The Digital NewFront Season is Growing

For decades, TV industry executives have worked within an established Upfront season. Typically held in May, advertisers and agencies check out the type of content that will be aired on broadcast and cable channels during the upcoming fall and they buy some of their advertising time on that basis. Now, digital content providers have established the NewFront season to lure marketers online.

Analysts believe that marketers are so eager to reach large groups of consumers via TV that they will drive the value of the Upfront season by between 2–4% for spots on networks and between 4–6% for cable network spots. But digital competitors like Google, Hulu and Microsoft want more of advertisers’ digital budgets this year. To  generate commitment, the digital firms began their Digital Content NewFronts in New York City.  This NewFronts are not limited to digital companies. Even traditional broadcasters like NBCUniversal, which has digital offerings, are planning to show off this programming to potential marketers and agencies.

Currently, spending on the online video ad market is less than $2 billion annually. This figure is dwarfed by the $70 billion that is committed to TV ads every year. But the intent of the official NewFront season is clear. Both traditional and nontraditional operators are ready to increase the quality and the amount of unique content that they roll out online. And to pay for these efforts, they expect advertisers to follow with their budgets.

[Sources: Television Upfront Season. Diraytv​.com. April 2012. Web. 10 May 2012. Szalai, Georg. Analyst Forecasts Upfront Ad Spending. Hollywoodreporter​.com. 2 Apr. 2012. Web. 10 May 2012; Vega, Tanzina and Elliott, Stuart. Small Screen, Big Dollars. NYTimes. 26 Apr. 2012. Web. 10 May 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.