Ad Buyers Plan to Spend Less Than Half of Video Budgets In Upfront: Survey

CBS upfront 2019
(Image credit: CBS)

This might be a rough upfront for the programmers, according to a new survey of media agency and marketing executives by Advertiser Perceptions.

Buyers say just 49% of their video budgets will be allocated to the upfront this year, down from 56%, the survey said. 

Advertisers expect that 40% of their upfront buys will be CTV inventory.

And while 51% said their upfront spending rose last year, just 27% are expecting higher upfront spending this year.

“Amid economic uncertainty, advertisers want to keep ad investments more flexible and prioritize the channels that can demonstrate ROI. Looking forward to this years’ Upfront event, platforms and publishers need to address these core issues– in addition to measurement and targeting capabilities– in their presentations to appease advertisers' concerns and ultimately win their dollars.”

The survey found that 29% of upfront buys will be transacted using alternative currencies.

Return on investment and return on ad spending was the most important topic going into the upfront for 47% of those surveyed. 

Marketers were interested in campaign guarantees while agencies wanted to know about programming and content, according to the survey.

The study is based on 300 interviews with U.S. marketer and agency executives during February. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.