CTV Upfront Ad Spending To Rise 35% To $6.41B This Year: eMarketer

Connected TV (CTV) and premium streaming continue to grow -- and continue to be bought the same way as linear TV national advertising time via an “upfront” TV advertising marketplace.

One-third of the projected $18.9 billion in CTV and streaming advertising revenue this year will be bought before the TV season starts -- to total around $6.41 billion, according to estimates from eMarketer.

CTV upfront spending is 35% higher than a year ago -- at $4.76 billion. Next year, it is projected to grow another 27% to $8.14 billion.

eMarketer says CTV spending will be nearly 70% (68.3%) of all upfront digital video spending -- up from 66.1% a year ago.

Roughly $20 billion in national TV advertising spending goes into linear TV networks per year -- with deals secured in the summer to be spent on the TV season running from September to August.

Upfront linear TV advertising deals represent anywhere from 50% to 70% of a broadcast or a cable TV network’s yearly national advertising revenue.



Last year’s upfront ad market totaled $19.04 billion for broadcast and cable TV networks for the 2021-2022 TV season, according to Media Dynamics.

This was up 2.2% versus the previous year -- a disruptive, pandemic-impacted TV ad-selling season -- but still down 13% from the 2019 market, according to the media consulting company.

With the continued declines in linear TV viewership witnessed by TV networks, marketers could shift as much as 20% to 40% of their linear TV budgets into streaming deals, on the premium streaming and other digital platforms.

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