After last spring’s upfront events were canceled because of the coronavirus, many wondered what their future would be. Most of the events were redone as digital gatherings. In the first announcement about the 2020-21 TV season, the NewFronts, featuring digital video, will be held by livestream the week of May 3, closer than ever to the broadcast network upfronts, traditionally scheduled for right after Mother’s Day.
Tubi, a division of Fox Entertainment, made a series of announcements during its inaugural Newfront virtual presentation. With special appearances by The Masked Singer’s Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger, and Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier, the company said it will launch new advertising solutions, partnerships with key demand side platforms (DSPs), as well as a number of […]
Hulu, in its first upfront as part of The Walt Disney Co., emphasized new ways its advertisers could reach streaming viewers. Advertisers including direct-to-consumer marketers SmileDirectClub, The RealReal and SweetGreen are among the launch partners for what Hulu is calling Gateway Go, which using interactive second-screen technology to send viewers QR codes and push notifications, so that those viewers can immediately react to brand offers on their mobile devices.
The IAB is now offering streaming options to members who are abandoning upcoming live presentations as virtual upfronts gain momentum. The group says the option will “let consumer brands, advertising agencies, and publishers design their individual events and meetings to fit their business needs, and facilitate decision-making and buying.” The IAB’s Digital Content NewFront is currently scheduled for April 27-May 6 in New York.
Comcast FreeWheel’s “NowFront” upfront event had been scheduled for March 12 in New York. A FreeWheel representative said it hopes to reschedule the event.
This week’s NewFronts saw TV companies getting more serious about selling their digital inventory and setting the stage for a battle between advertisers’ TV and digital video budgets. The event also saw publishers like Conde Nast and Vice Media talking up their own TV studios.
A survey about this spring’s Upfront and Newfront presentations from Advertiser Perceptions found 36% of respondents wanted both “cross-platform measurement” and “better ways for advertisers effectiveness.”
Upfront/Newfront presentations continue to be of high value — in terms of more advertising money and attention, with digital video gaining in particular. One-third of advertisers have committed to more money in upfront spending, according to a study by Advertiser Perceptions, the ad researcher. This comes from a survey that interviewed 310 advertising and media executives during May and June.
They may not actually impact digital ad spending. But buyers say they’re useful for previewing new ad products. Jen Leung, associate media director at Wieden+Kennedy New York, talks about the value of the newfronts, when digital video producers will move away from the newfronts and toward individual presentations, and how the newfronts impact digital spending.
It’s way too soon to tell whether the spate of Newfront/upfront type events held this spring will pay off for the digital ad world in the form of a flood of TV dollars. But one company is boasting of an early, albeit modest Newfront windfall. Grab Media, which distributes video content across the Web for the likes of NBCUniversal, Yahoo, Telemundo and Univision, says it’s already inking seven-figure deals after participating in several Newfronts in April and May.
Whether the NewFronts will spark a TV-style upfront market isn’t clear. But, the first series of events has already been a huge success from a marketing perspective.