Some major advertisers already have -- including some $80 million in pre-upfront advertising commitments for the forthcoming ad-supported HBO Max.
WarnerMedia is a bit short on details for the streamer. But we can glean, akin to other streamers, the ad load per program/per hour will be much less than live, linear TV networks. One media executive told TV Watch HBO Max is planning on an ad load of four minutes per hour of messaging time.
Many other questions remain. What about measurement, audience units, viewer guarantees -- or business outcome guarantees for that matter? And pricing?
For years, legacy TV networks have been able to “count the house” to effectively price inventory. This comes from having brand marketers registered budgets before the actual market begins.
Can premium streamers find the same projection tool?
If so, legacy media companies must answer questions about their new businesses. Primarily, we speak of the ad-supported platforms: Peacock, Paramount+ and the forthcoming HBO Max. For example, Peacock says its ad load is five minutes per hour or less.
In the traditional digital media world, it’s pretty clear cut: Pay on delivery. Measurement and even some demographic information might be available in some form -- if you need it. But you might pay extra.
Bridging the linear-to-premium streaming gap, marketers also wonder about cross-platform measurement and whether any of this can be applied to other legacy media cross-platform metrics.
Consider that marketers will continue to search for quality media alternatives -- and not just the traditional media owned-premium streaming video platform kind. Roku, YouTube, Amazon and some virtual pay TV providers are sniffing around.
No doubt, an $80 million early take for HBO Max won’t upset the $20 billion upfront market yet. Even if you factor in an equal slew of pre-upfront deals for Peacock, Paramount+, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung TV, etc.
And consider other legacy media-digital connections. ABC Television Network connected with virtual pay TV provider Hulu + Live TV; Fox connected with its free on-demand platform Tubi.
There are many variations to consider. Get out the calculators and start counting.