Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal

NBCU officially rolled out their Prime Pods this season, which are 60-second pods of targeted advertising during its original primetime broadcast and cable series. There has been a lot of industry coverage about the premium pricing of Prime Pod spots, so the SQAD Data Team decided to review the reported transaction data from our contributors to see if it aligns with this reporting.

After comparing year-over-year average unit costs for “The Good Place”, “The Voice”, and “This Is Us”, the data does not appear to show a significant change in average 30-second ad costs. Although the industry reports an increased value for these specific Prime Pods – up to 75% reported by Adweek – the aggregated data from transaction reporting does not seem to support that supposition.

Further review of the raw data would be required to make a definitive judgement, but from our preliminary review of the reported transactions in the MediaCosts: National (NetCosts) system, we are not able to identify a significant increase in specific 30-second spots on NBCU programming featuring Prime Pods.

The graphs and data below show the year-over-year unit cost trends for each show.

The Good Place

Overall Season Average

2017: $111,518

2018: $115,362

Average unit costs in 2018 are 3.4% higher than last year.

The Voice

Overall Season Average

2017: $202,675

2018: $205,645

Average unit costs in 2018 are 1.5% higher than last year.

This Is Us

Overall Season Average

2017: $440,153

2018: $450,889

Average unit costs in 2018 are 2.4% higher than last year.