YouTube's Q1 Ad Slowdown And A 'Flexibility' Ad Index For The TV Business

Media volatility is growing. How can we trend that activity?

This is where direct-response (DR) TV-video advertisers can live, changing on the fly and able to sway some of the biggest digital media operations -- YouTube as well as Facebook.

YouTube's Q1 2022 ad revenue grew a weaker-than-expected 14% to $6.9 billion versus the first quarter a year ago. (It was supposed to rise 25% to $7.5 billion).

Sure, it seems like a footnote to some.

Some TV executives offer an eye roll to this news -- such as Discovery Inc., which in the first quarter only grew 5% in advertising revenue (before the start of Warner Bros. Discovery).

But you know how volatile the stock market can be these days, especially with the auger the Federal Reserve looking to speed up interest-rate hikes all to slow down the seemingly rocketing inflation rate.



A year ago, DR marketers were key in ramping up YouTube's ad business -- benefiting, no doubt, from the continuation of some pandemic-induced, work-at-home, school-at-home business. YouTube's ad revenue for the first quarter of 2021 was up 49% versus the same period in 2020.

Not so much this time around -- which many say is mounting evidence that an ad recession is coming.

More nervous were stock market investors. Alphabet's (Google) stock price ended the day down 4% to $2,285.89.

Now overlap these results with related news that the scatter market for traditional linear TV near-term is “soft” -- in terms of pricing and activity. Those media buyers are saying consumer marketers are suffering due to supply-chain issues.

These are all reasons why we need to look more closely at those ad-dependent new and old media companies -- Twitter, Snap, and perhaps some mid-level TV network and/or TV station groups.

No worries for YouTube and Google. When and if a traditional recessionary period occurs -- versus a short-duration pandemic period back in 2020 -- figure that Google and Facebook will find ways to stay well afloat with smaller growth.

Direct-response marketers have a knack of quickly moving around to find those efficient and right- timed media channels.

In these current markets, we all understand and hear the call for increased flexibility. So much so that it seems that will be a key trend to follow.

Maybe we need to have an advertising “flexibility” index.

Next story loading loading..