Visibility into the media trading landscape, especially in the digital age, is notoriously a pinhole. Ad agencies and media owners require significantly more clarity into overall spend data than what's currently available to make mindful decisions.

Thanks to premium data access, Guideline has a unique view on how pre-committed agency spend is pacing compared to this time last year, when ad dollars were historically soft. The following reports use the platform's new Pacing view to illustrate the predicted movement of certain media trends as we approach the end of 2023.

Most importantly, these dashboard views show that advertisers are pacing ahead this year in forward bookings, painting an optimistic view for holiday campaigns. Auto advertising and entertainment were two of the few category weak spots in the latest forward bookings. However, with recent strikes settled quickly, more dollars may still come in before the year is over.

How can you access the whole picture and not just a small piece of the puzzle? You need a data provider that enables the only single-source and cross-platform spend picture in the market.

What to Expect

The Guideline Pool captures more than 90 percent of the major brands' spend in the market, with data sourced directly from holding company agencies and leading independents' billing systems. These figures are culled from $100 billion per year in digital and traditional media spend from national leading brands at previously unseen levels of accuracy and granularity.

The following information intends to help agencies and media owners properly size their market and budget accordingly and to understand media investment trends and trade more efficiently. The exclusive insights offered in OUR E-BOOK can enhance prospecting and new business functions, plus show organizations how to use accurate data in response to a fast-changing, highly fragmented market.

Pacing Slightly Ahead for the Holiday Season

Overall, investments across media show small growth for the later months of 2023. Compared to this time last year, October through December are all pacing slightly ahead this year in agency media forward bookings as currently loaded into agency billing systems.

The positive momentum sustained through Q4 builds on the modest year-over-year growth observed during the months of April through September, per the Guideline Pool powered by Standard Media Index. The comparison graph below demonstrates that prebookings (media presales) are up for all months of Q4 compared to the same time last year.

Screenshot 2023-12-20 at 11.57.21 AM

Ad Categories Anticipating Growth in 2024

Most ad categories show fourth-quarter growth, apart from the two industries affected by labor strikes. In other words, most advertiser product category groups are pacing ahead in Q4 monthly forward bookings in comparison to where they stood at this time last year. Two notable exceptions are the automotive and entertainment industries.

Both of those categories were facing strikes when these bookings were last updated, and both show declines in bookings for Q4 compared to bookings made by October last year...

Want to keep reading? Click here to download the full report.


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