Q&A: Why Mediahub is emphasizing flexibility in a changing media landscape

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Whether it’s pinpointing fluctuations in viewership or leveraging data-driven technologies to identify the right time and place for brand awareness, Mediahub is focusing on the power of flexibility in a changing media landscape. During a conversation with Mediahub's Carrie Drinkwater, chief investment officer, she shared where marketing attention is shifting, what clients are looking for, and where new obstacles are rising.

eMarketer: When it comes to the Upfronts and NewFronts season, what are your clients looking for and what trends have you observed so far?

Carrie Drinkwater: We continue to hear about flexibility. That's become a very important factor. We are in April. And we are asking clients to commit money from August [2022] until August of 2023. The timing just never seems to be in the favor of a client or in the favor of a business model because of today's world, [especially] with the fluctuation of viewership and measurement. And there [are] just so many factors right now that I think it's difficult to commit, that far out, such a large amount of money. Flexibility is paramount.

eMarketer: In your opinion, what do you think marketers are placing the most attention on in Upfronts?

CD: What will happen is that once we say the media companies have the house, so once they see the amount of money that they have, my understanding is that they want to keep the linear money flat and they want to grow their digital money. Last year, they didn't want to take money and they wanted to cut those low base businesses to help them monetize and create greater revenue.

They will probably be a little old school with options, meaning the traditional 30[%], maybe 25%, they will probably push an incentive to clients to not do traditional demos. So if you're 18 to 49, it's getting nearly impossible for them to reach 18 to 49 efficiently. From their eyes, it's going to cost them more. So either go to what we call plus demos, so two-plus demos or 25-plus demos.

Whether it was demos, alternative guarantees, or a one-platform deal, I think once they figure that out, should the money be less than last year or not what they expect [to] come [in] the next three, four, five weeks, then we'll see the deal terms change. Maybe the options will be greater. Maybe they won't force alternative demos. Maybe alternative measurement may just be a way. But you can't predict the market until you know what the money is. And you can't predict what they will do until they see where their needs are. But I think, what we said, the fluidity, the flexibility, and options.

eMarketer: Is there a specific client that you believe in, stand by, and are excited about, given what you're doing with them in terms of producing great content and culture programs?

CD: We're very lucky, we have a lot of culture brands. We love Chipotle. They really want to focus on cultural moments. They like live sports, but they like to be in moments that are culturally relevant. And they really pushed us on that. Yes, [it] need[s] to be efficient and effective in [its] message, but being part of culture and being part of conversation is at the core of what [it is]. I think Royal Caribbean is one that we have identified an audience for them, an audience that really worked for those that would cruise. And we're able to use data and technology to find the right content, to find those people and to be able to get them either a new cruise or come back to a cruise. So there's different things, whether it's culture and really finding those iconic moments, or using data and technology to find the right place and time. I think those are two different examples of things that we do. Both transact within the Upfront marketplace dynamics.

This interview was conducted on April 11, 2022.

To read the full interview, please download "Industry Insights: Upfronts and NewFronts." Download Now.