More marketers are flocking to TV, the pandemic’s data gap and Millennial misery: Datacenter Weekly
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Marketers [heart] TV
Data company iSpot.tv, which does always-on, real-time tracking of essentially every commercial that airs on U.S. national TV, has been conducting a detailed study of how marketers have been shifting their TV ad budgets both recently—as the coronavirus pandemic has escalated—and over time. The Bellevue, Washington-based company has given Datacenter an exclusive first look at its analysis, and here’s one of the most striking findings: Nearly 26 percent more brands—1,247 more—are advertising on TV today vs. a year ago.
iSpot looked at national advertising from March 14 through April 12 and logged creative by 6,126 different brands. (March 14 was selected as the starting point because it marked the first Saturday at the start of pandemic lockdown without live sports broadcasts.) In 2019 during that same date range, 4,879 brands advertised on national TV.
We’re still taking a deep dive into the fine points of the research, but here’s Datacenter Weekly’s take on why this is happening: First, with the disappearance of lots of high-priced live-sports ad inventory, networks suddenly have a lot more lower-priced inventory that’s accessible to a wider range of marketers. Second, networks, even before the pandemic, were expanding their offerings to marketers—in some cases offering more budget-friendly entry points—to better compete with digital behemoths Facebook and Google. That increased accessibility and willingness to play ball with smaller brands has only accelerated during the current financial crisis. See, for instance: “AMC Networks unveils new ad formats, free creative services in response to pandemic,” per Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi.
Stay tuned to Datacenter Weekly for more on the rapidly shifting state of the TV ad market.
The barrage of recent headlines about the unemployment crisis in the U.S. has been overwhelming and hard to grasp—for instance, “5 million more people filed jobless claims last week, bringing total to almost 22 million in one month,” per NBC News on Thursday. The Atlantic helps put one key demographic element of all that jobs data in perspective with a post titled “Millennials Don’t Stand a Chance.” In it, Annie Lowrey writes,
What little data exist point to a financial tsunami for younger workers. In a new report, Data for Progress found that a staggering 52 percent of people under the age of 45 have lost a job, been put on leave, or had their hours reduced due to the pandemic, compared with 26 percent of people over the age of 45. Nearly half said that the cash payments the federal government is sending to lower- and middle-income individuals would cover just a week or two of expenses, compared with a third of older adults. This means skipped meals, scuppered start-ups, and lost homes. It means Great Depression–type precarity for prime-age workers in the richest country on earth.
Keep reading here.
The known unknown
In a post published this morning by ABC News headlined “‘Massive blindspot’: Missing data in COVID pandemic leaves US vulnerable,” Ella Torres writes,
While discussions about flattening the curve, passing the peak and plateauing have generated some optimism, public health professionals fear that a key factor in understanding the novel coronavirus pandemic has been forgotten: the missing data. There are at least 671,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. However, experts have warned that the number is likely much higher because testing has been sparse.
“We, in the U.S., have a massive blindspot because of the lack of testing,” Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an ABC News contributor who worked on a website to help bridge the data gap, told ABC News.
Keep reading here.
• “Annual Women in Data Science conference discusses fake news,” per MIT News.
• “U.S. retail sales plunge record 8.7 percent after paychecks disappear,” per Bloomberg News (via Ad Age).
• “Anthony Fauci doesn’t ‘feel confident at all’ about China’s coronavirus data,” the New York Post reports.
This section of Datacenter Weekly is intended to highlight upcoming data-centric events, but we’ve paused that “community calendar” function as the coronavirus crisis has escalated. For now, we’re directing your attention to Ad Age’s Coronavirus Industry Event Tracker for the latest word on canceled and rescheduled conferences and other get-togethers.
The newsletter is brought to you by Ad Age Datacenter, the industry’s most authoritative source of competitive intel and home to the Ad Age Leading National Advertisers, the Ad Age Agency Report: World’s Biggest Agency Companies and other exclusive data-driven reports. Access or subscribe to Ad Age Datacenter at AdAge.com/Datacenter.
Ad Age Datacenter is Kevin Brown, Bradley Johnson and Catherine Wolf.