Turning the usual upfront dynamic on its ear, Omnicom Media Group is staging a three day pre-upfront conference at which more than a dozen TV programmers and digital media companies will make presentations.
The meeting started Wednesday and will run through Friday.
In its invitation, Omnicom, one of the biggest media buyers, said it expects media companies “to present their key initiatives, showcase innovations and highlight opportunities for the 2018/19 upfront marketplace, and beyond.”
Companies expected to participate include CBS, Discovery (and Scripps Networks), Disney Television Group, Fox Networks Group, NBCUniversal, Turner, AMC Networks, A+E Networks, Viacom Hulu, Univision, Meredith, Google and Facebook.
The networks have begun making their traditional presentations to advertisers. Nickelodeon, A+E and FX have held events this month. Crown Media’s upfront event was disrupted by the storm in New York on Wednesday and it made a presentation via Facebook Live.
Omnicom execs said their event was an alternative to the endless series of presentation and cocktails.
“Every night there is something and that doesn’t seem like the most productive way to approach this really changing marketplace,” John Swift. Chief executive officer fpr investment for Omnicom Media Group North America told the Wall Street Journal.
But come May and June, Omnicom will join other buyers taking part in the negotiation and buying phase of the upfront market.
“The benefits of making a long-term commitment on TV are still clear in terms of availability of the programming you want to secure and the pricing benefits you get from buying ahead of time,” Swift said.