Five months after the “most-quoted man in advertising” moved from Pivotal Research to go in-house at GroupM, Brian Wieser has some mixed news for his new employer.

Wieser, who was a media and marketing soothsayer at the research firm and is now business intelligence global president for the agency, says TV ad spend will decline – even accounting for new over-the-top advanced ad offerings.

“We are forecasting underlying decline in (US) television, excluding political advertising, of around 2% in 2020,” Wieser tells Beet.TV.

“That includes connected TV. That includes over-the-top. That includes other forms of premium content-related advertising.”

Wieser’s figures come from “This Year, Next Year“, amongst the first of his forecast reports to release whilst at GroupM, which looks at the US advertising market.

In it, Wieser writes: “The trend probably doesn’t improve much any time soon; we expect a -0.2% decline in 2019 and a -2.3% decline in 2020.”

As a medium, television finds itself in the cross-hairs of some conflicting indicators.

  • On the one hand, the growth in premium content, subscriptions and on-demand viewing suggests booming appetite for watching TV shows – of all kinds and on any screen.
  • On the other, whilst the rise of direct-to-consumer brands is bringing new ad spending in to TV, new nervousness amongst traditional brands is causing a flight of some old spending.

Wieser explains to Beet.TV: “Television remains an incredibly durable and important medium for most of the world’s largest advertisers. It’s still the dominant medium on most media plans. But that doesn’t mean that it necessarily keeps growing.”

Adjusting-out political ad spending, GroupM’s forecast expects a 4.8% growth in total US ad spending in 2019, with digital ad spend slowing to 14.7% that year, compared with 21.2% the prior year.

Marginal decline in US TV spending is the new norm. In February, eMarketer forecast TV ad spend would decline at 2.2% in 2019.

But GroupM’s Wieser is more optimistic than that – his report forecasts a 0.2% decline in 2019.

This video was taped at the roof deck of the new GroupM office in downtown Manhattan.

This video is part of the Beet.TV preview series titled “The Road to Cannes.”  The series is sponsored by 4INFO. Please visit this page for additional segments.