A Strong Ad Start To The TV Season May Slow In 2022

The TV advertising market may be better than you think -- in the short term. Next year? Don’t think too far ahead.

Right now, there is much concern about a new Omicron COVID-19 variant, as well as troubling somewhat longer-lasting inflation issues. All that could play into forecasts.

First, the positive news: The recent national TV marketplace for retail media campaigns over the Thanksgiving holiday period was up 9% to $131 million in national TV advertising data -- and nearly 20% higher compared with 2019.

Major retailers -- brick and mortar, ecommerce -- spent nicely, according to Walmart, with $21.5 million; Amazon, $15.1 million); Target, $13.0 million; and Kohl’s, $9.6 million.

But other industries are not as positive. National TV automotive spending, for example, for the last two weeks of November was $185 million, down from $195 million a year ago, according to Continued shortage of computer chips has hit that industry -- and other businesses.



Much of this comes after a heated and strong national TV upfront buying season that started last summer -- which tangentially bolstered new premium streaming platforms, TV companies with some, but not extensive, advertising inventory options for marketers.

Then in September, Standard Media Index put the full national TV market at a slightly sub-par 93 index -- this versus a 100 index for national TV advertising for September 2017. What gives? Could all this new TV spending be short-lived?

Forecasters may have figured this out ahead of time -- that is, a high-flying post-pandemic period of big spending would be short-lived or at least moderated going into 2022. Comparisons to 2021, or 2019, or 2017, would be less than enthusiastic.

And now all that big available money the Federal Reserve has been releasing into the economy -- resulting in low credit/mortgage interest ratings -- may be ending, all due to seemingly rising concerns of longer-term inflation issues.

In September, Magna, the media investment/intelligence company, projected national TV ad spend on broadcast/cable networks to decline 2.6% in 2022 -- even with the addition of a 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and a strongly anticipated midterm political advertising season.

Take the temperature. Is there another panicky pandemic period of sorts coming for TV sellers -- or just a low-grade fever?

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