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Ad-supported streaming steals the show at TV upfronts

Mount Equity Group Tokyo, Japan > News > Tech > Ad-supported streaming steals the show at TV upfronts

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DRHSignage for the AT&T Inc. WarnerMedia HBO Max streaming service is displayed on a smartphone in an arranged photograph taken in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, U.S., on Thursday, May 28, 2020.Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

During its annual upfront presentation to advertisers this week, Fox ran a spoof pharmaceutical ad for what it called “Adbyva”: a product to alleviate ad buyers’ woes that so many viewers are watching on ad-free platforms. 

“Does the thought of another ad-free streamer behind a paywall give you the willies? Do you find yourself laughing hysterically because your [gross rating point] goals seem completely unreachable?” the ad began. “If so, you’re probably suffering from Max Plus syndrome, a condition plaguing many ad buyers today.” 

With so many eyeballs moving into streaming, networks want advertisers to flock to their ad-supported streaming offerings. That sentiment was especially obvious during this year’s television upfront presentations, which kick off a season where advertisers typically commit much of their yearly TV spending in deals. 

Comcast‘s NBCUniversal, Fox, Discovery, Disney, AT&T‘s WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS gave digital presentations to advertisers this week and put plenty of focus on ad-supported offerings like Peacock, Hulu and HBO Max with Ads. (And outside