The NewFronts, usually a splashy New York affair that leads up to the traditional TV upfronts in May, will be held this year will be June 22-26, with daily blocks from noon to 4PM ET. Like all other event organizers, especially in New York, the IAB had to rethink the approach to this year as COVID-19 began to shut down the city and much of the world. Some broadcast and cable networks have carried on with virtual versions of their pitches to ad buyers, while others have downsized or scrapped them altogether.
The nearly two dozen NewFronts presentations will be made “during a time of a vast reset and reinvention of audience behavior,” the IAB noted in a press release, including a surge in streaming. In response, the NewFronts will aim to “provide marketers access to dozens of events showcasing data and trends behind the streaming surge, the best in streaming video and audio content programming, and ways we can navigate the new future of advertising.”
IAB president David Cohen said more presenters are likely to come onboard, and the trade group is “in the final stages of bringing on an incredibly interesting host.”
Marketers have pulled back on traditional TV buys given the absence of live sports and newly produced shows. Several media companies have indicated second-quarter ad trends are pointing to significant dropoffs from 2019 levels, with uncertainty clouding the second-half outlook. Tech giants like Google and Facebook also indicated softness in advertising in the second quarter, with the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the economy. But most forecasters see digital platforms emerging more quickly and robustly from the current downturn as 2020 unfolds.
In addition to presentations from digital brands, the week will also feature a day (June 26) dedicated to gaming and e-sports.
Here’s the full schedule:
June 22: Roku; Crackle Plus; Tubi; Hulu
June 23: Snap; Condé Nast; Facebook; Ellen Digital
June 24: The Wall Street Journal / Barron’s Group; Forbes; Vice Media; Vibenomics
June 25: YouTube; TiVo; Tremor Video; Samsung Ads, WarnerMedia’s Xandr ad platform; TikTok
June 26: Special Gaming and E-Sports Day Being Programmed; 3Blackdot