Legacy TV Faces Challenges: Maturing Streaming, Lack Of A Future Ad Vision

With connected TV's advertising investment looking to grow 13% to $25.9 billion globally this year  -- and 10.4% over the next five years, according to GroupM -- that would suggest a now maturing business.

But perhaps not in the way you might think.

Analysts have been ruminating about a CTV business maturing with consumers who have maxed out with 4-6 streaming services --- that in fact, there could be some reductions of those purchases.

But advertising and media research company WARC believes a bigger issue is the lack of effort to lure advertising money from existing competitive digital media -- including social media and search.

Money for CTV is coming from existing, traditional TV advertising business -- networks, TV stations, local cable TV systems. That means industry cannibalization in the future -- with prospects from an existing pool of declining legacy TV systems.



This prompts a key question: What comes next?

In the short term, there will be growth from linear TV programming that is increasingly transitioning -- especially live, premium sports content -- that will run on streaming services on an exclusive basis.

While traditional TV-based media companies seem to be in the driver's seat, the active interests of digital media giants -- Amazon, Google, and Apple -- are looming, now making major inroads into the streaming/CTV world.

These companies are continuing to rake in big digital-media advertising revenues from non-premium video business: e-commerce, retail networks, social media and other ad-related services.

This will continue to give legacy TV media companies a tougher competitive road to growth.

Does that mean legacy TV network-based companies should focus only on pure TV-movie production and experiences -- for example, forgoing linear TV networks, direct-to-consumer distribution -- and perhaps even advertising revenues?

Not just yet. Still, if you might have been rolling your eyes about rumored forecasts of new media merger combinations that could not possibly happen -- NBCUniversal-Paramount Global, Apple-Walt Disney, Amazon-Paramount Global -- you might now think differently.

The current struggles of virtually all legacy TV media companies with their premium streamers still looking to make a profit -- and little vision beyond that -- will tell you all you need to know.

1 comment about "Legacy TV Faces Challenges: Maturing Streaming, Lack Of A Future Ad Vision".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 24, 2023 at 9:25 a.m.

    Wayne, based on our study of the national TV upfront, it's clear that a good bit of the $8 billlion that went into upfront CTV buys came from "legacy TV"---but it's hard to determine exactly how much as no advetiser has a "TV budget" or for that matter a "budget" for any medium. The amounts to be allocated each year are determined in the media planning phase as the brands sort out their needs and the amounts they can afford to spend on advertising. As for how many dollars are moving from "digital" venues---such as social media-----to CTV, this, too, is largely unknown---but I'd wager that it is a sizeable and growing piece of the pie---especially at the local market, small business level.

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