By May 19, when The CW will end the 2016 Upfronts cycle, over 60 TV outlets will have made upfront presentations to clients and agencies (they started on March 3 with Nickelodeon).
Early predictions from media buyers suggest that TV ad-spending commitments could increase anywhere from three percent to five percent in this year’s upfront market.
In addition, the cable and broadcast networks already committed to an unprecedented number of new series.
At press time, there are a whopping 90 pick ups from cable, 41 from streaming services and 14 from broadcast networks.
And the broadcast networks alone will have considered nearly 100 total pilots for the new season (we’re still not sure how many they’ll pick up, but we’ll know May 19).
The increasing ad spending is attributed to the fact that last year many advertisers who reduced their commitments at the Upfronts ended up paying up to 20 percent more for commercial time in the scatter market.
Plus, according to the WSJ, some advertisers like Procter & Gamble are coming back to TV because the return on their digital media investments didn’t live up to expectations.
The concerns are about digital advertising issues including fake Web traffic generated by computerized “bots” and the lack of consensus on how to judge when an ad is “viewable.” Reportedly, P&G spent $1.4 billion on U.S. TV ads in 2015, down 12 percent from 2014, however it jumped 13 percent last January compared with the year-ago period, and preliminary data shows the trend continuing.
Last year, overall primetime upfront volume for broadcast networks decreased3.7 percent to $8.36 billion, while cable TV’s upfront declined 7.1 percent to $8.95 billion. Predictions of TV ad revenue for 2016 call for a growth of 0.5 percent to $63billion, excluding special events such as the Olympics and election spending.