Weakening ad demand causes scatter ad market to crash

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
May 12, 2020, 10:06 AM UTC

The price difference between upfront and scatter ad prices has contracted to just over $17,000.

Scatter ad prices across the three networks saw a double-digit decline during the first quarter into April due to weakening on demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fledgeling demand is expected to also spell trouble for the 2020 upfront network TV negotiations.

With the price difference between upfront and scatter ad prices at the lowest point in recent history, it will provide less incentive for advertisers to buy TV ad time in advance. This piece says that the dwindling demand could lead to the annual upfront ad marketplace pushed to the fourth quarter.

A deferment of the marketplace will allow marketers and agencies to get a clearer picture of their budgets for the forthcoming year. Ad demand usually spikes in the fourth quarter in the run-up to the holiday season.

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