Ad buyers break down the biggest platforms and media companies: 2020

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2020 has been a tough year for the advertising industry as marketers grapple with an economic downturn and new consumer habits like the rise of e-commerce and streaming TV. Business Insider talked with 14 media buyers about the media companies and platforms that are winning advertisers’ budgets this year. They […]

  • 2020 has been a tough year for the advertising industry as marketers grapple with an economic downturn and new consumer habits like the rise of e-commerce and streaming TV.
  • Business Insider talked with 14 media buyers about the media companies and platforms that are winning advertisers’ budgets this year.
  • They include companies that are just starting to build ad businesses like Instacart and TikTok and traditional media companies like NBCUniversal and Condé Nast that are giving advertisers flexibility.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

After the pandemic halted ad spending, advertisers are starting to spend again — and tried-and-tested platforms and media companies that can show a return on ad spending are reaping the benefits.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Snap have benefitted because they let advertisers quickly turn ad spending on and off and test different messages.

Other companies like Amazon and Instacart have capitalized on the growth of e-commerce in recent months. And the rise of ad-supported streaming TV has buoyed Hulu and Roku’s advertising.

Still, ad spending levels are not where it normally would be during the fourth quarter of the year when advertisers spend more to target holiday shoppers. 

“Clients are trying to be optimistically cautious,” said Barry Lowenthal, CEO of Media Kitchen. “Flexibility and agility is still the name of the game. People want to invest into channels where they have a lot of visibility into something that is working or not.”

And advertisers are still avoiding news, especially with the coronavirus, unemployment, and the presidential election dominating the headlines.

“I think all brands recognize that without news we don’t have a democracy. A lot of brands are having a hard time finding fair and balanced places to be,” Lowenthal said.

Business Insider talked to 14 ad buyers of traditional and digital media at advertising agencies who identified which media companies and platforms are benefitting the most. Here are 16 they identified:

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