Despite Cord-Cutting, Time-Shifting, TV Ads Still Yield Best ROI: Report

For all the hand-wringing about cord cutting and commercial avoidance, it’s hard to top TV advertising as a medium, according to the findings of a new report.

A study by Neustar commissioned by Turner Broadcasting and Horizon Media found that for a $1 million investment, television’s lift is consistently 7 times better than paid search and 5 times better than online display ads across a broad list of advertising categories.

The study comes as advertisers, through their media agencies, and the networks are negotiating upfront ad deals for the next TV season. During this year's upfront presentations, networks bashed digital advertising for an array of issues, including viewability, bot fraud and ads landing near content that isn’t brand-safe.

Related: ANA: Fight Against Bot Fraud Is Winnable

The new study also found that the lift from TV ad campaigns from 2010 to 2016 provided a lift 5 times better than online display ads.

“Dollar for dollar, TV provides the most scale and delivers the highest return on ad spend from both a sales and awareness perspective,” the report said. “It’s important to note that even TV will reach a saturation point, and the next marketing dollar should be spent elsewhere. To ensure an optimized marketing mix, advertisers should adopt a data-driven approach that can inform the ideal media allocation across all channels based on all internal and external market conditions to meet their performance goals.”


Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.