Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Spring Fever? More Very, Very Cautious Optimism for Media.

light-tunnelNews out of the traditional publishing industry is grim, but if you broaden your perspective and look at the rest of the media business, things are starting to look… not horrible.

Granted, “not horrible” doesn’t equal “good times are here again.” But I keep hearing that the sickening decline in advertising spending has stopped, at least, and that some marketers are actually spending money again.

Here are a couple more bits of anecdotal evidence:

The newest Advertiser Optimism Reports conducted by Advertiser Perceptions Inc., show that ad buyers are slightly more optimistic than they were a few months ago. MediaPost:

“The most recent survey suggests that the degree of ad budget pessimism may have bottomed out, or at the very least, is leveling off. The average for all media shows that 29% or ad executives expect to increase and 29% expect to decrease their ad spending over the next six months. That’s a marginal improvement from two months ago, when only 26% planned to boost their budgets, while 30% planned to cut them.”

And from Wall Street, a little more cautious optimism: Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente has upgraded his outlook and/or his price targets on a swath of entertainment stocks–Time Warner (TWX), News Corp. (NWS), Scripps Network Interactive (SNI), Viacom (VIA) and CBS (CBS).

That’s in part because DiClemente also thinks advertising–or at least TV advertising–has bottomed out. He now thinks broadcast TV ad dollars will increase by four percent in 2010, up from a previous estimate of minus-one percent, and that cable TV will increase 5.5 percent, up from two percent.

It’s easy enough to be skeptical of this stuff, especially any happy talk about TV, given that we’re now in the “upfront” season when network executives do their best to convince buyers that sales are hotter than ever. But wouldn’t it be nice if they were right?

[Image credit: Iragerich]


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”