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Hulu Ad Prices Eroding at Double Didgit Rates

By: Joe Mandese
May 17, 2019

Hulu’s ad rates, which had been averaging about $49 for most of 2018, began eroding in the third quarter and fell 23% in the forth quarter…according to a Research Intelligencer analysis of CPM data from SQAD’s MediaCosts: Digital database.

Read more at: MediaPost.

By |May 17th, 2019|In The News|0 Comments

CBS Sells Out Commercial Inventory for Super Bowl

By: Jon Lafayette
February 3, 2019

…as of Jan. 30, one of this year’s Super Bowl 30-second spots was purchased for as much as $5.526 million.

Read more at: Broadcasting & Cable

By |February 4th, 2019|In The News|0 Comments

5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in December 2018

SQADPOD: 5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Should Know – December 2018

Industry news and insights podcast curated from the world of advertising and marketing trends.

This month we’re wrapping up the holiday celebrations, and getting ready to ring in the New Year. With friends, family, parties, and resolutions taking up our attention, it’s easy to forget that the advertising industry is still making headlines. As we bid farewell to 2018, we’ve got a podcast full of the final Game Changers of the year. This month we’re talking about Nexstar’s potential acquisition of Tribune Media, Facebook’s new data patent, a new challenger for ‘the world’s largest advertiser’, kid influencers, and Burger King’s epic troll campaign against its biggest competitor.

1. Tribune Looks to a Shining Nexstar

After the Sinclair/Tribune Media deal fell through over the summer, companies wasted no time trying to win Tribune and its media assets. Next in the line of suitors is Nexstar Media Group, which outbid Apollo Global Management, with a $4.1 billion deal that would give them the title of the country’s largest regional TV station owner.  Nexstar already owns 170 stations, and due to FCC restrictions on the number of stations a company can own (a part of the reason why the Sinclair acquisition was not approved), they will likely have to sell off some of its existing media holdings if they hope to see the deal approved. As it stands now, the law limits a media company to no more than 39% of households. However, unlike Sinclair, Nexstar keeps a relatively lower profile and the acquisition is not seen as politically charged. Nonetheless, the Nexstar/Tribune merger would be game-changing, creating a mega-conglomerate of stations that would effectively control a massive network of content distribution.

2. Facebook (Almost) Knows Who You Live With

As if Facebook didn’t already have an uncomfortable amount of personal information about you, its new patent is taking things to a new level. In a patent, filed last year but recently made public, Facebook is looking to utilize data scraped from their platforms to match people who live under the same roof in hopes of feeding you smarter and more targeted advertisements. Using photos you post (or are tagged in), comments, captions, messaging history, and the countless other data points it has from Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp they hope to synergize ads and leverage family connections to maximize the impact of advertisements within the home. Imagine ads for products that one household member may be interested in, could be targeted at the other people in the house as gift suggestions. If successful, Facebook will grab one more inch into controlling every part of our lives – our every move and relationship will soon be used to feed us more and more ads.

3. Samsung Takes the Top Spot

P&G has long held the title of the world’s largest advertiser but it has now been surpassed by Samsung. Last year, the South Korean electronics giant spent $11.2 billion on marketing campaigns, compared to P&G’s $10.5 billion. Other Asian companies are also ramping up their marketing efforts, like China’s Alibaba and Tencent who are quickly moving into leading positions in the advertising space. Last year, Alibaba more than doubled their marketing spend. Check out the other companies that are changing the game in the AdAge World’s Largest Advertiser ranking.

4. How Kids Make Millions Nowadays

You’ve somehow stumbled upon a YouTube video of a young boy unboxing new toys and playing with them in his home. At first glance, he seems like a regular kid doing regular kid things. But little did you know that this kid, Ryan, made $21 million from pre-roll ads and another $1 million from sponsored content on his YouTube channel, with close to 17.5 million subscribers. And, he’s only seven years old. Welcome to the world of influencer marketing, where children as young as Ryan are being paid big bucks to do everyday things (like unboxing new toys and squealing with delight), and other kids are tuning in to his videos to live vicariously through him. And it’s not just the videos that are bringing in the money. Expanding from YouTube, Ryan struck a deal with Pocket.watch last year that takes content from his channel to repackage and distribute on Amazon and Hulu. He even launched his own toy and apparel collection that is sold exclusively at Walmart. This is what the next generation of influencer marketing looks like and it is both impressive and insane.

5. A Whopper of a Detour

Burger King just executed an epic troll on McDonald’s via their mobile app. Thanks to a clever geo-tracking campaign, the fast food chain located app users approaching a McDonald’s and offered them a 1 cent Whopper, incentivizing them to leave the golden arches and return to the King. This clever and quirky diversion tactic, appropriately named the “Whopper Detour,” has resulted in some serious ad conversions. After 36 hours of the campaign launch, the Burger King app was downloaded over 1 million times and was trending No. 1 in the Apple App Store. To pull off this marketing stunt, Burger King had to geo-fence nearly every single one of the 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. so it can track the location of people in their vicinity and then offer them the Whopper deal. This massive undertaking paid off for Burger King, which has been trying to promote its app since they began offering mobile ordering and payment last summer. Using technology to drive downloads, app engagement, and sales is the advertising trifecta. Let’s see who will step up to try and dethrone the King.

By |December 21st, 2018|Game Changers|0 Comments

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By |July 6th, 2018|MediaTools Update|Enter your password to view comments.

SQAD MediaCosts: Local Cable TV Data includes 210 local markets


With the May 2018 release in the Local Cable data set, we’ve expanded your cost transparency visibility coast-to-coast by integrating all 210 DMA’s into the research data. This broader data set allows researchers to dig into the real transactional ad costs in every market in the US for true cross-media cost planning and strategies.


Additionally, for those users with access to back issues of the data, we have updated all previous data releases with the expanded market lists. With this update, your historic trend reporting and research will include all relevant markets.

Login now to start researching with the expanded data.



We’ve added 57 more markets to the Local Cable database, giving you incredible transparency into all 210 DMA markets.

ERIE, PA 150
BEND, OR 186
LIMA, OH 189

To see a full list of all 210 DMA markets here.

Need access to MediaCosts: Local Cable TV data?

If you don’t already have a subscription to the Local Cable TV cost data, we’re here to help. Call 914-524-7600 opt 2 to contact your SQAD Account Executive, and we’ll get you setup with this expanded database.

By |May 30th, 2018|MediaCosts Update, Product Update|0 Comments

The Laura Ingraham Ad Boycott Is Still Going, But Fox News Isn’t Budging

By: Jeremy Barr
April 13, 2018

…SQAD, an organization that measures the cost of advertising, said that Ingraham’s show has seen previous, week-over-week drops in price throughout the first quarter of the year that make the drop between last week (when she was on vacation) and this week seem less noteworthy…

Read more at: Hollywood Reporter.

By |April 13th, 2018|In The News, News Room|0 Comments

March Madness Grows 5% In National TV Ad Dollars, Ratings Down

By: Wayne Friedman
April 3, 2018

…SQAD, the media cost and analysis researcher, says that for the NCAA championship game the average cost for a 30-second commercial simulcast on Turner’s three networks ranged between $1,427,120 and $1,712,231. This is a 3% jump from last year’s final game, which ranged between $1,387,933 and $1,660,956…

Read more at: MediaPost.

By |April 4th, 2018|In The News|0 Comments

WSJ: CMO Today – April 3rd 2018

By: Lara O’Reilly
April 3, 2018

…TBS’s ad sales team was probably celebrating, too. The average cost for a 30-second spot during the game ranged between $1.4 million and $1.7 million, a 3% jump over last year, according to media-research firm SQAD….

Read more at: Wall Street Journal.

By |April 3rd, 2018|In The News, News Room|0 Comments

5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in March 2018

SQAD POD: 5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Should Know – March 2018

Industry news and insights podcast curated from the world of advertising and marketing trends.

Spring is about to bust out all over, and soon we’ll be pulling out the picnic blankets for fun days in the park, laying on the grass and playing in the sun. But before the final snow flurries of winter are gone, we’ve got time to look at the exciting new advertising trends and industry news stories. This month we’re talking about cutbacks on primetime ads, local OTT advertising, even more media mergers, sponsored direct messages on Facebook Messenger, and advertising in the era of Time’s Up.

1. In Primetime TV Ads, ‘Less Is More’

Viewers of This Is Us (and other NBC shows) will soon start noticing their favorite primetime shows are being interrupted less frequently by commercial breaks. In an effort to bring viewers back to the couch, NBC is planning to reduce the amount of ad slots in primetime programming. Beginning in the fourth quarter, it plans on reducing the number of primetime ads by 20 percent and the amount of ad time during primetime by 10 percent. Similarly, Fox wants to reduce ad time on its channel to two minutes per hour by 2020. So this begs the question: How will the reduction impact advertisers? Along with reducing its ad spot inventory, NBC is also introducing new formats that would allow advertisers to include real-time commentary about the show (as they would do on Twitter), commercials that would play on a part of the screen while the programming is still running, and something they call a “prime pod,” which is a 60-second piece of national ad time during the first or last break of a show, featuring only two sponsors. Shortened primetime ad times and new ad formats will definitely lead advertisers to rethink their strategies.

2. Local Over-The-Top Advertising Gains Steam

One of the largest broadcasting companies in the U.S., Sinclair Broadcast Group, is making moves to drive local advertising on connected TV and over-the-top services – a strategy that has (until now) been hard to justify due to the lack of data around local viewership. However, Sinclair is ready to change your mind and give local businesses the assurances they need to buy into OTT advertising. By joining up with Tru Optik, a data company that manages ads for connected TV and measures OTT viewing, Sinclair wants to empower local advertisers with data that will prove they are getting the best bang for their buck. This move to draw in local OTT advertisers will only be amplified if its acquisition of Tribune Media is approved – a deal that will give it ownership of well over 200 local stations in the major markets, and give it a stronger foothold in a media world currently being transformed by cord cutting and OTT streaming. Can they rejuvenate the stagnant local advertising market? Perhaps targeting OTT ads to specific household demographics is just what local advertisers need to get on board. Time will tell.

3. Comcast Reaches for the Sky

Comcast has thrown their name in the ring for the acquisition of the Sky News, bidding against 21st Century Fox for the UK pay-TV giant, and they are in it to win it with an enormous $31 billion bid on the table. This is a deal that could be a game changer for Comcast, giving them the ability to expand in Europe and possibly work around tight U.S. regulations that are limiting some domestic growth. Above all, the acquisition would help expand their OTT services, which is particularly important after it lost 33,000 traditional pay-tv customers in the last quarter of 2017. While these giant mergers are changing the landscape of media and advertising, they certainly do not come without pushback – most notably from the U.S. Justice Department, which has its hawk eyes on media consolidation acquisitions. The Department is concerned mega-companies could lead to monopolies, higher prices, and less competition – which would, in turn, lead to less innovation. On one hand, it will benefit the big players at the top, and on the other, consumers will be deprived of choice. We’ll have to wait and see which side wins out.

4. Facebook Messenger or Spam Folder?

Though many consider Facebook to be a social media network, it is in fact a robust and complex advertising machine. It’s safe to assume everything it does, has (or will have) an advertising revenue model attached to it. Case in point, the company is now looking to its Messenger platform to boost revenue by allowing businesses to schedule sponsored messages to people who have already used Messenger to contact that business. The messages will be blasted and targeted to users with customized text, images, and a call-to-action button. While this personalized way of advertising makes the business-to-customer experience more intimate, many may be left with trust issues. Essentially, Facebook is creating a policy that says, “if you contact a company on Messenger you are opting in to unsolicited marketing.” While this may seem like good news for advertisers (removing the expressed consent process from communication marketing), the unintended consequences could be driving consumers out of Messenger all together, and/or cause users to think twice before communicating with a company in Messenger or on Facebook. Maybe the potential of losing Messenger users in an attempt to create paid push advertising, is an acceptable risk for Facebook… after all, they have WhatsApp sitting in the wings to take the place of Messenger if they burn their goodwill with consumers.

5. Advertising in the Era of ‘Time’s Up’

While advanced technology and format innovations often drive game changing trends in the advertising industry, sometimes cultural shifts and political sentiment can be just as disruptive to the status quo. The latest to shake things up is a group of 180 female CEOs and top agency executives, who have come together to form a group called Time’s Up Advertising, with their sights set on addressing issues related to sexual harassment and gender inequality within the industry. Their goal is to drive efforts to make the advertising environment safer and more inclusive through policies, practices, and actions. What began with 14 C-suite female players with a vision of industry transformation at the start of the year, has since become a team of 180 women-strong. The group is holding its first community meetings in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago on May 14. The tremors of the “Time’s Up” movement are being felt across all industries, and it will undeniably shake the grounds of the advertising world, too.

By |March 21st, 2018|Game Changers|0 Comments

5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in February 2018

SQAD POD: 5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Should Know – February 2018

Industry news and insights podcast curated from the world of advertising and marketing trends.

February is when the weather can’t decide to be spring or winter, and we’re all trying our best to hold tight to those New Year resolutions. Gym workouts may not be as consistent as you want and everyday feels like a “cheat day,”…but while resolutions may be faltering, game-changing trends in the advertising world are holding strong. This month, we’re talking about a possible CBS/Viacom merger, the mobile revolution of live sports, Facebook Watch versus YouTube, how brain studies could optimize advertising, and Salon becoming a mining operation.

1. On-Again, Off-Again – CBS & Viacom Are Back Together

After a well-documented breakup back in 2005, CBS and Viacom are in serious conversations to reunite once again. As media competition expands, margins tighten, and content is everywhere, mega-mergers are looking like the best chance for some companies to stay alive and relevant. The Disney/21st Century Fox, as well as AT&T/Time Warner are turning up the heat for other media companies to join forces or get left behind. The partnership of CBS and Viacom would position the new company on a strong competitive footing by consolidating the content from both companies into a unified eco-system. While the Viacom content could help CBS boost its paid subscription service CBS All Access (which is currently suffering from limited content value), it could in turn help Viacom make something of their Philo streaming service – analysts speculate that the services will merge to rival Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, and the soon-to-come Disney streaming service. An added game changer could be that CBS will have a leg up in securing the NFL broadcast and streaming rights. Big alliances like this one tend to shake things up, create more innovation in the space, and challenge the status quo. It’s worth keeping an eye on this as part of the larger trends reshaping the TV landscape as a whole.

2. Big Things for Live Sports on Small Screens

Live sports have been staple programming for traditional TV thanks to a dedicated audience chained to their couches, captive to the messages of advertisers. However, shifting viewing habits and expiring broadcasting agreements for the NFL (due in 2022) and the NBA (due in 2025) have the entire industry rethinking their strategies. With dwindling viewership numbers for traditional broadcast TV, platforms like Verizon (with its newly acquired Yahoo Sports resources) are throwing their hat in the ring for broadcast rights. Verizon is expanding their agreements with both the NBA and the NFL to boost mobile streaming access with the goal of becoming the leading source for live game viewing. The NBA deal gives Verizon an exclusive on streaming games with League Pass and the use of clips for new Yahoo NBA shows. Their deal with the NFL gives Yahoo exclusive streaming rights to games on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights. Sports viewing on handheld devices will allow Verizon to offer more personalized ad experiences while expanding the viewing experience – not only can they hone in on specific audience preferences, they can experiment with different forms of multimedia such as augmented reality, the timing of commercial breaks, and even different announcement crews. If Verizon can make mobile the new dominant viewing platform for live sports, we may be seeing a game changer for traditional broadcast networks.

3. Facebook Watch Is Going After YouTube’s Creators… AND Advertisers

The latest chapter in the Facebook versus Google saga is all a about video – more specifically, video advertising. Facebook has been sitting down with media agencies to discuss its plans to expand Watch with the intention to go directly after Google’s YouTube. It is also planning to implement an advertising system where creators could upload their content for free and earn a portion of the revenue from the ads placed on the video. Sounds logical, right? Facebook says they are planning to create a tiered advertising system and allow the purchase of ads on specific shows, similar to how traditional TV sells ads. Companies can pay a premium to advertise on top performing shows, which they hope will also weed out of lower quality shows – a problem that plagues YouTube advertisers. Facebook has their sights set firmly on YouTube and is addressing many of the concerns advertisers have related to content and quality standards. We’ll have to see if Facebook has what it takes to unseat the streaming king.

4. Understanding the Brain to Optimize Advertising

The brain is complex and mysterious, dictating everything about how we perceive our reality and ourselves. Understanding how the brain works means understanding how to make ads that truly resonate with (read: manipulate) consumers, right? For instance, after a recent study, neuroscientists found that ads shown in a premium editorial environment were viewed 17% longer, with 29% higher engagements than ads shown on social media platforms. While ads on social media could capture people’s attention, they were less likely to make a long-term brand impact or drive engagement. The take away – not only does it matter who you target, but where you target your consumers. Diving deeper into brain studies could be a game changer for the way how, where, and why we advertise.

5. Put On Your Mining Hat to Read Salon.com

For some quick background, mining cryptocurrencies entails two main functions: releasing new currency and recording actions into the blockchain, which is a shared public ledger of every single transaction and the ownership of every cryptocurrency in circulation. It’s a process that requires a special program and massive computing power, and news company Salon has found a unique way to use crypto-mining as a way to regain lost revenue from adblockers. When a visitor visits the Salon website while running an adblocking they are met with a popup, giving them to option to either disable their adblocker (allowing traditional revenue generation through ad impressions) or have their ads suppressed in exchange for hijacking their computing power to mine cryptocurrency while on the site. The core of this business model is simple: in exchange for an ad-free experience on Salon.com users are giving the publisher their computing power. Salon’s chief executive Jordan Hoffner asserts, “The way the media business is going, it needs new path. I think we are the first to actually make it as [part] of the business model in publishing.” This is an interesting turn of events for ads, blockers, and revenue generation. Let’s see if this model catches on.

By |February 27th, 2018|Game Changers|0 Comments