In the prior century, an Upfront meant a broadcast/cable network event created for advertiser/agency senior staff. The focus was programming, i.e. the schedule. A one or two-hour presentation (often with slides developed by research teams) was followed by meeting talent, up-close and personal.
This format still exists but the dozens of Upfronts now span a panoply of companies, tackling a variety of media industry firms. Simulmedia is a TV marketing technology company focused on proprietary science and software – key features of the evolving media ecosystem. They recently held their version of the Upfront, their annual “PeopleFront.” It was comprised of four panels featuring industry “celebrities.” One session was about TV & Wall Street; another tackled key research issues; a third discussed cross-platform and data-driven decisions; the last panel was comprised of TV buyers and sellers.
Here’s one quote from a panelist:
“There’s a myth that there’s a vast amount of people who never watch TV.” – Steve Hasker, president and COO of Nielsen.