You think upfront would be, should be, down

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A deluge of digital video distribution via alternate platforms may have irrevocably changed the TV media landscape. This year, TV networks are being asked to go beyond the traditional upfront offerings to sell online video to marketers. By a large margin, Advertising Age readers polled online think that the emphasis on the digital marketplace will minimize advance purchasing and prevent this spring's TV upfront from exceeding last year's haul.

Patrick Buchen, president-CEO of Adjuvant Expos, believes that broadcast has traditionally under-delivered in attracting attendees to public events his company produces. He echoed a common theme in comments Ad Age received. "If [this year's upfront] does [exceed last year's], marketing managers are asleep at the wheel and need to be rudely awakened!"

Many suggested the upfront model does not make sense in today's evolving media landscape. "True convergence will create a delivery model that will make both the major houses and the major content delivery systems increasingly obsolete." said Gabriel Bear, general partner, BridgeSolution.com.

However, some voters were confident that most ad dollars will remain in the familiar arena of TV. Said Larry Smith, president, Live Idea: "The more things change, the more they remain the same because 'money memory' keeps it flowing in the same places it's been, especially when the same buyers and sellers interact. What's more, FUD (fear-uncertainty-doubt) make traditional media MORE important."

What you say: 73% of voters do not think this year's network TV upfront will top the $9.1 billion brought in last year. However, the remaining 27% said the same buyers and sellers will spend money in the same way they always have.
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