As was the case with last year’s NewFronts, which were pushed to the end of June by the coronavirus pandemic, all presentations this year will be online. The week after the NewFronts, May 11-13, will be the Podcast Upfronts, which are normally held in the fall.
The IAB expects thousands of buyers to “tune in” to the NewFronts, which started out in the 2000s with Web 1.0 companies like Yahoo and AOL joining emerging streaming forces like Hulu and YouTube. Since taking full control of Hulu in 2019, Disney has moved away from the NewFronts. It does not plan to have a presence there for the first time, instead merging sales efforts and presentations with ABC, ESPN and other Disney brands.
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Amazon will give its first NewFronts presentation, a testament to its steady growth as an advertising vehicle. Once dismissed as a distant third in the race behind Facebook and Google, the company has added NFL broadcasts and a host of other sponsor friendly offerings. Other new presenters this year will be A+E Networks, Entercom, Vizio and Deadline’s parent company, Penske Media.
Each day’s NewFronts docket will consist of four hours of live-streamed presentations, from noon to 4pm ET. It’s a far more compressed and logistically feasible setup than the traditional NewFronts, which entailed crisscrossing Manhattan from morning to night.
Before Covid upended everything, the NewFronts had grown into a packed stretch of events leading up to the traditional broadcast TV upfront week in mid-May. Some of the NewFronts, notably YouTube’s Brandcast event, often provided star power and lavish spectacle to match the TV networks, reflecting digital’s rising profile in the media and ad game.
“We have all witnessed the acceleration that the pandemic has ushered into our worlds. There is no doubt in our mind that streaming will be one of the most potent growth engines for the industry in the coming years,” IAB CEO David Cohen said. “This new reality — where streaming is at the center of everything — demands a reset of how video is bought, sold, measured, and optimized. Consumers have already decided the future of media, and it’s streaming.”
Slots labeled “industry insights sessions” will feature Channel Factory, GSTV, OpenAP, Oracle Advertising, Quantcast, Spectrum Reach, Tegna and Tremor Video. And here, in alphabetical order, is the full list of companies slated to present at the NewFronts:
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