Starting Tuesday, February 5th, the upfronts will commence and they’ll be led off by the Oxygen network, followed by Cartoon Network and then the rest of the presenters will come along. The basic networks will hold their presentations in mid-May.
And with the upfronts, come the Newfronts.
And you’re probably asking yourself or me, in your head, wtf (flip, I mean flip!) are the upfronts or Newfronts? Why do I care? What are you getting at Bruce?
These are all good questions I think you’re asking yourselves or me. And the answer is simple, more or less.
The upfronts are when advertisers buy their TV commercial time at a discounted rate, for the rest of the year. In this case, the 2013-2014 TV season.
What’s impressive about these sessions or sales-pitch times is that networks tend to rake in from the advertisers a fair amount of change.
The average coin dropped by advertisers with the basic networks ranges from $8 to $10 BILLION a TV season. All so they can sway the TV viewer, in what to buy. Last year, all of TV raked in almost $20B in ad fees. While last year, CBS pulled in an estimated $2.9B, and NBC, $1.8B. ABC and FOX sat between those two.
And even if you’re shaking your head at this number, if you dwell on it, they wouldn’t do this if it didn’t work.
And then there’s the Newfronts. Even I was asking WTH is a Newfront?
Turns out that the Newfronts are the Digital Content Newfronts, or, the web-equivalent to the TV network upfronts.
Founded by AOL, Digitas, Google, Hulu, Microsoft Advertising and Yahoo, this is when the internet pitches for online advertising for their web projects.
Which means that advertising is going to get even more inisidious on the web. But then again, it’s only been just a matter of time.
The basic premise behind either process is that the corporate entity pitches its schedule of shows (or web plans) in presentations to a collective of advertisers, hoping to make them drool about putting their product or client out there in the mix.
And it gives advertisers a chance to snag their spot during an event or program.
When CBS pitches it’s slate of programming, they might step up and say something to the effect that they have this one show, NCIS, that recently started out-ranking even reality TV for viewership. Who would like to advertise during this program for the 2013-2014 TV season? And oh, getting in on these time slots now, one gets a discounted early subscriber rate.
Obviously, there’s probably a waiting list to get a spot during NCIS, but as the networks pitch, lesser ranked shows/nets may not have a line of advertisers like CBS does.
I’m thinking of The CW. Their numbers may seem dismal, and news sources report them as such, as if it’s a threat to their programming, but the CW understands what they have and aren’t too freaked out about having some of the lower rated TV ratings, as long as they hold steady. Plus they have some great content and it’s getting better.
So when you see an ad on TV now, you know a lot of planning went into it airing long before it aired, but back in March to May of last year, that airtime was purchased.
Oh, and a footnote: That $20B for ads, only counts buying the ad time on a network. It doesn’t count the cost of production.