NBCUniversal said Thursday it has wrapped its annual upfront negotiations with $500 million in commitments to its premium AVOD service, Peacock, just one year since its debut.
Overall NBCU achieved its largest-ever haul in digital sales (inclusive of Peacock) in this year’s upfront, bringing in more than $1.5 billion in sales, a 67% year-over-year growth, with double-digit growth in volume and price across the board.
The media giant went to market last year with its One Platform offering, which gives advertisers access to its entire footprint of properties across linear, broadcast and digital, which reaches 230 million U.S. consumers. NBCU bolstered the offering in March with new tools around audience data, personalization and privacy that resonated with buyers.
Ninety-percent of advertisers adopted One Platform’s audience automation and guarantees across digital, streaming and linear during the upfront. AdSmart, NBCUniversal’s suite of advanced advertising solutions, doubled in volume year-over-year.
All major agency partners signed on for Audience Insights Hub integrations, which gave buyers access to NBCU’s linear and digital audience data in a self-serve capacity for the first time, as well as the ability to measure cross-platform attribution.
There were big increases in investment across categories including movie studios, travel, technology, social, streaming, financial and pharmaceutical brands (granted, many of these categories pulled spend from last year’s upfronts due to the pandemic). NBCUniversal delivered everything from standalone, local activations to marketers, to large enterprise collaborations with parent Comcast.
NBCUniversal also said it presented its most diverse upfront slate to date, from Spanish-language programming on Telemundo to opportunities with minority-owned businesses such as ReachTV.
The sports marketplace also thrived for the Olympic Winter Games and Sunday Night Football. The majority (85%) of advertising inventory for Super Bowl LVI has been sold or is in discussions.
NBCUniversal’s successful upfront season comes on the heels of the Tokyo Olympic Games, which will air across NBC and Peacock starting on July 23.
In April, Comcast reported that Peacock reached 42 million subscribers since its launch one year prior. The Wall Street Journal reported in May that less than 10 million people pay for Peacock’s $4.99 ad-supported tier or its $9.99 ad-free tier. Comcast cable and internet customers receive the service for free.
Other media companies have wrapped their upfronts so far with record gains. WarnerMedia claimed “The most successful Upfront marketplace in the company’s history,” but didn’t share figures. Roku doubled its upfront commitments, closing deals with all seven major holding companies and growing net new advertisers by 42%.