Kevin KrimMay 9, 20233 min read

Why All Eyes Are On This Year’s Upfronts

The 2023 Upfronts may be upon us, but amid anxieties about the economy, alternative currencies, data privacy, and even the WGA strike, whispered discussions are brewing about something else entirely: the cost of innovation.

Streaming-first platforms—no longer TV upstarts—have come front and center with their own ad-supported tiers, and they appear ready to stake their claim during the TV ad industry’s big week.

As brands and their agencies prepare to enter the fray, the conversation has evolved beyond simply reaching enough of the right people. Every marketing dollar spent going forward requires results. How much you should be willing to pay for audiences and media has to be linked to what outcome it’s going to drive for your business. 

But in a fast-changing industry where the old rules no longer apply, what will guide both TV buyers and sellers to agree on the “right” media price?

Your ad is on the line

Achieving audience reach may once have been all that mattered, but today’s reality has brands under pressure to deliver impact and metrics that go much further. Ultimately it’s outcomes that matter And while there is no one-size-fits-all path to success, it’s crucial to have real-time signals to calibrate and justify ad spend. 

Modern marketers are fighting for their lives, and the pressure to succeed is coming from all sides. 

The board has their eyes on results. The CEO—and the CFO—have their eyes on your marketing budgets. Combined with the external pressures of the moment to break through and connect with consumers, our long-standing, rinse-and-repeat TV measurement strategies have become ever more obsolete. So are you simply going to give it your best guess with some black-box method you don’t fully understand, or are you going to bet with numbers that make sense? 

Every ad, everywhere, all at once

The power of advertising in streaming TV is audience targeting, which makes standard audience measurement much less important. But that targeting comes at a steep premium over the typical prices in traditional TV. 

So how does one figure out the fair price to pay for streaming ads? We can look to other digital advertising marketplaces for models – search and social ads end up being priced at the marginal value of the behavioral outcomes – clicks, leads, conversions, sales – that those ads generate.

But capturing that kind of data in a Convergent TV landscape that is rife with siloed, walled-off data sets and rampant with signal loss due to privacy restrictions is proving impossible for most. Modern marketers are left wanting—needing to be able to measure the outcome of every ad, everywhere, all at once. In the years to come, we’ll be talking about not just how much reach we achieved, but how much engagement we drove to business results. We’ll care deeply about the behaviors people took upon seeing our ads and wherever our campaigns converged.

There is a massive need for privacy-safe, predictive TV outcome measurement to ultimately know the right value and to get the right price.

Going further, together

Ultimately, quantifying the cost of these innovations—agreeing to the right media price in today’s shifting landscape—is easier said than done. All sides of the table will have to balance strategy and economics, navigate privacy concerns, embrace change, and respect how the past always informs the future. The opportunities for creating value—with ads that drive meaningful business results–are greater than ever. So as we pull back the curtain for the 2023 Upfronts, let’s push for a new way forward—to achieve a greater balance of content, creativity, reach, and results.


Know What Works. Always.

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