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TV ad growth to slow

News, 08 June 2015

NEW YORK: Not only will the US television advertising market grow more slowly than the overall market over the next five years, it will do so at a slower rate than previously forecast, according to a leading analyst.

Brian Wieser, senior research analyst at Pivotal Research Group, cut his projection for the annual compound growth rate for local and national TV advertising over that period from 1.8% to 1.3%, Broadcasting & Cable reported.

In contrast, the overall ad market is slated to increase at 3.1% through to 2019.

Looking at the first quarter, Wieser said that national TV spending was up 2%, but for the year as a whole he had reduced his figures from 1.4% to 1.1%.

"We think weakness in TV is primarily (though not exclusively) fuelled by ongoing spending reductions to other media," he said.

"We continue to believe that commonly held views around shifting spending from traditional TV to digital media owners are generally overblown."

So, while "there is growth in spending going to digital from most large brands", he suggested that this was primarily down to where TV content was being viewed.

"We think real TV dollars can more readily flow to TV content," he said, when that TV content is being streamed rather than broadcast, an example being Yahoo's agreement to license an NFL game.

Wieser also revised upwards his estimates for digital ad spending: the five-year growth rate is now put at 11.7% a year compared to the earlier figure of 10.6%.

Earlier this month he dismissed the idea that upfront pricing and volume were any sort of measure of the health of broadcasting.

"It's mostly meaningless," he told TVNewsCheck, since "there are just so many other variables that connect pricing to revenue".

Warc's Consensus Ad Forecast, a weighted average of adspend predictions from various sources, including Pivotal, put US TV adspend growth at 0.7% in 2015. This compares to a 3.5% forecast rise for the all–media total. Digital is expected to be the star performer this year, with growth of 15.4%.

Warc's International Ad Forecast, a detailed outlook for 12 key markets, is due to be published later this month.

Data sourced from Broadcast & Cable, TVNewsCheck; additional content by Warc staff