After last year’s unprecedented changes in the TV industry, which saw a major pandemic-induced revamp of business structures to lean heavily into streaming, networks are looking toward a post-COVID future—but how will the adaptations of 2020 impact this year’s ad haggle?
Despite the onset of a global pandemic, last year’s negotiations for ad commitments ended up closely resembling the decades-old practice of selling primetime inventory ahead of the fall season. Meanwhile, some of the ad innovations that were expected to see greater adoption were put on pause as brands stuck with the tried-and-true amid so much economic uncertainty. Will 2021 see those efforts regain momentum? To what extent can advertisers and networks expect a return to the so-called old normal?
This week, Ad Age hosted its second annual TV Pivot event, a two-day virtual panel of industry leaders designed to explore the current state of the TV ad landscape and examine how streaming may reinvent the $20 billion upfront marketplace.
Below are seven of the most critical trends defining TV's present and future, as identified by some of the upfronts’ most reputable and recognizable voices. Check out their insights below, and read more of Ad Age’s 2021 TV Upfront special report coverage here. Readers who missed out on the two-day event can also rewatch the daily sessions at any time, archived here.