MediaRadar: TV Ads Getting Shorter, But Impact Remains

Report covering last year of TV advertising notes despite some shifts, TV remains key ad platform.
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NEW YORK—OTT and other content distribution services are continuing to emerge, but when it comes to the top option for advertising, TV remains king. That was one of the main findings from “A Year in Television: MediaRadar’s Overview of TV Advertising in 2018 and 2019.”

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The report covers from the second quarter of 2018 to the end of the first quarter in 2019. While it touches on what categories are the top advertisers and what new ones are emerging, the big takeaways touch on how recent mergers and acquisitions will impact the ad landscape, the shortening of TV ads and how big, live TV events remain big draws for advertisers.

Over the last year, AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, Disney’s purchase of Fox and others caused 13% of the entire TV market to switch hands, per MediaRadar. As a result, Disney is poised to emerge as the top company in terms of total nation TV ad dollars captured; with NBCUniversal, the two companies could capture $4 out of every $10 spent on national TV advertising going forward. The potential merger of Viacom and CBS could cause further ripple effects.

MediaRadar also found that the average length of TV ads have taken a dip, dropping 8% year-over-year. The number of TV ads that run 15 seconds has increased by 18% and now make up just over 55% of all television ads. Six second ads also saw a big increase of 36% year-over-year, but still makes up less than 1% of all TV ads.

The key finding as to why traditional TV advertising is still on top, according to MediaRadar, is the pull of advertising during huge live events, none more so than the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl more than doubled the next closest event in ad revenue (the 2019 AFC Championship Game) and saw a 58% renewal rate.

“With yearly events like the Super Bowl bringing in such high quantities of ad revenue, it is hard to imagine the television format going anywhere anytime soon,” read MediaRadar’s report. “Despite some usual and expected shifts, 2018 and 2019 have shown us the continued force for the TV ad landscape, and we expect much of the same for the rest of 2019 and into 2020.”

The full report is available here