In a further move to compete with linear TV, dominant premium streaming service Netflix will be showcasing itself to advertising executives as equals to traditional TV networks -- now taking a key presentation position during TV upfront week.
The second week in May has been the time when major TV networks have had major entertainment presentations for years, touting new shows to ad executives for the upcoming season.
Netflix will be making its presentation on Wednesday, May 17 at 5 p.m. at the Paris Theater in New York -- the same day and time that Paramount Global’s CBS Television Network for years offered up its glamorous entertainment presentations at Carnegie Hall featuring the network’s new TV shows.
In late December, Paramount announced it would abandon upfront week in favor of smaller presentations for media agency groups, TV buying and advertising client executives.
John Halley, president and chief advertising revenue officer of U.S. advertising sales for Paramount Global, said at the time that media investment had become “more complex” and the upfront needed to “evolve.”
Netflix started up its new $6.99-a-month ad-supported option in November, and is looking for a closer association with advertisers.
Netflix had a rough start with the launch, giving back cash to its initial advertisers due to an inventory shortage for the high-demand fourth-quarter period.
Initial pricing on Netflix had advertisers paying the sky-high price tag of $65 for cost-per-thousand viewers (CPMs).
Netflix had resisted offering an advertising option for years, but finally moved forward with its ad option after some major misses in subscriber-growth estimates.
Not all legacy TV network groups are following Paramount’s lead. Just days before Paramount's announcement, NBCUniversal said it would be returning to its usual upfront presentation day on Monday at Radio City Music Hall.
Since 2020, many live, in-person TV event meetings and conferences -- including the twice-a-year Television Critics Tour event -- have been disrupted. This led to TV networks offering virtual video events.
In order to be a key player in the upfront you have to have what the buyers want---a big audience, the right audience demos, lots of exciting new "premium quality" programming , new twists re targeting , commercial placements in -shows not before or after them, reasonable CPMs, third party audience measurement, and, most of all, you must allow the buyers some say about what progrms their commercials appear in. I hope that Netflix has all--or most---of these bases covered by the time it makes its presentation.---but I'm not betting on it.