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Comcast (CMCSA) AudienceXpress, Epsilon Partner for Ad Revenues

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Comcast’s (CMCSA - Free Report) AudienceXpress has collaborated with Epsilon to introduce a capability that enhances the scale of convergent television buying. This partnership allows marketers to expand audience reach and drive scale in the current fragmented and dynamic TV advertising landscape.

Epsilon now has the capability to leverage AudienceXpress's extensive reach, scale and expertise within the Connected TV (CTV) sector. This collaboration significantly enhances Epsilon's clients' capacity to harness the potential of their first-party data.

The partnership empowers AudienceXpress with access to an unprecedented amount of transaction and behavior-based data. This increased data access allows AudienceXpress to craft more refined and precise CTV audience segments for their clients, thereby optimizing targeted strategies.

As a result of this collaboration, brands, agencies and advertisers gain the capability to reach distinctive audiences with enhanced precision across all premium video channels. Notably, this approach prioritizes privacy, ensuring a responsible and respectful engagement with audiences in the evolving landscape of digital advertising. This is expected to aid top-line growth in the upcoming quarters.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2023 revenues is pegged at $120.66 billion, indicating a 0.63% year-over-year decline. The consensus mark for earnings is pegged at $3.92 per share, indicating year-over-year growth of 7.69%.

Media Giants Continue to Suffer From Declining Ad Revenues

The outlook for traditional media companies in the advertising sector appears to remain challenging. On average, media networks, including major entities like Disney (DIS - Free Report) and Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD - Free Report) , reported a 12% drop in revenues from linear ads in the third quarter. This follows a 13% decline reported in the second quarter, as outlined in a recent report from Macquarie.

Last week, Warner Bros. Discovery experienced a significant decline in its stock value following remarks about persistent challenges in the advertising market. The company expressed concerns that this ongoing weakness in the advertising market could potentially affect the clarity and predictability of its outlook for the year 2024.

The companies expected better ad revenues in the second half of 2023, but it hasn’t panned out as ad buyers remain under pressure. The total number of pay TV subscribers is also declining worldwide as cord-cutting is increasing.

It is a much different story with direct-to-consumer (DTC) services, like Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) , which is witnessing growth in ad revenues every quarter. With an increasing number of subscribers, advertisers are also actively shifting from traditional TV to streaming platforms.

Traditional media owners are facing stagnant or decreasing ad revenues despite the expansion of digital formats. While the appeal of these new formats to both consumers and advertisers is helping to some extent, it is not fully compensating for the sustained decline in audience and ad sales in traditional linear formats over the long term.

As consumers shift away from cable TV, Comcast has successfully persuaded them to upgrade to packages offering faster Internet speeds. Simultaneously, the company has been effectively drawing customers to its streaming service.

Shares of CMCSA, which currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), have returned 21.3% compared with the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector’s rise of 9.6% year to date. The company has consistently achieved growth in both revenues and earnings, despite challenges in the sector. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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