The recent presidential debate came in as the most-watched in history, with 84 million total viewers and 2.7 million people tweeting about it, according to Nielsen. But the real winners are likely in digital and TV advertising, particularly for local TV stations, where fill rates and average impressions have skyrocketed.
Tomer Sade, CEO of Wise Data Media, a Tel Aviv-based cloud marketing platform that offers data analysis and prediction services to clients in the brand advertising, agency, and media and entertainment segments, told FierceOnlineVideo that his customers’ budgets grew 35 percent year over year in September alone.
“What we saw is the fill rate increased during September,” he said. “Mostly during the TV debate, it jumped from 40 percent to 69 percent in the month. It’s a huge increase, and it looks like that will continue to grow.” Further, “The amount of available impressions mostly for the news category increased during September, by more than 100 percent. Even measured with third party solutions, we saw … the same number” from those metrics, including during the presidential debate, he said.
And Sade expects ad impressions to continue to grow, especially for local TV stations, as the race enters its final month ahead of the election. “The fill rate will be much higher, mostly around video and around local news sites. In the next month and a half [Wise Data] will continue to see significant growth in the numbers,” he said.
That’s despite a prediction from The Hill that last night’s vice presidential debate won’t be anywhere near the ratings highlight of the first Clinton-Trump meetup.
Local television also has more ad space to play with these days, thanks to online video. Station groups like Sinclair Broadcasting offer local affiliates a cloud-based digital advertising platform that they can sell into. And local news streaming provider NewsON offers yet another option to place ads relating to local coverage of the presidential race.
NewsON’s Louis Gump told FierceOnlineVideo that local stations are experimenting more with the service’s DAI (dynamic ad insertion) function, giving them even more opportunity to sell ads into their digital broadcasts as the election hype reaches its peak.
Those digital ad spaces, along with their traditional TV ads, could give local stations a decent fourth-quarter revenue boost – as long as they’re able to match brand advertisers to a receptive audience segment, Sade warns.
“If you give them ability to find a specific audience, you have more possibility to receive (their) budget and be part of this,” said Sade.