A Wall Street Journalreport says this year -- in key political markets -- only about half of automotive advertiser commercials are running, according to a Kantar Media analysis.
Kantar points out this is a less-critical problem for retail, telecommunications and other major TV categories, where around 30% to 40% of inventory can be preempted.
Not only can political advertisers bump out other advertisers’ media schedules, but they also can buy up that local TV inventory at the lowest possible rate.
Still, despite the unavoidable inventory issues, the extra TV ad revenue makes a big, positive difference for TV stations.
According to some surveys, anywhere from 20% to 30% of all available local TV station commercial inventory goes unsold.
One advertising category TV stations won’t be cutting back on, according to Kanta data: their own on-air promotional time for local TV news programming and other shows.
In future years, TV station make be able to smooth out these commercial inventory swings, as many look to the prospects of programmatic-like buying systems -- which would seem to encourage more ad sales directly from marketers.
And the benefit for local TV stations: There is no difference between local and national ad inventory.
All this could put TV stations into a different league in years to come. In any political season, they’d vote for that.