The article discusses the upcoming upfronts for the television industry and how the economy, writers’ strike, and digital shift will affect the advertising market. While the economy may slow down the market this year, fresh scripted shows will return to network schedules. However, buyers will hear fewer stars and more about digital, streaming, and data as revealing primetime schedules become less relevant. Networks are trying to convince marketers to spend on advertising during the 2023-2024 season, and some things likely to make headlines include the rise of networks, the shrinking of traditional TV viewing, and fragmentation.
Flexibility is the watchword when it comes to TV and video advertising, and clients want assurance that they can make a commitment today and be able to move spending later this year, focus on a different brand, or switch platforms. As a result, networks are trying to provide a partner that has the value of working with them and the flexibility that they can offer their advertisers. Advertisers are cutting back on doing bigger deals with fewer partners to make sure every dollar spent gets a return on ad spend.
The shift towards digital is happening quickly, and advertisers have been flexible in digital media over the last five years. Networks are trying to convince marketers to participate in these environments and are enabling technology and data to enable them to plan, buy, and measure everything they need within their ecosystem. They are also rolling out new targeting features for advertisers, making data an important aspect of the future of their business.
Eventually, scripted shows will return, but currently, reality shows are more valuable because they bring in more audiences and more family audiences. While some viewers are shifting to digital, others are still staying on cable TV for news. The upfronts are further complicated by the measurement confusion regarding Nielsen’s panel-based viewing data and non-certified big data stream. Networks are trying to be as flexible as possible to provide partners with the best combination in terms of measurement.