NBCUniversal Adds New Weapon in Fight for Digital Ad Dollars

  • NBCUniversal launched comprehensive advertising measurement tool CFlight
  • Advertisers spent $209 billion on digital advertising in 2017

The media industry is stirring with NBCUniversal’s (CMCSA -0.50%) announcement of their new viewership measurement tool CFlight. The platform is meant to help broadcasters strengthen their fight over advertising dollars with Facebook (FB +0.46%) and Alphabet (GOOGL +1.00%). What company holds the keys to broadcasters not losing all their revenue to digital competitors?

Why This Matters: Digital platforms like Facebook and Alphabet have been effective in capturing advertising dollars. In 2017 advertisers spent $209 billion worldwide on digital advertising, of which Facebook and Alphabet control 70%. Compare that to the $178 billion advertisers spent on TV advertising in the same year. In 2018, industry intelligence firm Magna projects digital ad spending to increase 13% to $237 billion, while TV ad spending will increase 2.5% to $183 billion.

A key player in this fight is Mediaocean. This leading technology company owned by Vista Equity Partners is developing software moving the TV advertising industry into the digital age. Advertisers will spend their dollars in the most efficient ways with the greatest possible reach. Mediaocean is doing yeoman’s work in increasing TV advertising’s efficiency.

Surely with this in mind, Facebook rolled out its own measurement tool, Cross-Platform Brand Lift in Q1. This tool compares the brand lift advertisers get with digital advertising against the lift they get from TV ads. Don’t expect Alphabet or Facebook to let up in taking away TV advertising dollars.

What’s Next: Look out for how quickly CBS (CBS +0.02%), NBCUniversal, and the other major broadcasters adopt new advertising technology. Broadcasters are notorious for how slow they move, but time is of the essence if they don’t want the likes of Facebook and Google to put advertising dollars out of reach.

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