New study finds UK broadcasters teetering on an advertising precipice

By John Glenday | Reporter

January 31, 2019 | 3 min read

UK broadcasters face a dire future in which a domino effect triggered by declining audiences among the key 16-34-year-old demographic ripples through to older viewing cohorts – eroding the mass market appeal of the platform to advertisers.

According to media audit firm Ebiquity this ‘inflection point’ marks the point at which mounting big budget television campaigns will no longer be cost effective for advertisers, in terms of their viewers reached.


New study finds UK broadcasters teetering on an advertising precipice

For example, it was found that increased migration toward streaming platforms will reduce the volume of ads seen by 16-34 year old’s by 45% in 2022, declines reflected to a lesser extent in older demographics, with those aged 35-54 seeing 30% fewer ads by this point while the comparable figure for the middle-class ABC1 grouping falls by 15%.

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This is expected to translate to effective ad price rises of 90%, 50% and 20% respectively over the period for advertisers to maintain their current effectiveness.

Christian Polman, chief strategy officer at Ebiquity, remarked: “TV has been the go-to media channel for advertisers seeking mass-reach. We are saying that unless action is taken by advertisers and broadcasters that by 2022 TV will no longer hold the crown as having the highest return on investment on a media plan. Advertisers will need to re-evaluate their media plans and investment.”

Polman is clear that these figures represent a ‘worst-case scenario’ in which broadcasters sit back and do nothing to ameliorate their plight, rather than fight back with novel resistance strategies such as scaling their own streaming offer and better targeting ads to specific viewers.

Meanwhile, Facebook has recorded advertising revenue growth despite a year in which it faced numerous scandals.


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