In what could be another sign of upfront deals to come, OMD has signed an agreement giving the global media communications agency first dibs access to multi-platform ad opportunities across MTV Networks properties. Highlighting multimedia convergence, execs from both firms touted the arrangement as one that will connect OMD advertiser clients with MTV’s influential young audience through traditional and increasingly consequential digital outlets. Reportedly, the agreement is valued at over $300 million, 10 percent of which will be allocated to digital media buys.
The deal marks a continuing shift in MTV’s creative and sales strategies to include digital media and continues an ongoing relationship between OMD and the Viacom unit. Through the agreement, OMD has first-in-line access to dozens of MTV television and interactive properties including MTV, VH1, CMT, The N, Comedy Central, Logo, mtv.com and nickjr.com, as well as the recently-acquired GameTrailers.com, IFILM, Neopets and Xfire. This is the first time an upfront deal has comprised all of MTV’s digital offerings and all of its platforms, including mobile, VOD and podcasts. OMD will take advantage of the agreement on behalf of about 30 advertiser clients, according to reports.
MTV and OMD have planned a media research partnership along with the upfront deal. Studies will measure impact of media brand affinity on advertiser brands and the effects of cross-platform campaigns.
Considering the prominence and extensive reach of MTV’s media assets, the arrangement with OMD could raise the bar for future upfront deals; however, it isn’t the only of its kind. This year CNN, ABC and CBS have incorporated their digital assets into upfront offers. In the online-only realm, male-dominated online video destination Heavy.com pushed its “digital upfront” this year to ad agencies in anticipation of the TV-centric upfront. Auto sites have done the same to help car manufacturers avoid so-called conquesting by competitor brands.
JupiterResearch analyst Emily Riley suggested the rise in integrated upfront packaging by publishers is advertiser-driven. “What [the upfronts] represent is that more traditional media companies are taking Internet media seriously because advertisers are making them,” she observed.
In the end, the potential for more upfront convergence and focus on digital media lies in the outcome, said Riley. “What’s going to really matter is that they can prove the results for the next season so that this isn’t just a flash in the pan.”