Yes, it’s true. The assumed advantage of the largest TV networks — mass audience reach — is proving to be a myth, with both marketers and agency executives at all levels of responsibility rating Facebook, Amazon and Google/YouTube as more valuable for delivering on mass audience reach goals than broadcast and leading cable network groups. The continuing market dominance of Amazon, Facebook and Google is being driven by their ability to share detailed metrics against specific KPIs identified by marketers and their agencies. According to a new survey of more than 1,200 U.S. brand marketers and agency executives conducted by Jack Myers TomorrowToday for MediaVillage, 80% percent of all respondents rate the three leading online companies as very valuable for reach delivery compared to only 61% who rate the four leading broadcast networks as very valuable. This stunning reality confounds broadcast executives and many industry analysts, suggesting that the networks are not successfully managing ad community perceptions of their core value propositions.
But these perceptions, whether flawed or not, do not surprise marketers and agency executives who point out they are better able to define their reach targets and measure effectiveness more accurately through the walled gardens of their leading digital partners. Almost half of the MediaVillage respondents rate the advanced data and analytics capabilities of Facebook, Google and Amazon as very valuable compared to only 25% who positively rate the four broadcast networks’ data and analytics capabilities.
Equally surprising — and upsetting to TV sales executives — is their relative lack of traction on using brand safety issues to sustain a backlash among marketers. As noted in our prior economic report, marketers and agency executives plan to shift more dollars to Facebook, Google and Amazon while spending for other media platforms will be stable to down. Reduced supply of valued network TV inventory will inevitably drive cost-per-thousand increases in the Upfront marketplace, but year-to-year growth will mostly be dependent on political, Olympics and World Cup investments. The MediaVillage study reports that 60% of respondents believe Amazon content offers a safe environment that aligns with brand needs, compared to 33% for Facebook and 21% for Google/YouTube. An average of 51% of marketers and agency execs positively rate the 12 leading general entertainment broadcast and cable networks for a safe environment that aligns with their brand needs. Among the 55 media companies evaluated by MediaVillage, the most positively perceived for brand-safe environment were Crown Media (Hallmark), MLB Advanced Media, Bloomberg Media and PBS.
BY JACK MYERS