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NBC Cancels ‘Megyn Kelly Today,’ Took In $180M In Ad Sales

By: Wayne Friedman
October 26, 2018

Over the past year, SQAD says the show’s 30-second unit commercial pricing for “Kelly” was at a high November 2017, over $18,000, to a low of around $13,500, and then rising to more than $15,000 in April…

Read more at: MediaPost.

By |November 2nd, 2018|In The News, News Room|0 Comments

5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in October 2018

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

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

The leaves outside are quickly changing from orange to yellow to brown, and the cool temperatures are a not-so-friendly reminder that winter is right around the corner. But, before we replace the jack-o-lanterns and spooky decorations with turkeys and decorative gourds, it’s time to take a look at the advertising trends that are haunting the industry. This month, we’re diving into marijuana marketing, Adobe’s acquisition of Marketo, Amazon’s fight for the spotlight, Google’s data breach, and futuristic Alexa ad technology.

1. Cannabis Marketing Puts the “pot” in Jackpot

Marijuana is officially legal for recreational use in Canada, and as legalization continues to march across North America, some advertisers are getting ready for what may be a minefield of marketing opportunities and perils. Cannabis is projected to be a $200 billion annual industry, and advertising campaigns are already beginning to make their debuts. However, the industry has many obstacles to overcome – even when formally legalized, there are restrictions for how cannabis brands can advertise their products. They cannot explicitly show the drug being used in ads and the ads can only be placed on channels where at least 71.6% of the audience is above 21 years of age. Brands also cannot claim their products have “curative or therapeutic effects”, which is a major argument for the legalization crowd. On top of those restrictions, they face also limitations with digital advertising. Facebook and Google are currently prohibiting marijuana companies from buying ad inventory. Advertising complications will continue to grow so long as the federal government maintains their ban on the drug and more states open the doors. As such, companies are working around the limitations by building lifestyle branding to resonate with the younger millennial consumer – illustrating a carefree and relatable lifestyle of afternoon hiking trips, picnics in lush green valleys, and strolls along the shore during sunrise. Despite the advertising hurdles and legal obstacles, companies big and small see massive potential in weed legalization and are keen on getting ahead of the competition.

2. Adobe’s Makes a Big Move with Marketo

Adobe has long dominated the ad creation space with its variety of offerings like Photoshop, Premier, AfterEffects, Illustrator, Dreamweaver – and now it has bought itself a place in the marketing automation business with acquisition of Marketo. The $4.75 billion acquisition could be a game changer that may establish Adobe as a one-stop-shop for advertising creation and distribution directly to consumers. What is most significant in this story of corporate growth is how Adobe beat out Salesforce. The win puts Adobe in direct competition with Marketing Cloud by Salesforce, and may be a hint at their bigger plans to get more engaged in the transactional side of advertising. In a news release from Adobe, it stated that “adding Marketo’s engagement platform to Adobe Experience Cloud will enable Adobe to offer an unrivaled set of solutions for delivering transformative customer experiences across industries and companies of all sizes.” In response, Salesforce announced the purchase of Rebel, an email outfit platform – an acquisition that looks relatively miniscule when placed next to Adobe’s Marketo purchase. These massive moves will shake up the landscape for both content creation and creative distribution.

3. Amazon Is Disrupting the Duopoly

Amazon’s recent moves to increase their appeal as a viable advertising platform are paying off, with some brands shifting more than half their ad budgets away from Google to Amazon, according to executives at multiple media agencies. Google’s ad business made up 86% of Alphabet’s total revenue last year and seems to be going strong so far this year, although Amazon poses a clear threat to that business. Executives at multiple media agencies are seeing budget shifts to Amazon, particularly for consumer packaged goods and retail – while other brands like automotive and travel are still sticking to Google. Amazon is where retail brands are seeing the needle move in terms of real sales – according to Survata about 49% of product searches begin directly on the e-commerce site. An EVP at Havas breaks down the trend he is seeing at the agency: 20-30% of the company’s clients shift 50-70% of their budgets from Google to Amazon. The industry has been watching as Amazon continues to grow a competitive ad marketplace, moving into the position of a real disruptor to the Google/Facebook duopoly.

4. A Data Breach Means Google+ Gets the Ax

Google shut down its social networking platform Google+ and said it was due to a data breach (that it attempted to cover up) – and definitely not because almost no one used the platform and it had become a punchline for most people in the tech world. The distraction of Google+ aside, the actual breach was serious and impacted hundreds of thousands of users, with the height of the issue occurring around the same time Facebook was trying to put the fire out around the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Google covered up its security problem when it first broke, lest it threaten their reputation of being the most secure tech platform in the world. But with issues as significant as this, it was only a matter of time when the truth is finally revealed. Google decided to disclose the breach in October within the confusing announcement to shut down Google+ – a platform most were surprised to learn still existed. Cover-up aside, data breaches means new security protocols and tighter regulations. This heightened security will make life harder for advertisers who want access to third party data vital to effective ad targeting. On top of that, brands and agencies may need to spend more money to make sure they’re compliant with new regulations. In a way, Google’s ill-fated social network did change the industry… just not in the way they intended.

5. Alexa, Your Personal Health Advisor

You’re lounging on your sofa comfortably wrapped in your fleece throw, ready to watch “Home Alone” for the fifth time. You tell Alexa to turn off the lights and a small cough escapes you. Alexa does as you command, and follows up with a suggestion for a soup recipe as well as an offer for instant delivery of cough drops from your local pharmacy. Welcome to the new world of predictive advertising. This is all part of the new technology that Amazon patented for Alexa that can analyze speech to detect whether you are sick or not feeling well. This creative ad technology goes hand-in-hand with Amazon’s push into the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry (having recently bought Pillpack – a company sends prescriptions straight to homes via post). The new Alexa technology also covers emotional health, so if the device hears you crying, it may play an upbeat song that a record label would have paid to advertise. Or, if it detects from the sound of your voice that you are bored, it may suggest activities that will stimulate your mind – perhaps rock climbing or pottery making in your local neighborhood (all paid ads, of course). This advanced version of Alexa is an indication of how intuitive advertising technology is becoming. Feeling under the weather? Going through a messy breakup? Alexa may soon be the only friend you need.

By |October 25th, 2018|Game Changers|0 Comments

Local Ad Costs Even Easier to Research and Report

SQAD releases MediaCosts: Local update for greater speed and efficiency

SQAD LLC, an advertising research, analytics, and media planning software company, has announced an update to the MediaCosts: Local platform – a local ad cost research database built from actual reported transaction data. The update provides subscribers of the local broadcast TV, cable TV, radio, Hispanic TV, and out-of-home databases quick access to local ad cost intelligence through the streamlined web application.

“Our team has rebuilt the heart of this application, the Report Builder, so our users can be more efficient in their research processes,” says Philip Ragusa, Product Director of SQAD MediaCost: Local. “We’ve reduced the number of pages and clicks involved in building complex cost reports by adding drop-down menus for quick-access to data sets, drag-and-drop building elements, and the ability to save commonly used criteria for future report use.”

The new Report Builder eliminates the need to navigate between multiple screens and selection criteria to create a report. All options are now streamlined into a single page, allowing users to easily choose their report parameters (Markets, Demos, Dayparts, type of metric, etc.) with a simple drag and drop. Select All and Deselect All options have been added to drop-down menus, as well as an easy to read report summary that loads in real-time to show which metrics are being reported.

The updates on our MediaCosts: Local platform give users a more seamless experience when researching data and building reports crucial to their media research strategies.

– Marc Krigsman, CEO of SQAD

“The updates on our MediaCosts: Local platform give users a more seamless experience when researching data and building reports crucial to their media research strategies,” explains SQAD CEO Marc Krigsman. “By providing ad cost intelligence in a more effective way, our clients can be more agile and responsive in their media planning, negotiations, and strategies. This update will help our subscribers make better buying decisions while increasing overall productivity.”

The updated features are available for all subscribers with access to the MediaCosts: Local Suite. For more information about the update, visit SQAD MediaCosts: Local Platform Update.


SQAD LLC. has been an industry leader for more than four decades, processing more than $1 trillion in real transaction ad costs from advertising housekeeping system. Their MediaCosts data includes national broadcast, cable, and syndicated television, as well as local broadcast, cable, and Hispanic TV, radio, and out-of-home advertising. They also provide audience analytics research tools for Nielsen data through SQAD MediaLogic, and provide advertisers and agencies the mission-critical media planning software, MediaTools – a robust and flexible end-to-end media planning solution. Learn more at www.sqad.com.

By |October 11th, 2018|News Room, Press Releases|0 Comments

SQAD MediaCosts: Local Platform Update

We’ve got some exciting news! Our Product Team just rolled out a big update on our MediaCosts: Local platform that allows for even more user-friendly ad planning and reporting.


The Report builder has been redesigned so research teams can generate reports with ease and efficiency. Now you can:

  • Make your selections all on one page
  • Easily mix and match Markets, Demos, Dayparts, type of metrics, etc. with a simple drag and drop selection process
  • Save even more time with Select All and Deselect All options that have been added to drop-down menus to eliminate time-consuming mass selections

In addition, we’ve added an easy-to-use cloning function to the Buying Strategy tool – you can now easily carry over GRP and Factor selections between strategy variations.



In case you missed it, we also released updates earlier this year on the Homepage and the Trend Reports. On the Homepage, we’ve added:

  • Easy access for Recent Buying Strategies
  • Quick drop-down access to:
    • Admin
    • Help
    • Profile Settings
    • A Help section in which you will find Training Resources that houses tutorials and learning materials

In the Trend Reports, you will find:

  • CPM measurements have been added – now users can now toggle between CPMs and CPPs when analyzing data sets
  • A new export function – allows you to export Trend Reports for deeper analytic analysis

Login today to check out all the new features and start planning!

By |October 11th, 2018|MediaCosts Update, News Room, Product Update|0 Comments

5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in September 2018

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

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

With the return of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, fall is officially upon us, regardless of the weather outside. All the coffeehouses are replacing their fruity summer favorites with hot drinks for the cooling temperatures. People are reluctantly packing away their summer clothes and searching for their coziest fall sweaters as the leaves start to fall from the trees. The seasons change just like the advertising trends that transform the industry. This month, we’re talking about crowdsourcing ad ideas, Nike’s controversial ad strategy, the personal side of political ads, mood-inspired advertising, and the creative side of ad campaigns.

1. Crowdsourcing Ad Creative

Publishers often find themselves tossing a large portion of their marketing budgets into creative departments to find the most strategic ways to market to their readers. Now, some publishers are tapping into a less traditional resource for ad ideas – the very people you will be advertising to. User-generated platforms like 9GAG, Tumblr, and Thought Catalog are calling on their loyal users to be the creative drive for advertising content that could be used in pitches to advertisers. According to these companies, this direct user input is invaluable because they are the target audience and know the types of campaigns that will speak the loudest and resonate the most with people like them (or at least that’s the hope). And it turns out this form of crowdsourcing advertising ideas is a win/win: the publishers are paying these users for the projects they work on, but the cost of developing these creative ideas is far less expensive than running the process through a massive creative department. Strategies like this mean company pockets have a bit more cash.

2. Nike Bets on Controversy

Nike is no stranger to controversy, historically spurring conversation around difficult topics through its marketing campaigns that touch upon subjects from ageism to disabilities. Recently, the launch of their new ad campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has caused a little backlash and a whole lot of press coverage. Thanks to the viral wildfire of advocates and protesters alike, the ad spot shot through social media and the world like lightning. Compounding the resonance of the ad were the ancillary protest and support posts that closely followed. Some even went as far as setting their Nike sneakers on fire in protest (they certainly won’t be getting a refund). The local and national news then picked up on the reaction to the ad, which spread the message further than Nike ever could have done with their original online-only ad strategy. Some say Nike is “taking a side” on a controversial topic, while other say it was a shrewd advertising gamble that has magnified Nike’s media presence and brand awareness unlike any ad currently running. No matter how you slice it, people are talking about Nike, and isn’t that what advertising is all about? Take out the politics and the personality, and you’re left with an incredibly successful branding campaign that boosted the companies stocks by 30% – if it was a gamble, Nike beat the house.

3. Putting People Back in Politics

Traditionally, political ads follow a predictable formula of the candidate looking straight into the camera promising better policies around healthcare, taxes, education, and other issues. You see dramatic cuts to handshakes in the local community, ribbon cuttings, kissing babies, and fiery rhetoric from the podium. Predictable, and apparently, passé. Now, we’re going to be seeing more and more candidates dropping the slick, over-produced montage ads in favor of more documentary-style videos that feel more grassroots and approachable. Candidates share personal stories that feel authentic to the viewer, while deflating potential negative ads from opponents. When a candidate uses a personal story about coming from an abusive household, or a relative who struggled to find work due to a criminal record, or having a mother who battled addiction, they are essentially adding a defensive shield of sympathy around their campaign. After all, who wants to vote for the guy that attacked an injured veteran or domestic violence survivor? When a candidate leads with something that feels like authentic vulnerability, voters notice. They go from being voters to being advocates. Best of all, these types of videos are a lot less costly to make and are more likely to go viral. You can bet we’re going to be seeing more of these as the mid-term elections approach.

4. In the Mood to Buy

Advertisers have a lot of data to work with when targeting consumers. There’s vast amounts information on location, demographic, income, hobbies, sports, books… you name it and there’s data for it. Now, media companies are looking to target ads based on the emotional state of their audience. The New York Times launched a tool called Project Feels that lets advertisers target ads based on the type of emotional response certain contain is expected to elicit. ESPN rolled out LiveConnect, which gauges how sports fans react to different parts of a game, how they feel about team lineups, and then aligns that data with advertisers’ goals. And these companies are seeing a positive impact for advanced mood targeting. For example, the USA Today Network ran an ad campaign for a nonprofit that targeted people reading inspirational stories (that we all know evoke a certain type of feeling). The result? Twenty-five percent higher donation rates than from ads showing up in content that was not emotionally targeted. These new data tools are trying to predict consumer moods based on engagement, then use artificial intelligence to serve up an ad that fits the mood. Adaptive mood-targeted ads means more emotionally intelligent advertising, but some may call that emotional manipulation. We’ll have to see if consumers will catch on.

5. Kudos for Creative Ads

The best creative ads are pushing the boundaries of marketing, driving engagement, increasing brand awareness, and leaving people talking for days. In the innovation file today:

You’re walking on the sidewalk and from afar, something catches your eye: a human body plastic-wrapped against a bus stop. What?! As you approach the bus stop, your mind is whirring until you realize it’s fake – an elaborate ad for the Netflix series, “Altered Carbon”. The ad campaign for the show took out-of-home marketing to a whole new level with its combination of creativity and shock value. You can just imagine what kind of response it received both on and offline, giving the show a whole lot of attention ahead of the launch of the new season.

Another noteworthy ad idea that caught the industry’s attention comes from OpenFortune, a company that runs ads in fortune cookies. The company recently worked with Capital One to print an ad campaign on 10 million cookies to be distributed to 5,000 Chinese takeout restaurants. One entrepreneur who cracked open his post-meal sweet expecting his lucky numbers discovered the ad in its place, along with a related quirky fortune. He took his cookie to Twitter, where it was well-received with 10,000 likes and then found its way to Reddit where it got another 32,000 upvotes.

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

DATA REPORT: “The Big Bang Theory” Says Goodbye – A Historical Ad Cost Trend Analysis

CBS is saying goodbye to “The Big Bang Theory”, which will air its final season this fall after lead actor Jim Parsons decided it was time to move on from the show. As fans mentally prepare themselves for the last season, airing September 24, the SQAD Data Team jumped into the ad cost database to analyze the trends of the show since its inception in 2007 through the 2017-18 season.

In this report:

Ad Cost Trends Over the Years

In reviewing the average combination ad costs (scatter and upfront) for each of the 11 seasons, we see how the program had become a powerful revenue driver for CBS.


Key Trend Insights:

  • The first season of “The Big Bang Theory” saw average ad costs of $133,355
  • Prices increased steadily climbed through the years until its peak during Season 8 (2014-15)
  • At the peak, ad costs were averaging $345,535, nearly 160% more than the first season
  • Since season 8 on, prices have declined:
    • Down 6% from Season 8 to 9
    • Down 5% from Season 9 to 10
    • Down 10% from Season 10 to 11
  • Season 11 averaged $276,841 per 30 second ad, which was:
    • 108% higher than the first season
    • 20% lower than the peak at Season 8

It’s not clear if the decreasing revenues are related to decreasing popularity with advertisers over the past few years, or if the market is simply correcting from an overly enthusiastic bidding war for the loyal viewers.

How “The Big Bang Theory” Compares to Competing Shows This Fall

The final season of “The Big Bang Theory” will premiere with a special on Monday, September 24, and then return to its Thursday 8 P.M. spot. The Data Team compared the 11th season to competing shows airing on the Thursday time slot on other broadcast networks (using 2017-18 data).


Key Trend Insights:

  • “The Big Bang Theory” takes the lead with an average ad cost of $276,841
    • 64% ahead of ABC’s hit show “Grey’s Anatomy” – which averages $168,946 per :30
    • 170% better than NBC’s “Superstore”
    • 10 times higher than “Supernatural” on The CW
By |September 12th, 2018|SQAD Data Reports|0 Comments

MediaLogic: WRAP Delivers Instant Reports With Nielsen Live +1 Stream

Nielsen’s new Live +1 subscribers find faster audience analytics and reporting with SQAD MediaLogic: WRAP

Nielsen subscribers officially gained access to the new Live +1 data stream in late August and subscribers to the audience analytics research tool MediaLogic: WRAP, provided by SQAD, had instant access to the new data.

“We ensure that WRAP is automatically synced with all of Nielsen’s audience insight databases,” says John Yang, SQAD’s product director for MediaLogic: WRAP. “As Nielsen rolled out its first Live +1 stream last month, our system was already capturing the new data. Our subscribers have immediate access to the data through our research tool, allowing them to find crucial audience stories in just seconds.”

SQAD’s MediaLogic: WRAP is a subscription-based research tool that provides the industry’s fastest audience discovery and reporting capabilities leveraging Nielsen data. WRAP offers users unrivaled flexibility to generate rich and complex analysis reports in a fraction of the time required for Nielsen’s in-house reporting system.

As Nielsen rolled out its first Live +1 stream last month, our system was already capturing the new data. Our subscribers have immediate access to the data through our research tool, allowing them to find crucial audience stories in just seconds.

– John Yang, SQAD’s Product Director for MediaLogic: WRAP

“The key for any Nielsen subscriber is to be able to dig deep into the audience data to discover the unique engagement stories advertisers, agencies, stations, networks and holding companies need to effectively manage their strategies,” Yang continues. “Our subscribers gain a competitive advantage because they save the time and frustration that can come with reporting on audience behaviors. Having the advantage of speed translates into real dollars on the bottom line.”

Nielsen subscribers who want to increase the speed of their research and reporting work directly with SQAD to add MediaLogic: WRAP to their in-house software tools. Nielsen data is synced automatically to the local WRAP client and available for instant reporting. Common searches and research criteria can be saved for frequent reporting and all reports can be shared to connected users within an organization.


SQAD LLC has been an industry leader for more than four decades in providing audience analytics research tools for Nielsen data through SQAD MediaLogic: WRAP. Additionally, they provide advertisers and agencies with the mission-critical media planning software MediaTools – a robust and flexible end-to-end media planning solution. They also provide more than $1 trillion in real transaction ad costs through their MediaCosts data, which includes national broadcast, cable and syndicated television, as well as local broadcast, cable and Hispanic TV, radio and out-of-home advertising. Learn more at www.sqad.com.

By |September 7th, 2018|News Room, Press Releases|0 Comments

‘Last Man Standing’ Reboot Will Not Be a Top Revenue Generator for Fox

The Tim Allen reboot will likely hold its own during the Friday 8 P.M. timeslot against shows on competing broadcast networks, according to new report from SQAD

Comparing the final season of “Last Man Standing” to current shows on its reboot network, Fox, indicates the show may not be a top revenue generator, according to a new report from SQAD – an advertising research, analytics, and planning company. However, the reboot will likely compete well in the Friday 8 P.M. timeslot against programs on other major broadcast networks.

“When we look at the show’s ad cost performance during its final season on ABC and compare it to current shows on Fox, ‘The Last Man Standing’ is not breaking any network records – finishing at least 74% behind ‘Empire,'” explains Dan Klar, VP of Product Development for SQAD MediaCosts: National. “However, the reboot is not competing against other Fox programming, and that’s where you see the network’s larger strategy. Measuring ‘Last Man’ against programs airing on the same timeslot on other networks, we see that it ranks much higher in average ad costs, finding a spot just behind ABC’s ‘Fresh off the Boat.’”

Analyzing the Friday 8 P.M. timeslot, the last season of “Last Man Standing” comes out ahead of “Blindspot” (NBC) by 12%, “MacGyver” (CBS) by 25%, and “Dynasty” (CWN) by 183% (based on 2017-18 ad cost averages).

There is a chance that this new iteration of the show could outperform its final season and come out on top of the competition.

– Dan Klar, VP of Product Development for SQAD

“Of course, all of this speculation assumes the advertisers will be as interested in the new version of the show as they were in its final season on ABC,” says Klar. “There is a chance that this new iteration of the show could outperform its final season and come out on top of the competition. We won’t know for sure until the new 2018 upfront ad cost numbers hit the buying systems of our contributors.”

Find the full report on the SQAD website: DATA REPORT: “Last Man Standing” Reboot on Fox


SQAD LLC has been an industry leader for more than four decades, processing more than $1 trillion in real transaction ad costs from advertising housekeeping system. Their MediaCosts data includes national broadcast, cable, and syndicated television, as well as local broadcast, cable, and Hispanic TV, radio, and out-of-home advertising. They also provide audience analytics research tools for Nielsen data through SQAD MediaLogic, and provide advertisers and agencies the mission-critical media planning software, MediaTools – a robust and flexible end-to-end media planning solution. Learn more at www.sqad.com.

By |August 30th, 2018|News Room, Press Releases|0 Comments

5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in August 2018

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

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

Summer is winding down and the pumpkin-spice lattes are waiting in the wings. There’s just enough time to squeeze in one last beach day, a couple of more outdoor movie nights, and a pool party before it’s all over. But even as summer slows down, the industry news and trends are not. This month we’re discussing Google’s programmatic OOH plans, NBCU’s promotional streaming service, the consolidation of ad tech firms, Amazon’s eye on movie theaters, and California’s tough new online consumer protection law.

1. Google is Headed Out-of-Home

What do you do when you’ve conquered the digital advertising world and become the undisputed leader in online ads? Well, if you’re Google, you take your game on the road – literally. The potential value of out-of-home advertising (that’s your billboards, street signs, bus ads, etc.) seems to have caught the eye of the digital giant. It is reportedly looking to expand its programmatic technology onto physical billboards, and other OOH ad spaces, with the goal of targeting key demographics based on time and place data it collects through its Android operating system. Leveraging this digital data into the real world would give Google a leg up on their closest competitor, Facebook. Without the robust geolocation data of Google, Facebook does not have the flexibility to take their data off the screen. By aggregating and generalizing target demographic data from their mobile platform, Google will be able to offer advertisers more relevant ads to the people in the vicinity of a billboard at any given time. Imagine: a billboard in a New York City subway station during rush hour can be programmed to display an ad targeting men 25-54 with incomes of $85K+, and then change at midday to target women 35-55 who like yoga and fitness. In theory, the ads would rotate based on the demographic majority around the ad at any given time. While privacy policies will prevent Google from targeting based on individual web history, programmatic advertising based on mass data collection could be a game changer for the outdoor advertising industry.

2. NBCU’s Round About Streaming Strategy

Traditional television networks are continuing struggle to find a place in the over-the-top (OTT) market. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBOGO are taking eyeballs away from traditional linear TV arena, and advertisers have been noticing. NBCUniversal (NBCU) made its attempt to enter the streaming world back in 2016 with the launch of their $3.99-per-month service, Seeso – we don’t blame you if you’ve never heard of it – shutting down after only two years. Now, NBCU has regrouped to introduce a new service with a totally different approach. The platform is called WatchBack and is planned to launch by the end of this year. This free service will not include any exclusive or original content but, instead, give viewers access to a limited numbers of episodes from NBCU’s channels including USA, Syfy, NBC, etc. Rather than diving into the already crowded OTT market, NBCU is using their app to lure viewers back into traditional television by teasing them with broadcast content. On top of this strategy, NBCU is also considering incentives and rewards for watching their programming. It is certainly a different strategy from other OTT and their original Seeso service – using streaming not as the end goal but as the bait, with the true agenda of bringing viewers back to traditional TV. We’ll have to see if this plan actually attracts viewers back to NBCU’s linear TV viewing format.

3. The Rise and Re-Shuffle of Ad Tech

Ad tech firms have experienced exponential growth in the past decade, fueled by the combination of innovative ideas and the generous streams of venture capital looking to cash in on the growth industry. With advancing technology, advertising has undergone a metamorphosis in the ways we create and deliver digital ads. Thanks to innovations from new start-ups, everything from programmatic advertising to header bidding has changed. But, the good times can’t last forever. In the past few years we have a seen a decrease in funding to ad tech firms, as competing against Facebook and Google prove to be a challenging battle. The duopoly’s control over the advertising industry continues to grow to squeeze out smaller ad tech firms – forcing smaller players to either consolidate or close their doors. In the past, ad tech startups have served as catalysts for technological innovation by constantly pushing the limits and reframing the strategies for effective targeting. As investors lose their appetite for smaller firms to take on Google and Facebook, funding dries up and fewer potential disruptors enter the scene. Last year, more than 90% of the $88 billion in online ad spending went to Facebook or Google, and the number of independent ad tech companies fell 21% to 185 as of the second quarter of 2018. The decrease in these startups could change the game as there may be fewer opportunities to transform the industry.

4. Grab the Popcorn, Amazon Goes to the Movies

It has become obvious that Amazon will not be constrained to the limits of the digital world. On top of the jaw-dropping acquisition of Whole Foods last summer, they are now reportedly in talks to buy up Landmark Theatres, which has 52 locations across the US. If they seal the deal, it would put Amazon in the center of an entertainment/advertising ecosystem that would not only benefit their own in-house content, but provide a one-stop-shop for major studios looking to advertise their films on the big screen and the small screen. Not only can Amazon advertise its own films in Landmark Theatres, but it can also offer advertising opportunities for other films on its website and apps – which can be targeted at consumers who watch movies. While the larger strategy of Amazon is not completely transparent, one thing is coming into clear focus: Amazon is looking to close the circle on consumer activity to have a hand in every part of the experience.

5. California’s Version of GDPR

The enactment of GDPR in the European Union sent shockwaves across the world, and now tech companies and advertisers are bracing for a new wave of regulations as California plans to implement its own version of GDPR by 2020. Dubbed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), it follows in a similar vein to the EU regulation. CCPA’s primary purpose is to protect user privacy, provide transparency as to what kind of information businesses are collecting from them, and give them the option to opt out of the sale of that information. While consumers and privacy advocates may applaud the effort, industry trade groups are gathering their arguments against it. The Association of National Advertisers has stated that the law “threatens the free flow of information and impacts U.S. consumers and businesses” and that it “creates a false sense of concern in the public about the use of largely innocuous marketing data.” No matter how you fall on the subject, there is little doubt that the CCPA will be a game changer once implemented. Just as auto manufacturing rules adopted by California have found their way across the country, you can bet we’re going to see other states embrace these restrictions, which will transform the future of consumer data collection.

By |August 28th, 2018|Game Changers|0 Comments

DATA REPORT: “Last Man Standing” Reboot on Fox

After “Last Man Standing” was canceled in 2017 from ABC, it seemed like it was the last we’d see of the program. But with the reboot of “Roseanne” proving to be a tent-pole program for ABC, drawing in right-leaning viewers, Fox stepped up to revive “Last Man” – another favorite of conservative viewers due to Tim Allen’s public political leanings.

The SQAD Data Team pulled ad cost numbers from the MediaCosts: National database for the last season of the show on ABC to see the what the advertising landscape looked like as it wrapped up the final season. Additionally, the team pulled ad cost numbers for shows that “Last Man Standing” will be competing against in the upcoming season on Fox, as well as on other networks during its time slot.

The Team conducted the comparison analysis using upfront unit cost data. The report is divided into the following three parts:

“Last Man Standing” In Its Last Season on ABC, 2016-17


The Data Team evaluated “Last Man Standing” during its last season on ABC before it was cancelled, comparing it against some of the top shows during the 2016-17 season. The show came in at the bottom for average upfront unit costs, at $73,113.

During that season, “Last Man Standing” was 56% behind top performer, “Modern Family”, which had an average unit cost for the season of $166,289. It also trailed “Grey’s Anatomy” by 55% and “Scandal” by 49%.

How the “Last Man Standing” Reboot Compares Against Shows on Fox 2018-19

The reboot is scheduled to premiere on September 28, joining a stable of popular programs including “Empire”, “Gotham”, “The Gifted”, and “Family Guy”. The Team analyzed the average upfront costs from last season (2017-18) to help set context for the “Last Man Standing” reboot on the network.

Comparing the final season of “Last Man Standing” against the ad cost performance of current Fox network shows:


Unless advertisers find a new excitement for the reboot of “Last Man Standing”, Fox may not have high expectations for the program to deliver big numbers for advertisers. If the new version of the show holds on to the advertiser interest from their final season, it will take the last spot on the network against other Fox shows airing this season.

The leading scripted drama delivering major ad revenue for this season on Fox is “Empire” at an average cost of $280,987, with “Star” following behind at $143,170 and then “Lethal Weapon” at $131,534. This places ad costs for “Last Man Standing” at 74% less than those for “Empire”.

The “Last Man Standing” vs. Competing Shows on Other Networks

While “Last Man Standing” probably won’t be the leading revenue generator among Fox programming, it may have a shot against competing shows airing in the same time slot on other networks.


Looking at the programs set to air on other major broadcast networks on Fridays at 8PM, we see that the final season numbers of “Last Man Standing” are holding their own for the time slot, taking second place behind “Fresh off the Boat” on ABC – which has nearly a 20% lead.The reboot comes out ahead of “Blindspot” on NBC ($65,353) by 12%.

By |August 20th, 2018|SQAD Data Reports|0 Comments