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Trends From The 2019 TV Upfronts - AMP Agency

On the heels of the upfront presentations, there were two major trends that came up time and again this year: Mergers & Streaming. And as has been the case in recent years, each network group took turns touting their ‘scale and brand safety’, while trying to compel the advertisers and agency attendees that their best bet would be to spend their marketing dollars with them instead of their competitors.

 

Mergers and Acquisitions

Between ABC/Fox/Disney, Warner/Turner/ATT, and NBCU/Comcast – these massive evolving media conglomerates were front and center during upfront week and were prime targets of the comedians as well. “Because it’s AT&T, the reception will be very bad. Because it’s AT&T, the after-party will only have two bars,” Conan O’Brien joked at the upfront presentation, poking fun at the new parent company of WarnerMedia.


It’s becoming harder and harder for these network groups to cover each of their properties in one presentation, but they all tried. Comcast/NBCU were able to cover NBC, Bravo, USA, Oxygen, SyFy, Telemundo, NBC Sports, and E! in just over 90min. Thanks to the Disney acquisition, Fox’s presentation focused only on the network’s primetime programming and sports, since Disney now owns most of their cable properties. And Disney sure had a lot to share. Their 2.5+ hour presentation covered ABC, ESPN, Disney, Freeform, FX, and National Geographic. Turner Media has also been renamed to the aforementioned WarnerMedia. They covered TBS, TNT, TruTV, Cartoon Network / Adult Swim, Bleacher Report, and CNN in a swift hour and 15 minute presentation.

 

What it means

The synergies across multiple properties within one network group should allow for more comprehensive cross-property and cross-platform marketing solutions for our clients. Consolidation of ownership is not always a good thing from a competition standpoint. But as a savvy team, we’ll find ways to use these changes to our advantage and leverage our media dollars to secure the best opportunities.

 

Streaming is King

Everyone is coming for Netflix. With live TV viewership continuing to decline, networks are looking to where the eyeballs are migrating – streaming services. After proudly touting The Office as the #1 show on Netflix, Linda Yaccarino, Chairman of Advertising and Client Partnerships at NBC Universal, informed the audience that they would soon be launching their own ad-supported service. WarnerMedia made a similar announcement on Wednesday morning – another yet-to-be-named streaming service. CBS and CW also made time in their presentations to discuss their already live services. But the biggest streaming news came out just hours before the Disney/ABC presentation on Tuesday afternoon when it was announced that they had taken full operational control of Hulu by virtue of the extra 30% share they acquired from Fox. With their stake in Hulu, and Disney+, which is expected to rollout in November, Disney is poised to make an impact in the streaming space.

 

What it means

This biggest story in the video landscape over the last few years has been the migration from live TV to streaming. There is only a finite number of ratings that networks can sell, and each year that number shrinks. Over the last few years, networks have been pushing budgets towards their full episode players and over-the-top devices to capitalize on these additional impressions. While adaption was slow to take hold, it is now the new norm and is expected to grow over the coming years. Adding this element to media plans is a necessity to keep pace with changing consumption patterns.

 

Remaining Questions and Predictions

While the newly formed media-monopolies and their streaming services seemed to generate the most buzz during upfront week, there was plenty more packed into the presentations.  Here are some additional big questions that advertisers were left with, and how our team at AMP sees them playing out:

 

How will CBS and ABC be affected by the departure of their biggest shows, Big Bang Theory and Modern Family?

There are certainly big holes to fill, but networks are put in this situation every year. CBS will fill their slot with The Unicorn, a new comedy about a widowed father, and ABC will have one more season of Modern Family before they’re forced to fill that slot.

 

How is The Masked Singer a successful show?

The Masked Singer had some great lead-ins when it premiered this January, and FOX has been promoting the program heavily. While successful in season one, ratings declined each week, and it would not be surprising to see lackluster numbers for season two as the novelty wears off.

 

Will viewers adapt as TBS veers away from comedy with dramas like Snowpiercer?

Snowpiercer seems like a perfect fit for the sister network, TNT alongside Claws and Animal Kingdom, so placing it on TBS is an interesting choice. Viewers may take a little while to adjust, but expect lots of promotion across the old Turner networks.

 

Can CW continue its success in finding younger viewers with more superhero shows (Batgirl), and a Riverdale spinoff (Katy Keene)?

CW knows exactly who they are. While not a linear ratings giant, they serve younger audiences well and excel in the FEP space. We expect CW to continue over-performing with the hard to reach younger demographics.


The television industry has seen some major changes in the past few years, and buyers have been forced to adapt and evolve. Networks, advertisers, and viewers are all shaking things up and keeping the industry on its toes, creating a media buying landscape that it is constantly changing. We’re excited to see how this all plays out this coming TV season, and we’ll be back at it next year with more trend analyses and predictions for the 2020 season and beyond.

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Google Search Trends Insights February 2020 - AMP Agency

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for February 2020. Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+. After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month. The Super Bowl and The Oscars  February is home to two major annual events – the Super Bowl and the Oscars. Top keywords by search volume related to the Super Bowl included: Super Bowl - Feb. 1st - 10 Million+ queries Patrick Mahomes - Feb. 2nd - 10 Million+ queries Shakira - Feb. 2nd - 10 Million+ queries Super Bowl 2020 time - Feb. 1st - 5 Million+ queries Jennifer Lopez age - Feb. 1st - 5 Million+ queries What time is the Super Bowl - Feb. 1st - 2 Million+ queries Clearly, people need to know when the Super Bowl is going to start so that they can get their chili cooked in time for kickoff. The winning quarterback also seems to win in the search game (sorry, Jimmy G). As for the halftime show? Well, no matter what anyone’s opinion was about it this year, the data proves that it captivated people enough to search for both of the headlining performers. It’s quite the change in pace from last year when the headlining band did not make the top 3 queries of the day (sorry, Maroon 5). The Academy Awards - known by their more commonly searched name, The Oscars - also generated large search volumes around its date:  Oscars 2020 - Feb. 8th - 5 Million+ queries Parasite - Feb. 9th - 5 Million+ queries Joaquin Phoenix - Feb. 9th - 2 Million+ queries Laura Dern - Feb. 9th - 2 Million+ queries It’s interesting to see what topics other than the name of the event itself drove people to search.  This year, it was the name of the Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.  As for the name of the event itself, we noticed that when compared to last year, the query volume for the 2019 Oscars was higher.   Oscars 2019 - Feb. 24th - 10 Million+ queries Comparing these two numbers, we wanted to see the data presented via Google Trends’s chart.  By using the search term, “the oscars”, we queried Google Trends to see the popularity of the term in the USA over the past 5 years: This chart further indicates that the Oscars drove less searches this year than most years prior. We wonder if the earlier date of this event (the awards ceremony typically occurs near the end of the month) or a less interesting year in film is the reason for less interest this time around. When it comes to comparing the Super Bowl to the Oscars, there isn’t much of a comparison between search volumes: Other Sports in February Besides the Super Bowl, here are the other sports related queries:  Ryan Newman - Feb. 17th - 10 Million+ queries Tyson Fury - Feb. 21st - 5 Million+ queries Daytona 500 - Feb. 15th - 2 Million+ queries All-Star Game  - Feb. 16th - 2 Million+ queries XFL - Feb. 8th - 2 Million+ queries NASCAR had a few queries make our list this month. The top queried phrase was related to Ryan Newman’s crash at the Daytona 500. Boxing had another top phrase with people looking for more information about the fighter Tyson Fury. Meanwhile, the NBA All-Star game and the new American football league, the XFL, drove people to search for scores and stats.. Coronavirus  In January, we saw the first spike of search interest about the disease occur on the 21st. Even though the subject has been in the news since that day, the topic didn’t make our top queries until late in February:   Coronavirus symptoms  - Feb. 25th - 1 Million+ queries Coronavirus update  - Feb. 23rd - 500,000+ queries Coronavirus in usa - Feb. 25th  - 500,000+ queries Coronavirus New York  - Feb. 29th - 500,000+ queries The news about this virus has been ongoing since January, but in February, the number of search queries behind specific phrases was on the lower side. Typically, top phrases are over 10 million queries, while “Coronavirus symptoms” only reached just over 1 million. Even though the topic seems to be searched for with different queries, the volume appears to indicate that last month in February, people weren’t seeking information about it as often as other topics. Primary Elections With the Impeachment trial wrapping up and the presidential election primaries heating up, queries related to politics were plentiful in the month of February. Here are the top queried phrases of the month : Iowa caucus results - Feb. 3rd - 5 Million+ queries Mitt Romney - Feb. 5th - 5 Million+ queries Democratic debate - Feb. 19th - 5 Million+ queries Nevada caucus - Feb. 22nd - 5 Million+ queries South Carolina primary - Feb. 29th - 5 Million+ queries Interesting to note: the keyword “New Hampshire Primary” only drove 500,000+ queries. We theorized that its outcome was less in question than the other primaries.  Social Media Driven Queries Lastly, there were fun queries that were driven by social media mentions and activities: Broom standing up - Feb. 10 - 2 Million+ queries Galentine’s Day - Feb 13. - 200,000+ queries The broom standing up query was based on the hoax that there was a special gravitational pull that occurs only on February 10th. NASA explained that standing a broom on its own can happen on any day because of basic physics. The day before Valentine’s Day has become an unofficial holiday and its search query popularity really popped this year: Are there marketing opportunities for Galentine’s Day next year? With a search trend like the one above, we’d say it’s likely. See you next month!

We Are Zillow’s Digital Agency - AMP Agency

It’s Official: We’re Zillow’s Digital Agency If you’ve ever gone apartment hunting or simply enjoy scoping out homes on the market, then you probably have some familiarity with Zillow.  As the leading online real estate and rental marketplace, Zillow is transforming how people buy, sell and rent homes by creating virtually seamless real estate transactions for today's on-demand customer. With such prominence in the real estate category, we couldn’t be more excited to announce that we’ve been named Zillow’s digital agency. The Pitch Before the Partnership This opportunity to work with Zillow was by no means a casual one. We had to earn it by proving our agency’s capabilities. So, we participated in a four-month-long competitive pitch process managed by Mercer Island Group, a business management consultancy based in Washington. An abundance of hard work undoubtedly went into those four months, but in the end it all paid off. “The AMP Agency team is the right digital agency at this critical point in time for the Zillow Group,” noted Robin Boehler, founding partner of Mercer Island Group. “They bring exceptional technical expertise, strong strategy and creative capabilities, and are the perfect culture fit for this innovative market leading client.” Rolling into Our New Role This new partnership comes at a time when Zillow is evolving from a search-and-find platform to an end-to-end real estate transaction company. That’s why as we work to support Zillow in this digital transformation, our efforts at AMP will be focused on customer experience strategy, design and personalization. “Zillow has committed to dramatically expanding their business and creating innovative customer offerings going forward, which is why we sensed a natural fit early in the process of earning this account,” says Gary Colen, Chief Executive Officer at AMP Agency. “It is an exciting time to be working with Zillow as we support their formidable business goals.” Now, the Hard Work Begins With our partnership in place and Zillow’s business goals top-of-mind, we’re ready to help Zillow transform the way people buy, sell and rent homes. “Zillow is in the midst of a significant, transformative chapter in our company’s history as we move to make it easier for people to buy, sell, rent and finance homes,” says Aimee Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer at Zillow Group. “The customer is our North Star and the AMP team has a proven track record of delivering creative and meaningful customer experiences, all while working in complex and evolving conditions. We’re excited about what our new partnership can achieve, together.” https://www.adweek.com/agencyspy/zillow-sends-digital-to-amp-agency/162572/ https://lbbonline.com/news/zillow-names-amp-agency-as-digital-agency/ https://adage.com/article/agency-brief/tbwaworldhealths-social-media-stories-reveal-disturbing-healthcare-discrimination-against-black/2241461 https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/347761/zillow-taps-amp-to-handle-digital-duties.html

Google Search Trends Insights January 2020 - AMP Agency

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for January 2020. Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+. After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month. A Somber Start to the 2020s  Well, I am not going to sugarcoat it. Some of the top queries in January 2020 were about troubling events. In the beginning of the month, Iran was a top-searched topic after the assassination of Qassem Soleimani. The other 10 million+ queries were as follows:  Iran - Jan. 7th - 10 Million+ queries Iran - Jan. 2nd - 5 Million+ queries World War 3 - Jan. 2nd - 2 Million+ queries By the end of the month, the top searched queries centered around a tragic helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna and seven other passengers. Although we don’t focus on this topic here in our blog posts, celebrity deaths do drive people to query Google for details and make the top three phrases every month. That’s why this past month, the shock of Kobe Bryant’s death overwhelmed the search volume on January 26th. Here are the top queried phrases on that day: Kobe Bryant - Jan. 26th - 10 Million+ queries Kobe Bryant children - Jan. 26th - 10 Million+ queries TMZ - Jan. 26th - 10 Million+ queries Typically, we don’t see all three of the top queried terms have over 10 million queries each, but this tragedy was an exception. Holidays Continue in January Even though December is well known as being a holiday month, January 2020 had a few holidays of its own that drove queries: Martin Luther King Jr Day - Jan. 19th - 10 Million+ queries Lunar New Year - Jan. 24th - 10 Million+ queries Chinese New Year - Jan. 24th - 500,000+ queries The holiday keywords that had over 10 million queries had the additional support of Google Doodles to increase their numbers. But even when our attention shifts away from the year-end holidays, there are still major ones in January that consumers are looking to learn more about with Google searches. Boxing Is Still Relevant As Revealed In Search Queries Sport-related queries take up a good portion of the top queried phrases of any month. January 2020 had a few days where the subject of boxing made the top three. In last month’s post, we discussed the popularity of European soccer. This month, it is clear that boxing and mixed martial arts also have a strong interest.   Conor McGregor  - Jan. 17th - 10 Million+ queries McGregor fight  - Jan. 18th - 2 Million+ queries McGregor fight - Jan. 17th - 1 Million+ queries Jake Paul vs Gib - Jan. 30th - 500,000+ queries Conor McGregor commanded top billing for his fight on January 18th. People searching for results or perhaps a free stream of the fight had to type quickly since it only lasted 40 seconds.  The fight on the 30th between Jake Paul and AnEsonGib also drove search queries. These two YouTube stars fought a professional bout in Miami and generated enough interest to become one of the top 3 keywords searched in Google for the day. Disease and Other Natural Disasters I really wish I had happier keywords to share in this post. But looking across the different terms for the month, another big trend included news items related to epidemics and disasters around the world: Coronavirus - Jan. 21st - 2 Million+ queries Earthquake - Jan. 28th - 1 Million+ queries Lyme disease - Jan. 8th - 1 Million+ queries Australia fires - Jan. 2nd - 1 Million+ queries Taal volcano - Jan. 12th - 500,000+ queries Coronavirus symptoms - Jan. 29th - 200,000+ queries Puerto Rico earthquake - Jan. 6th - 200,000+ queries We can thank Justin Bieber for raising awareness of Lyme Disease. The rest of these are driven by people wanting to get the latest news on these stories.  As we say goodbye to the first month of 2020 and welcome February in full-force, we’ll keep track of the top keywords queried in hopes of finding more positive, uplifting search terms.  See you next month!