The upfront season may have wrapped up, however, media execs in adland are still wrapping their heads around the plethora of new content and programming.
With each network promising jam-packed slates for 2019, B&T wanted to find out what media agency executives made of the upfronts, those who the networks are essentially pitching to.
So, we’ve called in industry heavyweights to weigh in on the upfronts and discuss what worked, what didn’t and how important the events are to adland.
We’ll be pumping out the industry responses over the coming days.
Today, we hear from Blue449 head of investment Lucie Jansen.
For Jansen, the 2018 upfronts were “all underpinned by some common themes which signified a positive year to come for TV as a whole.
Though she added, “Each network was extremely clear on their overall mission, but I felt the big three networks left a couple of unanswered questions.”
Jansen said while “All of the networks presented clear, future-facing strategies to develop their businesses beyond traditional linear broadcasters, to all-encompassing media and marketing platforms… the challenge for all of them, however, will continue to be cross-platform measurement and the speed at which the industry is able to fully adapt to, and adopt, the necessary move towards different ways of measuring campaign success.”
“Individually, in the short term at least, the networks will be focusing on successfully delivering measurement across their own linear and digital assets, which causes problems for clients and advertisers that need to analyse and compare across the full spectrum of these offerings,” Jansen added.
Asked whether any upfronts missed the mark, Jansen said: “I don’t think so, despite the couple of unanswered questions including the implications of non-compulsory log-ins for Seven, details around how Nine’s Voyager will work in terms of creative assets and CAD approval, and Ten’s strategy to keep its VOD platforms separate.
“Aside from those, they were all very clear about their ambitions for the year ahead and backed those ambitions up with clear and confident strategies.”
Commenting on the, at times, over-the-top nature of upfronts, Jansen said: “There is an argument to say that there is no need for the level of extravagance that we have seen in the past few years but in reality these are competitor companies who are all trying to sell their offerings and position themselves as powerful, influential media and content companies so it is hardly surprising that they will also compete in this sense.”
Overall, Jansen said she finished upfront season on a high.
“I came away with a feeling of positivity around TV.
“While we have been thinking of TV in a different way for some time now in order to account for changing viewer behaviours, all three networks demonstrated a firm commitment to take TV – in all its forms – into the future and make it as relevant and important as it has ever been.
“The focus on finding new ways to distribute quality content is key here, as is the ability to be able to measure it.”
Check out what Zenith chief investment officer Anthony Ellis thought of the upfronts here.