"Change is now underway," said David Poltrack, chief research executive at CBS Corp, speaking at the UBS Global Media event on Monday.
Poltrack -- somewhat shockingly -- estimates 2016 will be a strong growth year for broadcast television ad sales, with near-double-digit percentage gains (9.5%). Among other things, he believes marketers will drift away from digital media platforms, and back to TV because of key metrics: TV is all about reach -- not price efficiency. And that reach will prevail over digital trends.
Anyway, you look at it, that’s a bold statement -- especially since on that same day, media agency group giant GroupM said all TV ad spend would only rise 2.3% next year (more in line with the U.S. economy as a whole), with most of that going to cable TV networks.
Poltrack pointed to strong current scatter advertising market activity that will result in big gains this coming upfront. One could add in big momentum from Summer Olympics advertising and a big political advertising year.
Of course Poltrack, like his boss Les Moonves, is a big cheerleader for broadcast television.But could there be more going on? Perhaps nagging issues of viewability, ad blockers and ad fraud might be taking their toll on digital platforms (which,may have also “dinged” CBS’s ad-supported digital areas).
All thistmight mean good things for the traditional TV platform, which still bring in the big bucks.
Separate from this -- reading between the lines -- one wonders if CBS and others, are counting on gaining advertising revenue by extending traditional TV ratings metrics, with C3 expanding to C7 and other ad-related income beyond.
Back to Poltrack, who asked the audience at UBS to prepare for a shocker -- a big number, 9.5% of ad growth, which he believe could even go higher -- into the unimaginable double-digit range. Those kind of hikes haven’t been seen in over ten years -- 2004, says Poltrack!
Might this really happen? One thing is for sure: CBS produces big drama.