The Media Minute 2.1.23

Two recently released reports are not only putting an optimistic look at advertising spend in the coming year, but also pointing directly to the technological advances many are taking to make that a reality.

The first bit of good news comes from the Winterberry Group, who estimate 2023’s ad spend to come in at $509 billion, up 6% from last year’s $481 billion. Their findings, released in last week’s “The Outlook for Advertising, Marketing and Data 2023” report, put 60% of that total spend ($307 billion) occurring on online channels.

The subscription economy is probably one of the most important economic trends of recent decades, which is why I talk to decision-makers from various industries about their experiences and challenges in my podcast “Subscribe Now”. The podcast is aimed at anyone who works in a subscription company and is looking for new impetus outside their direct industry. After all, many insights transfer well.  Here are seven key subscription learnings from seven different industries for publishers to apply to their own strategies.

Top executives of big holding company and independent media services agencies that do not officially release advertising forecast estimates last week told MediaPost they believe the ones that do publish them do not represent what they have been experiencing in terms of U.S. ad spending trends.

Specifically, they said their own internal estimates are closer to ones published by MediaPost last week, based on analysis of data from Standard Media Index indicating the U.S. ad economy expanded only about 3% in 2022, which compares with a consensus of nearly 10% from the Big 4 agency holding company’s more estimates.

The first quarter is off to a rocky start for publishers’ advertising businesses, and while that might not come as a surprise given the state of the economy — even for media execs who forecasted their companies’ revenue goals according to the headwinds in the market — January is pacing between 10% to 25% off their projected targets, according to three media executives. Three other execs profiled for this piece said their business is approximately even with Q1 2022.

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