Answers are tough to find.
TV's advertising upfront market for the 2020-2021 TV season has taken a tumble -- so far -- down 15% to $18.6 billion from $21.9 billion in the previous market for the 2019-2020 season, according to Media Dynamics.
We are not factoring in cancellations/option considerations as yet because we don’t know what’s coming.
Media Dynamics estimates massive cancellations for the 2019-2020 TV season of $2.9 billion, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic -- roughly 13% of that year’s total upfront take. (Typical seasonal cancellations can amount to roughly 1% to 2%.)
Much has been made over CTV advertising dollars shifting out of live, linear upfront TV spending -- especially considering the reported gains by The Trade Desk, the big demand-side platform and Roku, perhaps the biggest connected TV supply-side platform.
(Also, we don’t yet know where Roku-competitor Amazon Fire TV is with regard to connected national TV advertising dollars.)
Still, let’s take a swing: Have big brand advertisers made up some ground contributing 3%, 7% of 10% of their advertising dollars to new CTV/OTT? Analysts speculate roughly; it's even harder to determine with lower ad inventory CTV and OTT platform loads.
One estimate overarching projection made by eMarketer had ad revenue on CTV rising to $8.88 billion. Perhaps 10% to 20% of that might have made its way into the upfront TV media deal-making. At best, around $1.8 billion?
More fuzzy math: Cancellation options surely might be different on new platforms versus buying on live, linear TV networks. And what about possible premium priced OTT/CTV deals? Factored into any price consideration, would need to be strong business outcome attributions.
Ultimately, placing multimillion-dollar TV advertising schedules months in advance of airing that messaging -- what the traditional TV upfront offers -- is definitely more old-school than new.
Before we move to connected TV, the learning will continue: Fresh -- and refresher -- courses are needed.