According to a new study the SNTA is releasing this week, consumers are expected to spend the bulk of a projected $220 billion this season in the week or two leading up to Christmas. Therefore, advertisers will want to increase their messaging to the 18-to-34 demo during December.
As for the concern that viewership tends to fall off in that period? The SNTA insists that ratings for syndicated shows remain consistent from the end of November through the end of December, while network prime time drops off roughly 15 percent.
Plus, syndicated viewership skews younger than network prime time, said Mitch Burg, the SNTA's president.
"Syndication skews younger than network by about five years in news magazines, three years in daytime, 11 years in late night, and seven years in sitcoms," Burg said.
Media buyers say that the SNTA's figures make sense, up to a point.
"There is always a heavy ad presence during the holiday season, so it's reasonable to think we would put more money into both prime time and syndication," said one veteran media buyer. "But there are also a number of variables at work, such as how the economy is going, what clients want to make a bigger push, and what shows are attracting the demographic we're looking for. But we don't look at it as networks versus syndication."