Following a series of negative third quarter results from major ad-supported TV companies, GroupM's business intelligence team said it is poised to downgrade its forecast for TV ad spending this year.
During their weekly "This Week Next Week" podcast, GroupM's Brian Wieser likened it to the death of the medium and said also likened himself and co-host Kate Scott-Dawkins to the cartoon sleuths of animated Hanna-Barbera series "Scooby Doo" who unmask the culprit at the end of each episode.
"Is the mystery we're uncovering of who killed television, digital?," Wieser suggested to Scott-Dawkins, adding: "When everyone is talking about the negative advertising market, I think they are missing the obvious culprit here."
Presumably, that particular culprit is television, which Wieser estimated saw ad revenues drop about 10% during the third quarter, prompting Scott-Dawkins to add, "It is a big downgrade for Q3 for television."
Wieser went on to reiterate that, overall, ad spending has not been declining, and cited a corresponding 10% increase for digital advertising revenues during the quarter.
"Our TV numbers for the full-year will come down from the forecast, for sure," Scott-Dawkins said the year-end outlook GroupM is preparing to release next month.
"I think this mystery that we've uncovered may be turned into an animated cartoon spectacular at some point," Wieser said.
Far less of a mystery was the team's discussion about where the growth in digital is coming from. It's disproportionately ad tech, not working media sellers.
Citing third quarter revenue growth figures as high as 31% for The Trade Desk, Wieser estimated the ad tech sector grew in the "high single-digits," outpacing advertiser and agency growth, to which Scott-Dawkins observed: "Middlemen taking a larger share of it."
One digital endemic player that has been taking up a lot of the industry's oxygen, but not so much of its economic conversations is Twitter.
Asked by Wieser how much Twitter has come up in GroupM's conversations about media economics in recent weeks, she said hasn't, and most of the talk continues to center on the performance of companies like Meta, Google, TikTok, Amazon and Microsoft. Wieser added that LinkedIn is a likely "beneficiary."
Scott-Dawkins cited the live Q&A Twitter owner Elon Musk had on Twitter Spaces last week and said it left her with a lot of questions.