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WarnerMedia wraps upfront, calls it “Most successful in company’s history”

WarnerMedia said Wednesday that it has completed all major ad-agency negotiations, concluding “the most successful Upfront marketplace in the company’s history” but giving no details.

The company and others in May showcased collections of ad-supported brands and IP at the annual upfronts that appears to have been a blockbuster after a dismal, Covid-battered 2020, but is hard to evaluate on the scant data provided.

ViacomCBS on Tuesday gave a tad more detail, citing “historic demand” buoyed y sports and news. NBCUniversal called its upfront “watershed.”

Fox, which did provide a number, said it closed its upfront with CPM gains across its linear and digital portfolio in the range of 20%. Disney noted double-digit increases thanks to live sports and noted that more than 40% of its total upfront commitments were banked by its streaming and digital outlets.

JP Colaco, WarnerMedia’s head of advertising sales, said the company is “deeply appreciative of how favorably the marketplace responded to that message, with significant demand for all of our properties,” from linear networks to digital outlets and streaming service, HBO Max. “Today is just the start of how we are working together with customers to unlock greater possibilities and maximize results, while uniting their valuable messages with solutions that connect to the right consumers at the right time, on all screens.”

“Our goal each Upfront isn’t about finishing first, it’s about putting our customers first,” said Katrina Cukaj, lead of ad sales and client partnerships, WarnerMedia. “We remain hyper-focused on taking the right amount of time to listen and understand each of our customer’s distinct goals, to develop meaningful partnerships that resonate and deliver their desired outcomes.” She called year-old HBO Max, which launched a version with advertising last month, the “ultimate for marketers in our consumer-first experience.”

WarnerMedia’s portfolio includes HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Turner Classic Movies. It also owns ad-tech platform Xandr.

The company, owned by AT&T, is set to be spun off and merged with Discovery in a deal expected to close in the middle of next year. Yahoo

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