Ad Market

Not every operator has their own ad team in place. Some 58 MVPDs outsource their advertising to Viamedia, including WOW!, Verizon and Grande. We sat down recently with Viamedia pres/CEO Mark Lieberman, who has been on the job about 7 months now, to talk about what sort of trends his company is seeing in the ad space. The mid-term elections are coming up. What does that mean for Viamedia? Political is a huge category for us. One of the beauties of cable advertising is the ability to do geo-targeting. So if you’re a congressman or senator, then you don’t have to buy the entire DMA, you can just buy your county or those counties that are swing counties. We’re probably going to be 50% over, surpassing our budget in political. It’s our 2nd biggest category after automotive. Is that because of the tight races we’re seeing in the midterms? We were even above budget before the Eric Cantor loss in the primary. I think we’re finding now that every candidate believes they can win. It was first the primaries and now the election. It’s congressmen, senators, local races—state assembly, issue based campaigns. And television is still the greatest medium to reach a voter. I think what President Obama’s campaign taught everyone in 2012 is if you use data—big data’s now available in television—you can actually have smarter media buys and put your ads in the right places. I think as a result of all of that we’re seeing an increase in political advertising for cable generally and us specifically. With geo-targeting, that’s happening, but it seems like there’s always another layer, a deeper dive on the horizon. Where do things stand? The beauty of cable is the ability to allow the advertiser to advertise in a particular ad zone. That’s what we do. Layer on top of that the demographic information that’s now available, layer on top of that some of the more interesting databases that are available. We use Rentrak for our set-top box data, and they’ve done some pretty interesting matching with political databases, all anonymous… The ultimate goal may be addressable advertising, where you and I are next door neighbors but get a different ad because we have different demographic types. I think the major issue there is privacy; it’s not as much technology. So, we’re not involved in that yet. We’re looking at some opportunities. Are there trends emerging in what local advertisers are looking for? This is more true than ever in local—it’s the level of accountability. Television for so many years, it was that old John Wanamaker line: half my ads are effective; I just don’t know which half. One of the unique features of a local merchant is that they’re that much closer to their consumers. I went to an auto body shop and he said, ‘I can either do advertising or buy another machine.’ It’s that basic. Our account executive is someone in the community who has had a longtime relationship with that merchant, maybe even shops at the store, and can say, ‘we’ll put you on these networks because this is where your customers are watching television, and you’ll see immediate feedback because either they’ll walk into your store or not.’

The Daily


Wine and Dine

There’s nothing like a glass of wine with your favorite show. A+E Networks is introducing The Lifetime Network Movies Wine Club, a subscription program that delivers wine to viewers’ doorsteps.

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up


Mar 31
The FAXIES Awards 2023 Enter at Best Price by Friday, March 24
Apr 28
Top Ops & Regional RainmakersNominations Due: April 28
May 19
The Diversity List – 2023First Deadline: May 12; Final Deadline: May 19
Aug 18
Most Powerful Women – 2023Deadline: Aug. 11; Final Deadline: Aug. 18
Full Calendar


Seeking an INDUSTRY JOB?

Hiring? In conjunction with our sister brand, Cynopsis, we are offering hiring managers a deep pool of media-savvy, skilled candidates at a range of experience levels and sectors, The result will be an even more robust industry job board, to help both employers and job seekers.

Contact [email protected] for more information.