That could be good news for the major television networks, especially cable TV networks, as the ad execs surveyed said they plan to spend more of their upfront TV advertising budgets on cable than on broadcast TV networks. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of clients, and 53% of agency executives said they planned to place a greater share of their upfront advertising budgets on cable vs. broadcast this year.
Share battles aside, the overall finding appears to be good news for all networks, as Madison Avenue is once again keen on the upfront. The finding may be another signal that the advertising recession is waning, as many marketers and agencies had been loath to commit budgets in advance during the height of the recession, a factor that reduced the total volume of the 2009-10 upfront TV advertising marketplace, and led to a bigger short-term scatter marketplace.
While macro economics may be improving, some underlying micro factors are shifting the strategic role of the upfront in the eyes of some ad execs who have begun to reduce their total commitments due to budgets shifting into alternative media options. Among those who said they planned to reduce their total upfront ad spending this year (15%), 69% said they were reducing their broadcast TV upfront budgets, and 29% said they were reducing their cable TV upfront budgets, due to shifts toward "digital" media.
The biggest factors attracting ad executives to this year's upfront include:
* Audience and cost.
* Ratings and programming (for agencies).
* Cost issues and ROI (for marketers).