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What We Learned About TV During Its Biggest Week

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Stocks were plunging and Covid cases were surging.Who’s ready to buy some ads?For the first time in three years, the upfronts — the showcases the media industry throws for advertisers to persuade them to pay for commercial time — took place in person in Manhattan. Over the past few days, thousands of ad buyers packed into venerable New York institutions such as Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall. On the line? Tens of billions in advertising revenue.Here were some of the key takeaways from the week:Streaming commercials take center stage.In 2019, advertisers spent as little as 10 percent of their budgets on streaming. This year, that budget is surging closer to 50 percent, several media buyers said in interviews.The presentations reflected the change. With the exception of a brief, two-minute video focused on the hour-by-hour CBS fall schedule, media executives barely mentioned their network prime time lineups. At the Disney upfront, the vast majority of trailers and teasers were dedicated to mov …

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