TV Upfront Projected Up 2.5%, Digital Video Will Rise 20%

TV upfront revenues are forecast to climb 2.5%, with digital video upfront deals growing 20%, according to eMarketer.

The upfront will kick off in a few weeks.

Upfront advertising deals are expected to rise from $20.76 billion last year to $21.25 billion in 2019.

The upfront market is where big brand TV marketers secure key yearly TV network inventory -- anywhere from 50% to 75% -- over the cost of the broadcast year, which runs from September through August.

The traditional TV networks' upfront deal-making includes placements on broadcast and cable networks, as well as national syndication programming that runs on TV stations. Total yearly network TV revenue is forecast to be around $45 billion to $50 billion, according to industry projections.

“TV companies on both the broadcast and cable side have been able to consistently raise prices on inventory sold at the upfronts,” says eMarketer. “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 $4.39 billion.

Upfront digital video ad spending accounts for only 12.2% of total digital video ad spending in 2019, according to eMarketer.

On the same day of eMarketer’s upfront release, the IAB estimates digital video ad spending will total $18 billion this year -- up 25% from the year before.

“Digital video ad spending committed in advance is growing rapidly, but remains a small part of the market,” writes Eric Haggstrom, forecasting analyst for eMarketer.

“The majority of the spending doesn’t happen at the Digital Content Newfronts, but at the TV upfronts.” Haggstrom says this is due to networks continuing “to package digital inventory with traditional TV in order to reach people who don’t watch traditional linear broadcasts.”

1 comment about "TV Upfront Projected Up 2.5%, Digital Video Will Rise 20%".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 1, 2019 at 7:38 a.m.

    Wayne, some of the eMarketer numbers you cited seem a bit odd. For example they tell us that upfront digital video spending will climb to $4.39 billion---love that precision-----and add that upfront digital accounts for only 12.2% of all 2019 digital video spending. If both statements are correct that means that total digital video spend will amount to $36 billion, which is a lot more than even the IAB might claim. As for the predictions, themselves, it seems a tad premature to be making such estimates in my most humble opinion

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