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TV Ad Sales Chiefs, Buyers on How the Market Changed in 2022

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From the growth of FAST channels to ongoing measurement questions, the television ad market was anything but boring in 2022.

As part of Adweek’s year-in-review coverage, we asked 17 TV ad sales chiefs and buyers to reflect on the biggest marketplace changes over the last year. Though measurement was seemingly on everyone’s mind, other topics also came to the forefront, including a shift in viewership, a push for representation and the maturity of the streaming landscape.

To get an insider’s perspective on all the industry disruption, here’s how the TV ad market changed this year:

Dani Benowitz. President, U.S., Magna: The biggest areas the TV/video ad marketplace has changed in the last year are through the rise of AVOD, with Netflix and Disney+ entering the game; sports streaming (e.g. Amazon Thursday Night Football and Apple’s Major League Soccer); and lastly, social players pushing to get in the game with products like TikTok Pulse.

Geoffrey Calabrese, Omnicom Media Group’s North American chief investment officer: The streaming marketplace is mature, now making up nearly 40% of the TV marketplace. So the new challenge is for it to be treated as such by all parties—clients have a right to expect the same high standards in regard to measurement, transparency and adjacency as they do with linear TV—and streamers have a responsibility to deliver on those expectations.

David Campanelli, evp and chief investment officer, Horizon Media: It has been the biggest story on a number of fronts, the fairly sudden reversal of fortunes for many streamers, where subscriber growth has slowed and Wall Street has cooled, leading to a rethink for many in the space has been big. That all led to Netflix and Disney+ going to an ad-supported model and the likely cutbacks in the volume of new series, etc. has been by far the biggest change this year.

Rita Ferro, president, Disney Advertising: For marketers, it’s making sure they have access and alignment to content on the best available screen to reach their customers. Live sports continues to be the tip of the spear for our portfolio, and with the rapid rise of streaming – we’ve seen more entrants to the space, and our prediction is that those players with equal strength in sports rights and scale of viewership will be the ones that come out on top.

Marianne Gambelli, president of advertising sales, marketing and brand partnerships, Fox Corp.: Coming into this year, a focus on measurement continued to be top of mind across the marketplace. It plays a vital role in the success of our industry and will continue to be a priority. As the connected TV space expands and ad-supported premium content is strengthening its position with viewers across multiple platforms, innovative measurement approaches are firmly taking hold, establishing new standards, expectations and metrics. Measurement will move further to the client perspective, and the conversation will pivot away from currency replacement and lean more into expanding ways to determine value and exploit the synergies between media and message. At Fox, we are currently working with a diverse array of measurement and tech companies to provide more data and insights into the cross-screen viewing universe to share with our clients.

Amy Ginsberg, chief investment officer, Havas Media Group: The TV ad market is no longer a TV-only marketplace. Video is on fire, and there is rarely a time where you are just buying TV alone (and you shouldn’t!!). A holistic look at buys is critical in a fragmented marketplace. Partners have become more diversified than ever, which helps us reach our target audience in more meaningful ways.

Jeremi Gorman, president worldwide advertising, Netflix: TV ad buyers are looking to reach incremental audiences as their traditional spend needs to be amortized over more channels now that viewing habits have shifted. The TV industry is adapting in real-time. I have been very impressed by how partners have made this pivot, learning new methods of measurement and ways to evaluate their spend. Having spent my career in digital advertising, it has been fascinating to learn more about how TV is transacted. There is a tremendous opportunity to take the best of both worlds as we look to accomplish common objectives: build brands, tell stories and entertain our customers. 

John Halley, president, Paramount Advertising: The emergence of ad-supported platforms and focus on content quality. Not just Netflix and Disney entering the market, but also the continued growth of FAST platforms. There is more choice for advertisers than ever before. But not all content is created equal.

Kim Kelleher, chief commercial officer, AMC Networks: One of the most meaningful ways the marketplace has changed this year, and one that will carry through and only intensify in 2023 and beyond, is the industry’s openness to new methods and definitions of measurement and currency. What had been persistent chatter for so many years has moved beyond talk and is becoming reality. And I believe the opportunity to have multiple companies helping decision-makers in all areas of the industry understand changing consumption habits will usher in a new era of innovation. The next year will be a pivotal one for decisions that will determine how quickly we can all collectively start realizing this more precise and actionable future.

Alison Levin, vp, ad revenue and marketing solutions, Roku: Streaming is now mainstream. 2022 marked the first time that adults ages 18-49 spent more time each week streaming TV versus watching traditional TV. This is a huge opportunity for our industry to create better TV for everyone. Better TV doesn’t need a manual. It’s your show, only one click away. It’s subscribers that come back. It’s an ad that you know moves product. That’s been a big change. 

Peter Olsen, evp, ad sales, A+E Networks: The shift of viewership and ad spend towards CTV is the No.1 practical trend. What the industry (advertisers, agencies, technology partners, etc.) needs to balance is the value of reach vs. targeting.

Shelby Saville, chief investment officer, Publicis Media Exchange: The continued ad-supported tier has been the biggest change. We want to have a healthy ad-supported ecosystem, so things moving from subscription to supported is important to us, as we don’t want all viewership to go to streaming and be unable to properly reach consumers. We are now seeing an ad-supported option that is more industrywide, giving us an opportunity to reach and connect with viewers regardless of how they’re watching content.

Dave Sederbaum, evp, head of video investment, Dentsu: The idea that linear television is a passive activation has finally been put to rest. Full-year approaches to holistic video investment, even in the face of a continued reliance on the Upfront as a transactional model, prove that optimization and adjustments are needed to maximize business results. The market isn’t static, and neither are our ultimate customers. As we shift our focus to speaking to our true audiences, as opposed to shouting to the masses, we need to be able to adjust to meet their needs and changing viewership habits. By accepting that the consumer is in control of what premium is to them, we can maximize our attentive reach by providing our brand message in the content that they are most engaged with. But that will continuously change.

Donna Speciale, president of TelevisaUnivision U.S. ad sales and marketing: Representation in measurement is finally being taken seriously by brands and agencies alike. This year, we launched the industry’s first-ever Hispanic household data graph, which now covers nearly 100% of Hispanic households in this U.S. and powers our many audience-based solutions. It’s been really promising to see how many partners are taking the necessary steps to ensure data is inclusive and accurate.

Jon Steinlauf, Warner Bros Discovery’s chief U.S. advertising sales officer: We’ve experienced so much disruption in the TV ad marketplace in 2022, but the greatest changes have been the fragmentation of viewing onto more new platforms, increased use of programmatic tools and addressability and the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives.

Stacey Stewart, U.S. chief marketplace officer, UM: Demand. The marketplace is fairly soft right now, given the economy. Brands are holding onto dollars or focused on lower funnel channels to drive results quickly.

Matt Sweeney, chief investment officer of GroupM U.S.: Marketers are catching up with consumer consumption. They are finding incremental, broad reach to drive growth by combining CTV with eroding linear, YT, other digital endemic and digital extension platforms.

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