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Viacom Sees Double-Digit Price Increases in Upfront

Viacom completed its upfront advertising sales, getting double-digit price increases, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Despite falling ratings across the industry, Viacom was able to maintain volume levels by doubling commitments across digital social and advanced advertising products. Viacom’s Vantage, which targets ads based on data, doubled its upfront sales.

Overall, this years upfront has been strong, with most networks getting double-digit price increases on a cost-per-thousand viewers basis.

Over the past few years, Viacom was hit particularly hard by the trend away from traditional cable consumption on networks like Nickelodeon as young viewers in particular turned to digital platforms for entertainment.

Over that time, ad revenue at Viacom have been falling on a quarterly basis. But this year, the company has said it expects it ad revenue to turn positive in the second half and in the upfront that was reflected by some of the company’s strongest price increases in years.

Viacom has also been one of the leaders in pushing advanced advertising using data to better target commercials, with products including Viacom Vantage, Viacom Video and ramping up its influencer, brand content, shopper marketing and experiential capabilities.

Earlier this year Viacom acquired Pluto TV, giving its a huge amount of over-the-top streaming ad inventory that can be targeted like digital advertising.

Viacom has been adding channels and content related to its cable TV brand to Pluto TV, a move aimed at reaching young cord-cutters and cord-nevers. 

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.