Live events just recently returned as a revenue stream for publishers after the pandemic wiped out any chance for convening people together in-person. But now in the midst of an economic downturn, which has strangled advertising budgets, experiential ad revenue is once again at risk as advertisers get cold feet about pledging high-dollar budgets months in advance of the events actually taking place.

This hesitation from advertisers and media buyers was seen in the fourth quarter of 2022, when publishers were consistently asked to execute campaigns on shorter timelines and quick-hit ads like direct-sold programmatic were favored over custom branded content.

“It’s still early in the year – only 18 days in – and for clients that just started their new fiscal year, they’re still trying to figure out [what their budgets will look like],” said Jon Lefferts, evp of integrated investment at UM.

Read more on Digiday.