Television its dead—long live television. That could become the unofficial motto, or at least the crawl at the bottom of the screen, to explain the recent flurry of hookups between digital players like BuzzFeed, Vice and Mashable with old-guard media companies such as NBCUniversal, Disney and Turner Broadcasting. The digital world obviously thinks TV still has its charms: massive reach and ad dollars from blue-chip brands.
Last Thursday night, CEO Susan Wojcicki claimed her company reaches more 18-49s on mobile alone than any TV network. Less than a day later, Time Warner Cable Media took up the charge, devoting its NewFronts presentation to making the case that TV is still by far the best way to reach audiences. And yes, that includes millennials.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki kept it simple Thursday in the digital video company’s annual pitch to advertisers. “I’m happy to announce that on mobile alone YouTube now reaches more 18-49 year-olds than any network — broadcast or cable,” she told a crowd of 2,700 at its NewFronts presentation in New York.
Hulu is set to debut a virtual reality series that lets users experience what it’s like to walk out on stage as the star of a huge concert. The series, a partnership with tour operator Live Nation, is one of several new initiatives announced Wednesday by the online TV service.
Interpublic Group’s Magna Global has struck a multi-year deal with YouTube to invest $250 million into digital video. It’s YouTube’s largest upfront deal ever for its premium Google Preferred program. Over the next three years, Magna Global will get “competitive rates” on Google Preferred’s unskippable ad inventory as well as access to measurement tools and top creators.
Ellen DeGeneres will launch a new digital network with an initial production slate of six original shows, it was announced Wednesday at the 2016 Digital Content NewFronts. The Ellen Digital Network will curate all aspects of the Ellen brand combined with original programming and user-generated content.
The annual Digital NewFronts kick off this week, and Erin Griffith has some pressing questions about the event: Why still sell ads upfront in the digital era? Why separate Digital NewFronts and TV Upfronts? And when did The New York Times become a virtual reality company?
The New York Times kicks things off with a greater focus on breaking news, after years of promoting longer-form storytelling. Also: The scoop on BuzzFeed, Bloomberg and Refinery29.
The Digital Content Newfronts open Monday with more than three dozen video companies ready to make their case for ad dollars at a time when spending is surging.