It's Network TV Upfront Week, and once again networks will reinforce their focus on traditional series programming and will de-emphasize bells and whistles -- such as their digital and value-added offerings. Three seasons ago, networks were focusing more on expanded service offerings including experiential marketing, promotional tie-ins, marketing programs, research capabilities and online extensions. Today, networks, advertisers, and agency middle-men are more focused on the traditional role of network advertising as a vehicle for reaching large audiences with 30-second commercial messages in quality content. While networks offer program sponsorship packages, billboards and a wide spectrum of marketing and research enhancements, these are secondary to the primary role of network television as the lead artillery -- spraying brand messages across a wide audience.
Jack Myers Media Business Report reports that over the past decade, broadcast network ad revenues increased 8.9% from $17.0 billion to $18.5 billion, tracking well below the rate of inflation. Over the next decade,Media Business Report projects traditional broadcast network commercial ad revenues will increase an average 2.1% annually, while digital revenues will grow almost 30% annually, representing an average annual combined growth rate of 6.0%. By 2020, digital revenues are projected to generate 26% of total broadcast network advertising, compared to only 4.1% of total network ad revenues in 2010. (Myers' full 2000-2020 forecasts in 55 media and marketing categories are available exclusively to Jack Myers Media Business Report subscribers.)
Digital ad revenues are forecast by Myers to grow from a 3.3% share of total cable network TV advertising revenues in 2010 to 18.5% in 2020. For both broadcast and cable TV, while digital is a fast growing segment of their revenues, the engine that drives their business forward will continue to be traditional 30-second commercials. Yes, advertisers are shifting budgets to online, mobile and social marketing. But advertisers continue to rely on network and syndicated television to provide high quality series programming and reliably large audiences for their brand messages. The networks' future digital ad revenue growth depends on a solid foundation of successful quality programming.
That's why the focus of network Upfront presentations will continue to be all about content, content, content.
Jack Myers can be reached at Jack@mediadvisorygroup.com. JackMyersThinkTank is free and underwritten, as part of MediaBizBloggers.com, by subscriptions to Jack Myers Media Business Report (www.jackmyers.com). Subscribe free to all MediaBizBloggers reports at www.MediaBizBloggers. For Jack Myers Media Business Report subscription information visit www.myersreport.com or contact Jack Myers at Jack@mediadvisorygroup.com. Jack Myers and Media Advisory Group provide details on all underwriters and companies in which we have an investment at www.jackmyers.com. This commentary was originally posted at www.jackmyers.com