TV Ad Revenue Will Rebound in 2021, but the Industry Is Never Going Back to Normal

Vaccinations, plus investment from travel, retail and auto advertisers, will help shape the new normal

The past year has been a bruising one for the television industry. Covid-19’s rapid descent on the globe turned off TV’s programming spigots, leading to a drought in advertising revenue. Consumers stuck at home continued to cord-cut or otherwise move over to streaming even faster than they had. And just as a sense of recovery seemed imminent, cases began to surge again: first in the Midwest, and now in almost every state in the U.S., depressing any hope of a quick, V-shaped recovery.