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Scale Drives Viability of Broadcast, Cable Ads

2016 02 24   Peter Feinstein   Online vs Offline Media    

A recent blog by Viamedia President and CEO Mark Lieberman (“The Power of Local Cable TV Advertising Is The Opposite of ‘The Big Short,’” Broadcasting & Cable, Feb. 12) offers an insightful point of view. It’s neither right nor wrong, but it does represent an informed opinion, upon which I place appropriate value. It definitely paints a clear picture by using topical comparisons for those deep in the conversation about buying TV media.

My agency buys TV too, but we aren’t hostage to ratings, per se. We look at a variety of trends in-process, and evaluate value based upon each outlet and platform’s capacity to deliver a return on investment (ROI). We use both experience and analysis to make our determinations. We’re accountable to our clients for actual sales results, so our mission is to buy frequency that is scalable.

That’s why we’re not shorting TV in any way, shape or form. In fact, we’re bullish on it. Even if cord-cutters and cord-nevers made up 30 percent of the market, which they do not, that 30 percent loss in reach is a fallacy. All the non-linear options – i.e., over-the-top (OTT) platforms – are so fragmented that there is no legitimate way to find and buy the delta. You certainly cannot buy on true scale like broadcast or cable.

All the pundits who scream that you must give up buying linear TV because you can’t buy targetable scale demonstrate their ignorance and how hypnotized they are by inaccuracies and lies.

Look, it’s simple: I can buy 100 million households any number of ways with either broadcast or cable, but I can’t with any of the alternatives. There isn’t any one, or even two or three, OTT options that offer the opportunity to buy half that scale. And the pricing of the options that do deliver on what might be considered approaching scale are priced at such absurd CPMs that they effectively chase our clients back into the loving arms of broadcast and cable.