As agencies prepare for intense Upfront negotiations with an ever-expanding set of inventory providers in the mix, data has emerged as the pivotal differentiator that will define which media sellers make the cut and which do not. For the first time in decades, there could be intention behind formerly empty agency threats that key TV networks will be "closeted" (i.e., left out) if their CPM demands are too high. Each agency has invested heavily to access data that enables them to assess value based on client-specific media priorities. The multi-million dollar investments in research by the television industry, including joint initiatives such as OpenAP and Project Oar, while not falling on deaf ears are also not delivering a standardized industry-wide set of performance-based metrics.
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