Call me an optimist (or pessimist if you’re the one who has to buy media in a high demand marketplace), but my bet is that advertisers will encounter a rather robust 2013 marketplace, relative to recent non-election years. While I don’t have a crystal ball, there is a lot of recent news leading me to this conclusion. For example:
- The automotive industry is truly on the rebound, both in sales and development, which leads to ad budget increases by manufacturers and dealers. Whether it’s due to manufacturers contributing more to dealer group funds, Toyota’s bounce back from natural disasters (sales +32% YTD), or simply the need to pull inventory off the lots, auto spending has been pushing local markets’ dollars up—particularly for the Internet and local market TV.
- Yes, the election will be over and political spending will disappear. So what? My prediction–this will cause the true marketers who have been hiding from the out-of-sight pricing to begin investing their ad dollars in the marketplace again.
- Consumers are gaining their confidence back and beginning to spend their money. (A friend encountered a 20-minute wait at 1:30PM on a recent Thursday to eat lunch at Olive Garden!) With record low interest rates, and no benefit to putting your money in CD’s, you might as well spend it…which leads me to my next point.
- The housing market is beginning to recover, and people are going to want to fill that house with new items.
- While the Q4 network scatter marketplace has been slow, it’s following the fact that 97-98 percent of placed upfront dollars have actually remained in the marketplace. And with all of that upfront inventory “guaranteed,” coupled with new season ratings declines (through the first two weeks of the new season three of the four primary broadcast networks are down 19 percent or more), advertiser make-goods will remove inventory from the for-sale bucket next year…helping to drive scatter market pricing up.
These are just a few of the recent news items I’ve seen lately that I believe will help lead to a fairly strong media marketplace next year. Some are “good news” reasons, such as stronger consumer spending, whereas others, such as declining ratings, may be considered “negatives” that will result in less available inventory for sale. Regardless of the reason, I believe that the cumulative effect will make it more of a seller’s marketplace. Net-net, you better have some smart people planning and buying your media