Take Facebook. While MoffettNathanson Research estimates Facebook will see a massive 37% rise this year to $54.8 billion, it pulls in 25% of TV advertising dollars from the top 100 advertisers.
Broadcast TV networks are at 69%, while syndicated television is at 58% and cable TV comes in at 51%.
How can Facebook grab some of those dollars? Many analysts believe it will come with Facebook Stories -- posts that have more visual video/photo elements. Similar to Snap, these posts can disappear after a day, unless users post them to their news feed.
Facebook Stories is hyping all this for advertisers -- possibly more for alternative-looking TV-like brand marketers. MoffettNathanson Research says: “Perhaps Facebook has its eyes set on the large bucket of TV ad dollars with its Stories product. However, it is unclear that big brands will shift TV spend to Stories.”
Maybe you would call Facebook Stories TV-lite. Still, Facebook has always prided itself on figuring out how to make things easy for advertisers.
“Stories appears to be a compelling ad unit ... it seems most appropriate for top of the funnel/brand awareness type advertising, rather than the direct-response advertising used by Facebook’s long tail of SMBs [small and midsize business],” says MoffettNathanson.
Stories will be crucial as advertising loads near maximum levels on many Facebook platforms.
For example, MoffettNathanson projects ad revenue growth for Facebook’s core mobile platform will decelerate to a 25% growth rate in 2018, less than half its 52% rate from the year before.
There are other issues -- although they may be minor for many. Facebook's desktop advertising revenue is estimated to sink 10% to $4.5 billion this year. In 2017, desktop had a 11% climb over 2016.
Traditional TV continues to see erosion in many areas. Will TV advertisers look for more video alternatives? Facebook will need to tell a strong story -- with a compelling ending.