Are The Upfronts In Their Death Throes? Shouldn’t They Be?

Photo of Adam Herman
Date: 2014-06-17 21:46:43 // Categories: Advertising,
By: Adam Herman
Date: 2014-06-17 21:46:43 // Categories: Advertising,

To most of the advertising world, ‘RTB’ stands for ‘Real-Time Bidding,’ the system by which digital ad inventory is traded on a per-impression basis, via programmatic auction. But at ZMG (Zimmerman Media Group), ‘RTB’ stands for something very different.

Here it means ‘Real-Time Buying.’

Many clients are already ahead of the curve. RTB, the proprietary practice used by ZMG, is a television buying approach that can bring an advertiser 30 to 50 percent savings on traditional cable buys. The method ensures no compromise to quality while delivering all desired networks, day parts, and programs purchased—and it produces clearance rates exceeding 90 percent.

Operating RTB requires expensive, dedicated systems that demand hours of stewardship. It’s not cheap or easy to do, and that’s why so few buying companies do it. But we have the results, and they speak for themselves: Clients who’ve taken advantage of our system are driving both sales and immediate savings benefits to their bottom line.

A new report from Strategy Analytics says that by 2018 TV-based programmatic ad buying will increase to 20 percent of TV ad dollars spent in the U.S. Yet each year, major national advertisers and agencies hurl themselves into the fray at the upfronts, despite forecasters projecting only 5-8% increases year-over-year added to a +38 percent compounded increase over the past five years. To be fair, most companies participating in the upfronts have significant inventory needs and require fixed buys placed in reserve. But there are also many advertisers who have the flexibility to secure favorable pricing.

So no more upfronts. No premium priced inventory. Our clients should see their advertising dollars work harder. It’s time for marketers to take charge and employ the other RTB.


RTB is a proprietary product of ZMG (Zimmerman Media Group), a major TV buyer with clients including Office Depot, Papa John’s and Party City. For more information, call Cliff Courtney at 954-644-4271 or email him at [email protected].