Economic growth is crucial for advertising, as brands inevitably invest more in ad spend when the economy is strong and pull back when it weakens. Despite an increase in interest rates, which might slow growth, economists are still forecasting an expanding economy—which bodes well for ad sellers. Additionally, we have The Olympics starting next month, and midterm elections later this year; both attract major ad dollars. The Olympics will benefit NBCU, and the elections should lift all boats, including local, broadcast and cable TV. The Olympics are particularly interesting, as China, the host country, is +13 hours from New York. NBC plans to show all events and will use their portfolio of networks and platforms. This includes their streaming service, Peacock, which will live stream the event in its entirety.
This further highlights the measurement challenges of today’s TV environment. As we know, the TV measurement pot has been simmering for a long time, but in 2021 it started to boil. Throughout 2022, I expect the heat to remain on Nielsen. I also anticipate that cross-platform measurement companies like TVSquared to benefit from an expanding definition of currency. The monopoly position that Nielsen has had over TV audience measurement, where program audience is a proxy for ad exposure, will not survive in current form when the industry is demanding household-level impressions.
This is a very exciting time to be in TV measurement – and the industry has never been in a better position to make TV measurement more accurate, more timely and more useful to both ad sellers and ad buyers than it is now.