Big Media’s Big Advertising Problem

Big Media’s Big Advertising Problem

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It seems cyclical factors, rather than mobile ads are to blame for weakened TV advertising.


Big media has been under the weather lately. But investors may not be correctly diagnosing its symptoms.

Weakness in TV advertising was a focus of investors last week, as media companies reported third-quarter earnings. From Discovery Communications to Walt Disney, each was grilled on its outlook. The chatter on Wall Street is that the shift in spending toward digital, and specifically mobile platforms, is the reason for TV’s woes. As evidence, many cite strong growth at companies like Facebook.

While digital platforms are indeed getting a bigger piece of the pie, they don’t appear to be eating too much into TV’s slice. For media companies, a cyclical rather than secular shift may be playing a more dominant role at the moment.

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