Fewer TV advertising dollars are expected to be spent in upfront deal-making in this year versus a year ago, according to a new survey from Advertiser Perceptions.
Just 49% of more than 300 U.S. marketers and agency executives in a February survey said they would be making upfront deals -- down from 56% a year ago -- when asked the question: “What percent of your total video advertising budget -- linear TV, CTV/streaming TV and digital video -- for this year will be allocated during the 2023 upfront negotiation period, and what percent will be reserved for the scatter market?”
Advertiser Perceptions concludes from these results: “Upfront spending will be softer in 2023.”
Of those who intend to place more dollars in an upfront deal than in the scatter market, 51% had an advertising spend of $25 million or more, and 43% had ad spend of less than $25 million.
Fifty-one percent said more of their national TV deals would be done through the scatter market. Fifty-seven percent of these marketers have less than a $25 million advertising spend, while 49% have more than a $25 million spend.
Of those making upfront TV buys, only 27% are planning increases compared to 2022. A year ago -- at around the same time -- 51% said they would be adding to their buys compared to 2021.
In addition, 29% of those making the media buys believe the average deal will be transacted using "alternative currencies" -- coming from 34% of media agency executives and 19% of marketing executives.
Digging deeper into data that connects directly to business outcomes, 54% of advertisers and agencies said the return on media investment will be the most important priority, with 47% saying they want more data-driven targeting capabilities.
Advertiser Perceptions also says that 55% of marketers want better campaign guarantees, with 34% of media agency executives citing this as a priority. In addition, 48% of media agency executives are focused on programming content, with 36% of marketers saying they want to focus their efforts in that area.
Advertisers expect 40% of their upfront buys to be on connected TV/streaming platforms.
Erin Firneno, vice president/business Intelligence, Advertiser Perceptions, says: “Amid economic uncertainty, advertisers want to keep ad investments more flexible and prioritize the channels that can demonstrate ROI.”