Viacom Sees Double-Digit Price Increases in Upfront

Advanced advertising products gain traction
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Viacom completed its upfront advertising sales, getting double-digit price increases, according to sources familiar with the situation.

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Despite falling ratings across the industry, Viacom was able to maintain volume levels by doubling commitments across digital social and advanced advertising products. Viacom’s Vantage, which targets ads based on data, doubled its upfront sales.

Overall, this years upfront has been strong, with most networks getting double-digit price increases on a cost-per-thousand viewers basis.

Over the past few years, Viacom was hit particularly hard by the trend away from traditional cable consumption on networks like Nickelodeon as young viewers in particular turned to digital platforms for entertainment.

Over that time, ad revenue at Viacom have been falling on a quarterly basis. But this year, the company has said it expects it ad revenue to turn positive in the second half and in the upfront that was reflected by some of the company’s strongest price increases in years.

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Trevor Noah of Viacom's Comedy Central.

Viacom has also been one of the leaders in pushing advanced advertising using data to better target commercials, with products including Viacom Vantage, Viacom Video and ramping up its influencer, brand content, shopper marketing and experiential capabilities.

Earlier this year Viacom acquired Pluto TV, giving its a huge amount of over-the-top streaming ad inventory that can be targeted like digital advertising.

Viacom has been adding channels and content related to its cable TV brand to Pluto TV, a move aimed at reaching young cord-cutters and cord-nevers. 

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