Apr 24, 2021 - Economy

Oscars viewership could drop, while ad revenue may jump


Photo: Getty Images

Viewership for Sunday's 93rd Academy Awards is expected to nosedive following a turbulent year for movie studios and theaters.

The big picture: Viewership for live TV events, especially award shows, has dropped during COVID-19.

Yes, but: That doesn't mean ad revenues will plummet.

Data: Nielsen, Kantar Group; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
Data: Nielsen, Kantar Group; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
  • The Oscars are typically the most-watched entertainment event on live TV.
  • Even a shrinking audience is better than most other marketing opportunities for brands, which gives ABC — the network it airs on —leverage to keep ad rates high.
  • ABC is reportedly seeking around $2 million for a 30-second spot this year, per Variety. It sold out ad inventory.

Zoom out: With limited theatrical releases and production on pause, movie studios cut back dramatically on marketing this year. That means viewers are less likely to be familiar with the films up for nominations.

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