Advertisers upbeat over upfront commitments - report

David Murphy

Real-time TV measurement firm,, has released its ‘2023 TV Upfronts’ study, revealing new findings around brands’ and agencies’ plans for 2023 upfronts, the period when agencies book TV advertising space months ahead of time, traditionally in the spring.

The company surveyed over 500 advertising professionals across TV’s top advertising sectors to determine how ad-buying plans will change this year, while also delving into the  growing role of streaming and other key trends before the industry’s most active buying period.

Despite looming concerns around production slowdowns and a possible recession, 78 per cent of those surveyed still expected overall marketing budgets to increase or remain the same in 2023. And importantly, 74 per cent of respondents expected to spend much more, a bit more or the same as last year during the 2023 TV upfronts. 

After three consecutive years of increasing flexibility amid pandemic-related lockdowns, show delays and sports cancellations, some of those dynamics may simply be reverting back to pre-2020 norms,iSpot said. Its survey found that 61 per cent of respondents expect 2023 upfront commitments to be similar or less flexible than previous years.

Streaming remains a major focus for advertisers. Of those surveyed, 30 per cent indicated that at least one-fifth of their upfront budget will be allocated toward digital streaming platforms in 2023. Hulu had the highest percentage of any streaming service, noted by 74 per cent of those that intend to spend on streaming. YouTube was No. 2 at 48 per cent, followed by Peacock (46 per cent) and Roku (45 per cent).

The transition to more streaming ad buys requires modern currencies, and industry professionals are eager to embrace them. iSpot found that 69 per cent of survey respondents indicated they were very interested or somewhat interested in transacting on non-Nielsen currencies at this year’s upfronts.