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Innovating Upfronts with Digital Extensions

Innovating Upfronts with Digital Extensions

This year’s upfront season will have a focus on integrated ad buys. Single media channels are no longer as valuable as a standalone in our increasingly fragmented media world. Now TV networks are forced to adjust inventory offerings to meet advertiser demand for cross-platform. Brands and agencies want assurance there will be multiple touch points as part of the expensive upfront buys.

According to MediaRadar data, in 2015 only 22% of TV advertisers ran ads cross-platform on the four major networks: ABC, FOX, NBC and CBS.

As a result, many TV networks are offering comprehensive packages with digital campaigns for display ads and social media components. Viacom has already announced a partnership with Snapchat that allows MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon to sell ad inventory on the app’s behalf. That includes ads in Snapchat’s “Live Stories.”

NBC Universal introduced Social Sync in 2014 to guarantee advertiser impressions on social media with TV buys. The tool also helps to track paid and organic social campaigns. Time Warner stated they will run fewer commercials for select TNT dramas.

In addition to social media extensions, Disney is creating a micro-content app to launch later this year. The ad-supported app will feature content less than two minutes. Disney also released a Mickey Video app for Apple TV that features short-form videos and classic cartoons as a digital brand extension.

Networks are creating packages that deliver premium content and high CPM ads across multiple screens. As consumers shift from one device to another throughout their day, they will continually be touched by a brand’s messaging and ads. Converged upfronts will set the standard for a seamless, cross-screen experience. As technology grows more sophisticated, we will continue to see advanced segmentation and targeting capabilities across these packaged buys.

For the 2016-2017 season, are you offering digital extensions? Advertisers want more cross-platform packages for desktop, mobile, social and native. Selling ad packages helps differentiate your ad space in the marketplace.