TV Upfronts


What: According to new research from eMarketer, TV upfront revenues are forecast to climb 2.5%, with digital video upfront deals growing 20%.
Why it matters: In the upfront market, big brand TV marketers secure 50-75% of their yearly TV network inventory.


According to new research from eMarketer, TV upfront revenues are forecast to climb 2.5%, with digital video upfront deals growing 20%. Upfront revenue, to kick off in a few weeks, is expected to rise to US $21.25 billion from last year’s $20.76 billion.

In the upfront market, big brand TV marketers secure 50-75% of their yearly TV network inventory for the course of the broadcast year, which runs from September through August. Total yearly network TV revenue is forecast to be around US $45 billion to US $50 billion. According to eMarketer, “TV companies on both the broadcast and cable side have been able to consistently raise prices on inventory sold at the upfronts. This is expected to continue into the future, as desirable inventory becomes more scarce, given viewership declines, particularly in younger demographics.”

The upfront market for digital video platforms is set to climb nearly 20% to reach US $4.39 billion. Upfront digital video ad spending accounts for only 12.2% of total digital video ad spending in 2019, eMarketer notes.

“Digital video ad spending committed in advance is growing rapidly, but remains a small part of the market,” said Eric Haggstrom, forecasting analyst for eMarketer. “The majority of the spending doesn’t happen at the Digital Content Newfronts, but at the TV upfronts,” because networks continue “to package digital inventory with traditional TV in order to reach people who don’t watch traditional linear broadcasts.”


A recap of major news on the Marketing and Media front from around the web compiled  by Portada Digital Media Correspondent Susan Kuchinkas.

Upfronts in a Time of Overwhelming Supply

The combination of online video and the ability to target audiences there may profoundly change the TV upfront process, according to industry execs. While super-premium TV, especially live event coverage, may still require buying upfront, many see most buying moving to programmatic, real-time markets. Mediapost got predictions from Magna Global, GroupM and others. Read more.

Tweets Target Languages

Twitter enabled language-targeting for promoted tweets and promoted accounts, so that marketers can reach consumers in their preferred languages. Someone might see promoted tweets in multiple languages if his or her Twitter activity shows more than one language, according to ClickZ. Read more.

Merger of Ad Giants Falters

Major schadenfreude last week, as the Omnicom/Publicis merger failed to launch. The two advertising behemoths had said that combining forces would allow them to be more competitive in the changing tech landscape. While the companies’ CEOs had agreed to act as co-CEOs for close to three years, a power struggle to appoint other C-level executives may have torpedoed the deal. Reuters got some candid quotes from both sides. Read more.

Who the Heck Is Hispanic?

Does it make sense to maintain the distinction between mainstream and multiculti agencies in an America that’s increasingly multicultural? That was the hot topic at the AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing conference, AdAge says. The debate is similar to that which took place in the early days of digital, when traditional and digital agencies jostled for the lead, while clients sometimes acted like bewildered traffic cops. What’s the answer? It still depends on who you ask. You can download the AHAA Total Market Benchmark Study Advertisers Preliminary Findings from the AHAA website.  Read more.

Occupy Digital Advertising

The growing wealth from online advertising is unequally distributed, with the bulk of ad dollars flowing to rich companies, while news publishers go hungry, a new report says. Digital advertising grew 16 percent in 2013, but news organizations are fighting for a smaller piece of the pie. Who’s getting fat? Well, Google, duh — and all its ilk. Pew Research says, “Big tech companies that largely aren’t in the business of creating news content continue to dominate the digital ad space, often because they are able to reach much larger audiences than news organizations can.” In fact, half of all digital ad dollars go to just five companies. Read more.

Pulpo Media Seeks Missing Hispanics

Pulpo Media unveiled a new data-driven platform it says will help marketers reach hidden Hispanic segments, especially acculturated ones. For example, the agency identified what it calls the 1.5 generation, that is, adults who may technically be foreign-born or first-generation, but were mostly educated in the United States. Although they make up 35 percent of the first-generation immigrant population in America, Pulpo says they have not been taken into consideration in previous data models. That’s just one of the segments the Hispanic Acculturation Model aims to help advertisers reach. Read more.

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