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Streaming services are likely to win bigger share of upfront ad spending

The news: Though traditional TV networks are the primary players in the US upfronts, streaming services will likely emerge as the prime beneficiaries this year.

  • Upfront CTV ad spending will rise 34.6% to $6.41 billion in the US this year. That alone will mirror what was spent on CTV in its entirety three years ago.
  • For the first time, CTV will account for more than two-thirds of US upfront digital video advertising spending in 2022. Upfront spending accounts for about one-third of total CTV ad spending.
  • Total US TV upfront ad spending will be flat at $19.21 billion in 2022-2023.

Brands in demand: An April survey by iSpot found that nearly four-fifths of respondents intended to devote upfront dollars to Hulu, while about half planned to spend with Peacock, Roku, and YouTube TV.

Streaming prices rise: Streamers have taken advantage of their desirable positions to ask for higher CPMs (cost per one thousand viewers) at upfronts this year.

  • Warner Bros. Discovery, now with several major streaming services under its belt, has increased its asking prices by anywhere from 15% to 25%, according to some buyers.
  • Others have followed suit. Disney+ CPMs have exceeded Hulu’s for some programs, and NBCUniversal said it’s nearly sold out its inventory at increases “in the high single digits.”

See our report: For more info on how much advertisers will spend during the upfronts, check out Upfront TV and Digital Video 2022: A Return to Normalcy for a $20 Billion Market.