to grow to 27% by 2017.
Publicis and Omnicom will now have a 41% share of all worldwide global media dollars, with Group M in a distant second place at 30%.
But Google’s share of digital dollars will come not just from media agency spending plans. Marketers can go around the agencies and directly to Google.
Also, real-time, machine-based media planning and buying operations at big digital media companies will eliminate the need for perhaps a lot human media work done by media agencies. And Google, Facebook and others own a lot of important consumer data.
Few TV networks/content owners are in any of these areas -- though cable, satellite and telco companies increasingly have access to set-top TV box data -- an important part of consumer preference info. But these companies don’t have access to the full media usage and shopping data picture.
This isn’t to say the Publicis and Omnicom wouldn’t take full advantage of their pricing leverage position against TV networks when it comes time for the annual price increases in the $65 billion U.S. total TV advertising market -- just as WPP Group has done while it was the previous leader. That’s just any media agency would do, dealing with paper-thin profit margins and demanding clients.
It’s no longer only about media leverage; it’s about taming media transformation.