Broadcast Ad Revenue to Rise 5% in 2018, Says Poltrack

CBS forecaster sees millennials, new advertisers coming to networks
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CBS’s top research executive, David Poltrack predicted that broadcast network television advertising would be up 5% this year.

The 5% figure includes Olympic and election year spending. Poltrack said the underlying growth in the market was up 2%.

Speaking at the annual UBS Media Conference in New York Monday, Poltrack’s forecast was more upbeat than those provided by a variety of media buying firms.

“I’m convinced broadcast is entering a new golden era,” he said, adding that the industry was “vital and dynamic.”

He added that there were a number of factors that other forecasters weren’t taking into account that explained the difference between his positive outlook and the more dour forecasts that had been presented earlier in the day

For one thing, Poltack said that the millennials, who have vexed the television business by watching digital entertainment, are starting to watch more and more TV as they enter the 35 to 39 year old age range.

At the same time, more digital companies are using network TV as they grow.

He noted that spending by Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google is growing at a 20% rate. The battle for home voice activated assistants between Google and Amazon is taking place on network TV, Poltrack said.

At the same time, once smaller companies achieve scale, they’re turning to TV, and broadcast network TV in particular.

Poltrack added that CBS and the other broadcast networks are working on research that gives advertisers a better idea about the return on investment they’re getting from network TV advertising—especially as opposed to digital—and how to maximize the value of that spending.

“We think demand for network television advertising is growing, not declining,” he said.

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