Streaming Giants Find an Unlikely Ally to Gain Subscribers: Traditional TV

Disney, Apple and WarnerMedia pour ad dollars into traditional TV to showcase upcoming digital offerings

How’s this for a plot twist: Traditional television networks got a boost in advertising commitments for the upcoming season from an unlikely client — streaming services.

In conversations with network sales executives and media buyers, the influx of streaming services that are looking for ways to market themselves to prospective subscribers was cited as a reason for the better-than-expected performance this year.

“The irony is not lost on us,” Mark Marshall, co-president of NBCUniversal advertising sales and partnerships, told TheWrap. “The thing that television provides is that immediate reach.”

All five major media companies with broadcast networks secured both more advertising commitments and higher ad prices during this year’s Upfront period, when media companies sell the bulk of their commercial inventory. While inflation always plays a factor in rising ad costs, it was the higher-than-typical increases – across the board, broadcast TV in particular increased prices by double-digits in primetime – that gives legacy media a reason to…

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Tim Baysinger

TV Reporter • tim.baysinger@thewrap.com • Twitter: @tim_bays