Disney Sets Company Record With $9B In Upfront Ad Commitments, Nearly Half Of Them On Streaming And Digital

Disney Sets Company Record With $9B In Upfront Ad Commitments, Nearly Half Of Them On Streaming And Digital

July 18, 2022

Disney has wrapped its upfront advertising sales process, collecting a record $9 billion — 40% of it in streaming and digital.

The forthcoming ad-supported tier of Disney+ was cited by the company as a particular strength among its platforms, which also include ABC, Disney Channels, ESPN and ESPN+, Freeform, FX, Hulu and National Geographic.

The 2022-23 upfront posted the second straight year of double-digital gains in sports volume and pricing. An uptick in women’s sports was credited for helping the ad effort.

Rates for ads increased in streaming, sports, broadcast and cable, the company said, with prime seeing double-digit increases and high single-digit increases in addressable ads. Unlike traditional ads, addressable ones are able to target specific customers based on their purchase history or other factors well beyond traditional age and gender metrics.

Top-performing categories included Diversified Consumer Services, financial services, media & entertainment, pharmaceutical, sports gaming and travel & leisure.

“Disney Advertising entered our 2022-2023 upfront committed to executing on our strategic priorities – streaming, multicultural and inclusion, sports and entertainment – and we delivered,” said Rita Ferro, president of ad sales for Disney Media and Entertainment, one of the company’s two divisions. “I am proud to partner with all of our clients to reach audiences at scale across all screens, and alongside the most premium content.”

The upfront process has been unlike most previous years for all of the major media companies. Traditionally, many broadcast network owners would wrap their upfront sales not long after their presentations to ad buyers in the spring, but this year’s dragged into summer for a variety of reasons. Streaming has introduced more complexity and less of a calendar sensibility to the ritual, and its maturation has helped network parents weather the ongoing shrinkage of the traditional bundle and overall live tune-in.

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