ABC's upfront strategy: Target the affluent

Categories: TV Advertising

Written By

April 19th, 2009

The latest edition of TV Week is up at TV Week.com and I am just catching up on the articles.    There's a story on ABC's up front positioning where Mike Shaw president of ad sales and marketing at ABC thinks it doesn't make sense to move ad dollars from broadcast to cable.  While Mike Pilot, ad sales president for NBC Universal including its cable properties thinks the continuing trend of broadcast ad dollars shifting to cable will continue (and I'm sure to a degree, NBC Universal is just fine with that).  FOX and CBS declined to comment for the story.

ABC's Mike Shaw is suggesting that 18-49 demographic should NOT be the standard target demographic that ads are sold on, but rather viewers in that age demographic who are in households making $100,000+ a year.   The article notes that ABC has 15% more viewers in households making $100,000+ in income than the overall average for television, while certain cable properties like TNT and TBS have 16% fewer viewers than average in that demo.

Mr. Shaw acknowledged that buyers and clients are under pressure to lower the cost of their media purchases. But in taking other marketing factors into account, ABC could be seen as cheaper than cable.

Mr. Shaw started with a theoretical $35 CPM among viewers 18 to 49 for ABC and a $20 CPM for Turner's networks. Having an index above 100 among viewers in households with incomes above $150,000 effectively lowers ABC's CPM to $28.50. Conversely, because it indexes below 100, Turner's effective price goes up to $26.08. Add on ABC's engagement scores (from Nielsen's IAG Research) and Mr. Shaw comes up with a CPM of 23.36 for ABC and a 28.35 for Turner.

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