Advertisers Cooling On TV Spots; Comcast Spins Off Blockgraph Into JV

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TV Pullback

Television ad revenues will drop 12% this year, according to MoffettNathanson – a loss the research firm WARC pegs at $25.5 billion. Despite a surge in viewership, with people stuck at home, advertisers have slashed budgets by more than 40%. Lowe’s, for example, spent $1 million last year on a TV campaign for a Memorial Day washer-dryer sale. This year, it used a 15-second spot set in a bare utility room for its summer kickoff sale, The New York Times reports. Walmart skipped TV altogether for Memorial Day, promoting discounts on social media instead. Brands that historically spent 30% of marketing on TV may stick with virtual production and invest more in digital platforms moving forward. Amid the pullback and delay in upfront commitments, networks are offering discounts in the double-digits.

A Chip Off The Old Block

Comcast has spun off Blockgraph, its blockchain-based data onboarding unit, into a joint venture co-owned by Comcast, Charter and ViacomCBS. Each company will own a third of Blockgraph, The Wall Street Journal reports. The tie-up makes sense, similar to a television advertising business such as Ampersand, which is co-owned by Comcast, Charter and Cox. In television, the name of the game is scale. Addressable TV initiatives struggle to gain critical mass because they’re often tested with a single broadcast partner. To gain meaningful scale the advertiser needs visibility across the fragmented TV landscape. A campaign could run on CBSi, Roku, Pluto TV and directly with NBCUniversal. Frequency capping that campaign in a silo could be worse than useless. AdExchanger caught up with Blockgraph GM Jason Manningham in February.

Hidden Talent

Will the media company of the future look more like the record company of the past? Independent creator monetization services like Substack, Patreon and Cameo are opening up opportunities for writers, producers and online talent to get by without a major news umbrella over them. Media companies need not fear this revolution, like recording companies did with Napster, writes Washington Post commercial VP Jarrod Dicker in a Medium post. “The new line of business now becomes somewhat inverted: Instead of everything being limited to under a brand halo where advertisers buy on the brand and consumers subscribe to the brand, the company and its customers now look at the individual as their business.”

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