The Top Takeaways For Marketers From Upfronts Season
Even as the TV industry changes by the day, brands still see its benefits, writes Lotame's Doug Pollack.
Much of the discourse during this year’s Upfronts/Newfronts season might have been expected: Streaming is on the rise, mobile is eclipsing other forms of media, and consumer mindset matters more than ever.
But there are a few takeaways for marketers that have flown more under the radar — from the investment in TV data to why primetime advertising isn’t dead.
Primetime advertising remains competitive
Historically, the best TV advertising spots were synced with primetime programming on the most popular networks. And while streaming has largely taken over the zeitgeist, networks still view those coveted primetime spots as a way to make money from advertising.
Brands, at the same time, see primetime advertising as a valuable way to reach their core audience. Advertisers are still willing to shell out top dollar for one of these prime spots, with demand through the roof and advertisers aggressively outbidding each other. No matter how you slice it, advertisers still value primetime, even with networks as a whole experiencing their lowest ratings ever.
Do fewer commercials mean more exposure?
Although TV advertising remains competitive, it’ll soon reach new heights as networks reduce the number of commercials during their programming. The hope is that this will help them compete with streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, who largely don’t have commercials.
For networks, the challenge here becomes keeping their revenue numbers up. The easiest way they can achieve this is by increasing the cost of the remaining ad slots. If there are fewer commercials, the ads that make it to air will be even more effective, since they’re not competing with as many brands. What’s more, shorter commercial breaks will make the viewer less likely to change channels, resulting in more eyeballs on a given ad.
Emerging technology makes big headlines
Even as the TV industry changes by the day, brands still see its benefits, and are devoting countless dollars to the medium.
At this year’s Upfronts, the current growth of technology that’s taking place in TV was among the most prominent and buzzed-about talking points. New and emerging technologies like machine learning and data analytics are giving brands the ability to measure their ads, that way they know how effectively they’re targeting consumers. More sophisticated TV displays — such as 8K ultra high definition, which has taken over and become the industry’s gold standard — are also changing the game as to what brands can do.
The investment in TV data is real
TV isn’t nearly as “unscientific” as it used to be. Advertisers want the most granularity possible when it comes to analyzing audiences and targeting so that they can get the most ROI possible. To do this, more and more networks and content providers are teaming up with advanced data solutions that can provide the most accurate insights about TV viewers today. This is one of the most interesting trends that could impact the space during the rest of 2018 and during the years ahead.
** Doug Pollack is the GM of Products & Innovation at Lotame’s aiTV.