We are only at stage one of the recession -- and one wonders if alternative digital media has already missed its opportunity.
To hear traditional TV media sales and buying executives talk,
there is still no discernible pullback from national TV advertising -- all while marketers have made drastic cutbacks of local TV and other media areas.
Helping national TV
is the fact that the networks are down 10% or more in their collective viewership -- which tightens
gross ratings points and stabilizes program prices. What about cable TV? Viewership has increased there. Not only that, but many senior cable ad sales executives say they are on-target with their
fiscal and calendar year sales goals.
At the same time, advertising for Internet video
seems to be slowing --
though not necessarily declining. Hmm... are new digital video platforms blowing it?
Some analysts say digital
have still to reach their potential -- given the sometimes confusing array of viewing choices and behavioral metrics that media buyers, marketers, and media sellers still need to
In troubled times marketers retreat, goes the argument. "Tried and true" is the phrase that comes up. And that still means television -- which is why the cable industry's Canoe
Ventures, with its efforts around set-top box information and addressable advertising, is still a big focus -- and not the Internet.
Don't get too cocky. Not all is well on all
national TV fronts: Media buyers are saying pricing for NFL football has indeed decreased versus a year ago, as well as some other fringe areas. Still, all this is not enough to cause a rush to the
Is Procter & Gamble really pursuing its plan to renegotiate all its media deals? TV executives will tell you that the big TV marketer already gets great, low-priced deals. How
low can you go?
All this may just be a windup to future negotiation -- especially when TV sellers begin to see what those second-quarter options look like, where marketers can cancel
up to 50% of their upfront deals made a year ago. The second quarter scatter market normally is a harbinger for the following year's upfront market.
Even then, TV advertisers will be
estimating (and hoping) that the recession was just a 2009 thing -- that in 2010 we'll be back on track, and back to modest program price increases for national TV programmers.
Digital media will probably make gains then as well. But some may look back and sense 2009 was a blown opportunity. That's because marketers have yet to affix alternative digital media with the
time-honored tag of "tried and true.