Posted October 12, 2018 04:01:07The number of full-time ads sold by major advertising companies has fallen to its lowest level in almost two decades, as advertisers are unable to fill a demand for more affordable digital ad services.
Story continues below advertisementThe number, released Friday by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, is the lowest since the industry was tracking ad sales in the 1970s.
Advertising executives have been struggling for years to attract more digital ad revenue, especially for younger consumers who prefer to watch TV on a tablet or smartphone rather than a television set.
Advertisers have been forced to look to their traditional TV ad sales, which generate about $6-billion a year.
That has left advertisers with less revenue to offer to advertisers, who have had to spend more money on social media and other platforms, analysts say.
“In the digital space, we’re not getting as much as we should,” said Robert Lipsky, an analyst at PwC.
“That’s partly because the market has been hit hard by the recession and the slowdown.”
While the number of digital ads on the market fell to an all-time low last month, there were still more than 3.5 million ad sales for TV in Canada, the agency said.
The drop in ad sales was the latest sign that advertisers are struggling to find advertisers for TV ad services they need to run.
Ads have fallen off a cliff, said Jeff Bercovici, chief executive officer of adtech company Gant, which helps advertisers with digital marketing.
“The trend is that if you’re going to run a TV ad campaign, you need to spend a ton of money to do it,” he said.
“This is one of those things that you have to understand that in this market, there are fewer advertisers to go after and that is hurting you.”
Ads are still growing at an impressive pace, especially among younger audiences, but that’s not good enough for the industry.
“You’re seeing a very steep drop in TV advertising revenue, and it’s not going to be sustainable for the advertisers,” said Lipski.
“There’s a lot of people out there who are paying more than what they should for digital ads.”
The industry also struggled to fill an ad-submission gap last year, as the number on offer dropped dramatically.
Adobe has lost $3.1-billion (U.S.) in revenue to the ad business, as well as $2.9-billion from digital advertising in Canada and $1.9 billion from the U.S. in the same period.
Adtech giant AdPilot said it has lost another $3-billion to the advertising industry.
“Advertiser demand for ad services in the advertising marketplace has dropped substantially, and advertisers have lost their appetite for advertising,” the company said in a statement.
“While we are not in full control of our own ad campaigns, we can assure you that we will continue to invest to improve our digital capabilities and deliver compelling digital advertising.”
AdPilot and Adobe declined to comment on specific ad-buying strategies for advertisers.
But some analysts have questioned why advertisers have been left behind when it comes to digital advertising, given the increased popularity of the digital platform.
“We are seeing an increase in the number and volume of digital ad campaigns and it has been driven by the ad tech companies themselves,” said Craig Moffett, head of ad technology at MoffettNathanson.
“Advertisment dollars are not flowing to advertising services.
They are being directed to advertising products that are more likely to be able to deliver a good quality of service.”
The ad-sellers have made the argument that digital ad platforms are more cost-effective and offer better reach, and the industry has been trying to compete.
In a conference call on Friday, AdPilon’s Bercicius said the industry needs to do a better job of managing its digital ad offerings.
“Digital advertising is more cost effective, more reach and more relevant to more audiences,” he told analysts.
“That’s something that we are working to do more.”
But the industry remains divided over how best to tackle the digital ad market.
AdAds that are delivered in bulk and via social media, for example, are becoming more popular.
AdSense, a company that specializes in buying and selling online ads, said in April that it has raised $6.6-million from private investors.
“As the number grows, it becomes more important to maintain the level of engagement and retention that is required to keep our customers engaged and engaged,” said Mark Krikorian, AdSense’s president.
Adsense has also launched a new digital ad platform, AdWords, to help advertisers reach a wider audience.
It will offer ads on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram and will offer more ad space on Facebook and YouTube.
“Facebook is our biggest competitor in terms of our engagement, but