As firm commitments wane, overall ad spending is poised to drop by one-third in the 2020 upfront season with advertisers increasingly looking to scatter-based strategies amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a new study suggests.
Conducted in early May by analytics firm Advertiser Perceptions, the survey of 151 major advertisers found that 48 percent agreed with the statement, “Nobody will be willing to buy more than one quarter’s worth of TV inventory in this year’s Upfront.” Meanwhile, 26 percent of those surveyed disagreed, while the remaining 26 percent remained neutral.
“The Upfront strikes at the heart of the uncertainty advertisers are struggling with,” said Justin Fromm, executive VP of business intelligence at Advertiser Perceptions. “They can’t commit long-term but they can’t afford to get caught flat-footed in a tight scatter market, either.”
The study also reported advertisers’ top five general concerns about upfront investments this year, which include: how soon the U.S. will return to business as usual; the susceptibility of major events and live sports to cancelation; and the unpredictability of linear ratings estimates.