Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Is the upfront like the market for oil?

Stuart Elliott's summation this morning of this year's network upfront, includes this analogy from one analyst: that the market for the upfront is like the current state of the oil markets—in other words not all that sensical. “It’s totally counterintuitive,” Sanford C. Bernstein & Company media analyst Michael Nathanson told Elliott. “ ... the harder it is to find audiences, or barrels of oil, the fiercer the frenzy to pay more to acquire them.” Of course, the difference between network TV, which looks like it hit the same upfront numbers as last year, despite declining audiences, is that alternative sources of eyeballs, unlike alternative sources of energy, very much exist. It's just that marketers and media companies haven't figured out how to tap them yet, because, gee, it's only 14 years into the digital revolution.

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