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Media Buying

Netflix’s enhancements to its ad-supported tier has helped it amass 5 million monthly active users worldwide, though its password crackdown could slow momentum. Meanwhile, Max, the combined streaming service of HBO Max and Discovery+, debuted to “early positive feedback,” and Paramount+ hopes partnering with Showtime will prevent it from losing subscribers.

After 10 months of ad spending slowdowns, the ad industry has changed: The industry is still growing, but major shifts have advertisers worried.

TikTok's privacy debacle deepens: Internal documents reveal ByteDance employees have been sharing user data on internal platform Lark, undermining the company's claims of robust security measures and stirring fresh concerns about potential security risks and ties to China

Musk’s embrace of the far-right could hurt Twitter’s turnaround efforts: The amplification of far-right voices is likely to keep liberal and moderate users, as well as some advertisers, on the sidelines.

Google experiments with chat ads: The tech giant plans to embed its Search and Shopping ads into the AI-powered SGE conversational mode.

Retail media’s rise in popularity is being boosted by increasing ecommerce sales, a wide variety of ad formats, and established retailer-brand relationships. But an increasingly crowded space may have advertisers feeling overwhelmed, which could put a bit of strain on retail media’s growth.

We slashed our 2023 US ad revenue estimates for almost every social platform. For Snapchat (revised down by $505.2 million), TikTok (down $649.0 million), and Twitter (down $991.0 million), the cuts are significant. For Pinterest (down $31.5 million) and Reddit (down $40.9 million), the cuts are smaller but still impactful—$40.9 million is nearly 10% of Reddit’s annual revenues.

Navigating the ad-buying landscape is complex. By transitioning toward a multichannel strategy, marketers can say goodbye to a fragmented buying experience and the challenge of full-funnel measurement by leveraging unique consumer behavior insights and targeting ads on specific days and at specific times.

The AI-assisted search revolution will take place primarily on the nonretail battleground, which is still dominated by Google. But Google lost share of the market last year, and Microsoft and Apple are starting to appear a little closer in Google’s rearview mirror.

US upfront TV ad spending will fall by 3.6% to $18.64 billion for the 2023–2024 TV season, a downward revision of 5.0% from our previous forecast.

It’s been an upfronts season like none other as digital creeps into linear’s territory and the Writers Guild of America writers’ strike rages on. “We’re kind of at an inflection point,” said our analyst Paul Verna. From a buyer’s market to tumult at NBCUniversal, here are five trends Verna noted from upfronts so far.

Meta is way ahead of competitors in US video ad spend, with 30.1% share this year compared with YouTube’s 8.3% and TikTok’s 6.5%, according to our forecast. TikTok is on YouTube’s tail as it gains share, but the short video newcomer won’t surpass YouTube before the end of our forecast period in 2025.

While Meta struggles with innovation and attracting younger users, at Snapchat, innovation and Gen Z users are in high supply. So why is the company struggling? “Snap doesn’t lack when it comes to innovation,” our analyst Jasmine Enberg said on a recent episode of our “Behind the Numbers” podcast. “But there are serious questions about the health of its core business, and it really needs to focus on turning those things around.”

Disney adapts to industry challenges: House of Mouse emphasizes ESPN's sports offerings and nonscripted content at upfronts.

NBCUniversal highlights Peacock at upfront: Media titan reflects the industry's digital tilt amidst picketing and leadership changes

As the so-called AI arms race heats up, US site visit data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb reflects early changes in consumer behavior.

The US is the overwhelming center of gravity for all things advertising—and it will remain that way, even though 2023 will see a slight share drop for the country across various metrics. By the end of next year, the US shares of total and digital ad spending will increase once again.

US connected TV (CTV) ad spend will continue to grow through 2027, when it will reach $40.90 billion, according to our forecast. Apart from a small bump next year, ad spend on TV (including broadcast and cable TV) will decline over the next few years. Still, TV’s share of total ad spend is larger than CTV’s, indicating it remains a key player in marketers’ ad strategies.

US digital ad spend growth will return to double digits next year at 11.2% growth, following 2023’s slower growth of 7.8%. Growth certainly won’t return to the 37.6% growth we saw in 2021, but it will increase steadily. Come 2025, US digital ad spend will pass $300 billion and keep climbing to nearly $400 billion by the end of 2027.

Twitter’s CEO is a strategic pick that ultimately won’t do much: Linda Yaccarino is an experienced exec, but it may be too late to stop Twitter’s decline.