Media Buyers Want NewFronts, UpFronts To Merge, Unsure Of Budgets For 2021

Some 72% of media buyers say NewFronts are more important than ever, but nearly half want the presentations to merge with Upfronts. One key factor is that 39% favor merging the two to help buyers better understand measurement and research across screens, which in turn could improve performance.

Thirty-nine percent of media buyers point to consumer insights and trends, while 32% cite fluidity across screens; 30%, custom audiences and targeting; 29%, all of the above; 28%, branded content; 16%, professionally produced content; and 14%, influencers.

The IAB survey, titled COVID Impact on Ad Spend 2020: The Transformation of the Television Marketplace, analyzes purchases by media planners, media buyers, and brands. These groups are responsible for U.S. advertising spend in 2020. This is the third study conducted by the IAB so far this year. The survey was fielded from May 29 through June 8.

Transparency tops the wish list for change. Buyers want more flexibility with timing and cancellations, transparency in price, placements and reporting, and greater consistency across channels, partners and systems.

Survey findings suggest that linear TV ad spend will come in flat for the third quarter and down in the fourth quarter, while CTV/OTT investment will increase significantly year-over-year.

While buyers see a decline in linear TV, this is not due to buyers abandoning the media. Traditional TV budgets are moving to OTT/CTV. Agencies expect to increase CTV/OTT investment by 46% year-over-year.

Most buyers will increase the amount spent in digital channels during the second half of 2020 compared to the prior year.

The percentage of buyers increasing ad spend varies across channels, with 59% saying they will increase ad spend for CTV/OTT, while 56% say they will increase digital video; 56% for social media; 52% for podcasts; 46% for digital display; 45% for digital audio non-podcasts; 40% for paid search; and 18% for digital out-of-home.

Paid search at 33% and digital OOH at 37% are the top two channels for which buyers said they will see no change in spend occurring during the second half of 2020. Some 45% of buyers said they will decrease their ad spend on out-of-home.

While ad buyers expect ad spend to decline 20% this year compared with last due to the economic impact of COVID-19 and buyers pausing or cancelling campaigns, they also are “significantly” less confident about their budgets for 2021.

When it comes to 2021 budgets, just 12% of media buyers say they are very confident, while 29% say they are confident; 46% are unsure; and 12% are very unsure of their budgets for next year.

1 comment about "Media Buyers Want NewFronts, UpFronts To Merge, Unsure Of Budgets For 2021".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 1, 2020 at 1:02 a.m.

    A lot of the "buyers" who want newfronts to merge with upfronts seem woefully ignorant about the huge differences that characterize the two ---or they are simply dreaming about some time---way in the future---when some magical "metric" has been found -LOL---that places the two on a truly comparable footing.

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