Broadcasting in the 21st Century: Digital Evolution for U.S. Local Media
Originally Aired - Sunday, April 16 | 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM PT
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Opportunities for broadcasters to boost revenue and relevance in the new digital world include NEXTGENTV, digital multicast networks, live station streaming and podcasting. One major advantage that broadcasters hold against their digital rivals is the ability to serve and build trust with communities, including through local news. Over-the-air (OTA) households have been growing over the past few years as budget-tightening consumers cancel pay-TV subscriptions and opt for OTA access to essential local news.
Broadcasters' investments in digital multicast networks are starting to pay off as those new channels can be easily broadcast across TV groups' station OTA portfolios, OTT and Free Ad Support Television (FAST) streaming services, maximizing opportunities to reach a growing number of cord cutters. Over the next five years, the TV station industry is expected to become more affected by the ebbs and flows of political ad spending, with retrans growth slowing to low single digits as consumers' preferences shift to streaming platforms.
Competition for ad spend in 2023 will be intense and impact traditional TV and radio markets in the U.S. The core local ad spot market is expected to outperform core national spot ad sales with a continuing shift to digital for national ad budgets. Many advertisers will prioritize the audience reach and targeting capabilities that streaming ads offer, especially for younger viewers tuning out traditional TV and radio fare. If a recession crimps overall ad spend, streaming could steal share from traditional ad formats. Aside from the added competition from ad-supported streamers, U.S. broadcasters will see fewer advertising dollars in 2023 without U.S. political elections, Olympic Games or a Men’s World Cup.