There go my plans for advertising my new Bigfoot Location and Removal Service on MSNBC in the morning slot. Turns out that since the last election the advertising rates during Morning Joe have shot up through the roof. Generally those rates are based on viewership in terms of how many people are watching, but in this case it’s a far more particular case of who is watching. And the “who” in question is the President of the United States. (Politico)
MSNBC and Fox News are capitalizing on President Donald Trump’s TV watching habits, dramatically increasing issue advocacy advertising rates in recent weeks as companies and outside groups try to influence Trump and his top lieutenants.
The ad rates for “Morning Joe” have more than doubled post-election, according to one veteran media buyer. Trump, who reportedly watches the show most mornings, has a close relationship with “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough, and they talk regularly.
Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” and other primetime programs on Fox News have boosted their rates about 50 percent. Trump also is a frequent viewer of the network’s primetime shows.
“The president’s media habits are so predictable, advertisers migrate to those areas,” said one media buyer.
This isn’t really anything new for Scarborough and his crew. MSNBC has long been in the habit of running promos which focus on the power players in Washington talking about how they tune in every morning. There’s one in particular where congressmen are talking about how most of the people at the Capitol gym aren’t even working out, but just watching Joe, Mika, Willie and company. Then there was this one with Chuck Schumer talking about working the elliptical next to Jeff Sessions and watching.
It’s no surprise that advertisers are willing to pay a premium for these slots. How often do you have a nearly guaranteed audience which includes the leader of the free world? And it’s not just influencers who find this a selling point. You can talk all you like about Trump’s low approval ratings, but there were one heck of a lot of people who voted for him. Finding out that he’s watching a particular show is no doubt making some of them more interested in watching as well. It’s something of a parallel to Oprah releasing lists of her favorite things, books or what have you. Her fans sign on for the same offerings.
There’s also the fact that the President frequently doesn’t just watch the show. He responds, either on Twitter or sometimes by directly texting in to the cell phones of the hosts. At that point the rest of the media community almost has to watch just so they know what the heck he’s ranting about that particular day.
I can’t figure out if Politico is somehow implying that this is a bad thing that MSNBC is doing in terms of raising their rates. If so, I can’t see why. This is the free market in action. If Trump’s interest drives up their value, they’d be fools not to capitalize on it.