Nearly all (98%) sellers believe ad sales revenue will be down for the year against original 2020 plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report. “Coronavirus: Ad Revenue Impact On Publishers & Other Sellers,” published April 15, confirms what we already know: that the pandemic will rattle media spend and revenue to their core.

Seventy percent of both buyer and seller respondents have already adjusted ad revenue or are making adjustments. Both buyers and sellers expect the greatest impact on media spend and revenue from March to June with digital ad revenues less impacted than traditional ad media revenues. Depending on channel, digital ad revenues are down 19 percent to 25 percent while linear television and print ad revenues are down 27 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

The crisis has fueled significant growth in news consumption with digital news site visits reaching 523 million from March 9-15 according to comScore, the highest week of news visits in 2020. Still, publishers are unable to monetize this growth. News publishers are hit the hardest with pauses and cancelations from buyers and they’re twice as likely to have ads blacklisted because of coronavirus content (17 percent blacklisted for news publishers versus eight percent for non-news publishers). All publishers are creating flexible advertiser options by either publishing campaigns to a later date, creating different content and sponsorship opportunities or creating entirely new content.

Also on the publisher side: they’re suffering more from cancellations than programmatic specialists. Eighty-two percent of publishers said buyers have requested advertising pauses versus 60 percent for programmatic specialists. While both sides are having to adjust advertiser buys, more buyers are canceling campaigns for publishers than they are for programmatic specialists (77 percent versus 49 percent).

On both the buy and sell side, short-term spend shifts are affecting legacy channels more than digital channels with publishers more optimistic than buyers about the extent of digital ad reductions—69 percent of sellers expect revenue change versus 70 percent of buyers.

Respondents said the most reduced advertising categories from March to December will include travel and tourism (68 percent), brick-and-mortar retail (56 percent), restaurants (49 percent), automotive ad related (48 percent) and apparel and fashion (26 percent). Seller categories expected to be least impacted include cosmetics and toiletries, household products and online retail.

A majority of ad buyers and sellers haven’t changed revenue forecasts for Q3 and Q4—25 percent of buyers said they’re adjusting spend forecasts for Q3 while 30 percent of sellers said they’re adjusting revenue forecasts in Q3.

On the sell-side, IAB surveyed 205 publishers, media platforms and programmatic companies from April 1-8. IAB conducted a similar survey on the buy-side among agency media buyers and sellers and brands on March 25.