In the past, TV advertising s value was obvious. Ask anyone "Where's the beef?" or "Can you hear me now?" and chances are they'll immediately associate those questions with Wendy's and Verizon.

But in the digital-first world, TV's place in an omnichannel marketing strategy is shifting.

Consumers simply have far more channels than they did before, and marketers must rely on those channels to drive different behaviors. As such, TV advertising spend has come under scrutiny by marketers wanting to understand its value relative to other channels. They want to determine the right spend per channel and more accurately measure ROI, with the ultimate goal of creating a more holistic customer experience.

For decades, billions of dollars in TV advertising was sold during the upfronts – a futures market where TV advertising is purchased during the spring preceding a new show or TV season's air date.

Traditionally during the upfronts, TV advertisers and their agencies buy media based on Nielsen audience guarantees and haggle over the gap between historical numbers and the estimated future audience size; an entire year's worth of TV commercials would be planned and purchased based on that single Nielsen metric.