Digital Content Newfronts—digital entertainment’s answers to TV Upfront season—kicks off May 1 and the schedule is packed with presentations on what’s new and hot for this year’s entertainment season.
Last year, we saw emerging trends in technology and creation that will set the stage for what’s to come. A major part of Newfronts is celebrating what each brand is doing—and therefore why companies should advertise with them. That being said, Hulu may benefit from the timing of their presentation with the critically-acclaimed debut of A Handmaid’s Tale.
A number of brands have opted to forego large, public presentations at the event and focus their money on private pitches. Among these brands are Yahoo, BuzzFeed and Fullscreen Media.
Warner Bros. Digital Networks, which includes Machinima, has canceled its session at the NewFronts in New York, which had been scheduled for May 5.
“We have decided to postpone our NewFronts presentation so we can focus on presenting an even more immersive and comprehensive unveiling of the Warner Bros. Digital Networks to our Warner Bros. family, our partners and our loyal fans, early this summer,” the company said in a statement.
Twitter was more than happy to take an opening day slot. They detailed plans to live stream content 24/7. Other new additions to the schedule include BBC.com, MediaLink, Astronauts Wanted and Uproxx Media.
Embracing New Technology
Virtual reality played a large role last year, with The New York Times offering VR journalism. Refinery29 announced VR29, a reality studio devoted to creating VR and 360-degree video programming.
Hulu partnered with Live Nation for a VR concert series, while NatGeo announced a number of original media created specifically for the medium.
The momentum is expected to keep rolling ahead full steam through entertainment and VR journalism. Although Facebook isn’t a presenter this year, we wouldn’t be surprised to see presentations revolving around brand partnerships for content, streaming and/or VR applications.
Reaching Gamer Audiences
Presenters YouTube and Major League Gaming will no doubt educate audiences on the marketing power of esports and gaming video content (GVC). This type of content (esports, gameplay, tutorials, humor, etc.) is on track to generate $4.6 billion in revenue in 2017 through advertising and direct spending, a level that would outpace revenue generated by sports. Females now make up 46 percent of the GVC audience and viewers have a higher average income than traditional gamers, SuperData recently reported.