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Disney Scores Company Record $9 Billion in Upfront Ad Commitments

The Walt Disney Company scored big following its upfront advertising sales process, scoring a record $9 billion, with 40% of it in streaming and digital.

The Disney+ ad-supported tier, which is set to launch later this year, was cited by the company as a particular strength among its various platforms, which also include ABC, Disney Channels, ESPN and ESPN+, Freeform, FX, Hulu, and National Geographic.

The 2022-23 upfront posted the second straight year of double-digital gains in sports volume and pricing. An uptick in women’s sports was credited for helping the ad effort.

Rates for ads increased in streaming, sports, broadcast, and cable, the company said, with prime seeing double-digit increases and high single-digit increases in addressable ads. Unlike traditional ads, addressable ones are able to target specific customers based on their purchase history or other factors well beyond traditional age and gender metrics.

“Disney Advertising entered our 2022-2023 upfront committed to executing on our strategic priorities – streaming, multicultural and inclusion, sports and entertainment – and we delivered. I am proud to partner with all of our clients to reach audiences at scale across all screens, and alongside the most premium content.”

Rita Ferro, president of ad sales Disney Media and Entertainment

Disney+ is expected to release further details on their ad-supported tier in the coming weeks; However, Disney+’s ads will reportedly run on an average of four minutes per hour or less. This will compete against HBO Max who has the same ad-supported plan as Disney’s, minus letting users prevent their children from being exposed to any form of publicity. This plan is also much more flexible than Hulu’s ad-supported tier, which ran at least nine to twelve commercials per hour.

 Disney+ will not allow ads that relate to alcohol sales or any political advertising in any way. Moreover, they will not be advertising content from rival studios and/or streaming services, in order to prevent consumers to be attracted to the content offered by these studios. They will also be cautious in running advertisements alongside shows destined to be viewed by pre-school audiences, and will not run any ads if the user highlights that a young child is watching something on the streaming service.