Upfront spending is flowing toward streaming services. In fact, according to eMarketer, upfront CTV ad spending in the United States will grow by 34.6% to US$6.41 billion this year. For context, that is about how much eMarketer had predicted in its inaugural forecast would be spent on total CTV advertising in 2019. The CTV ad market has grown so much that this year’s upfront spending alone will mirror what was spent on CTV in its entirety three years ago.
The researcher’s upfront CTV video ad spending forecast is similar to its upfront digital video estimate in that it includes ad spending committed in advance from the TV upfronts and IAB NewFronts. The upfront CTV estimate is a subset of eMarketer’s upfront digital video estimate. Whereas eMarketer’s digital video estimate is device agnostic, its CTV estimate is limited to digital advertising that appears on TV screens, which includes internet-enabled smart TVs as well as TVs that connect through external devices, like Roku sticks and video game consoles. And as eMarketer’s upfront CTV video ad spending estimate is an element of its digital video ad spending estimate, it too is based on the calendar year.
For the first time, CTV will account for more than two-thirds of US upfront digital video ad spend this year. Viewed another way, the vast majority of upfront digital video dollars are going to streaming services. While CTV is not entirely synonymous with digital video, it is eating up a larger share of digital budgets. Upfront spending accounts for about one-third of total CTV ad spending. In 2022, total CTV ad spend in the United States will reach US$18.89 billion.