75% of agencies predict increases in connected TV and YouTube investments

Pixability, a leader in contextual targeting, brand suitability and content insights for YouTube and other leading connected TV (CTV) platforms, today revealed the results of a major survey of 196 U.S. Media Agencies. The study polled agency executives about the shifts they’re seeing related to video advertising and how advertiser strategies may be affected by the uncertain economic conditions.

According to the survey, 75% of agencies of all sizes predict that advertiser spending will stay steady in 2023, with a little over 20% saying they expect cutbacks. Most of these cutbacks are predicted by smaller, independent agencies, meaning that smaller brand advertisers may be most likely to reduce spend in 2023.

The survey also showed that there is the promise of some increases in 2023 ad spending in certain areas like Connected TV and YouTube. Despite the uncertain economy, 76% of agencies polled predict an increase in spend on Connected TV advertising with 20% thinking advertisers will maintain their current spend levels and 4% predicting a decrease. The YouTube spending predictions were also promising with 55% of agencies predicting an increase in spend, 42% saying spending will be steady and 3% saying it will decrease.

Another key finding from the study was that YouTube is now thought of by agencies as more of a Connected TV platform than a social platform, with 57% thinking it falls in the CTV category vs. 27% considering it in the social category. This is a big shift for YouTube as more and more agencies are building teams that plan CTV campaigns that include YouTube as a key part of it.

“This data reflects what we’re hearing from our big customers,” said David George, CEO of Pixability. “While overall spend may be flat or even down in places, CTV spend will be increasing and YouTube will be playing an increasingly important role in CTV plans.”

Other key findings from the study:

  • 69% of agencies say that balancing brand suitability and performance is more important than relying heavily on one or the other—reflecting an unrelenting focus on both performance and suitability in an uncertain environment
  • Agency execs say that when they don’t use the right brand suitability tactics, they feel like, on average, YouTube campaigns would only be 64% suitable
  • While just 39% of agencies have a team that can plan CTV, TV, and YouTube advertising from one unified group, 50% of agencies predict they will have a group like this in the near future— indicating the migration to more holistic CTV planning
  • TV budgets continue to dip with 41% of agencies predicting a decrease in TV ad spend in 2023
  • As Netflix enters the ad-supported space, agencies predict Netflix will steal share from other CTV options versus stealing from TV or YouTube budgets

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