As NewFronts 2016 draws to a close, there’s a lot of information to process between all the flashy presentations, parties and concerts. Here are the announcements, advancements and trends that brands should know.
Keeping Up With Trends
The purpose of NewFronts is to attract advertisers for digital media specifically, but navigating this ever-changing landscape is easier said than done. In a world where anyone with a smart phone or web cam can become “the next big thing,” and keeping up with trends can be an uphill battle, brands are working hard to predict the best course for their marketing efforts. Luckily, a healthy dose of cold, hard statistics can help brands make an educated decision on which digital media producers to invest in.
YouTube, for example, announced that on mobile alone, their video streaming platform reaches more viewers between the ages of 18 to 49-year-olds than any TV network. “In fact,” said CEO, Susan Wojcicki, “We reach more 18-49-year-olds during primetime than the top 10 TV shows combined.” These numbers clearly impressed someone, as YouTube landed a $250 million marketing contract during the event.
Buzzfeed announced a new analytic tool called POUND (Process for Optimizing and Understanding Network Diffusion) that traces sharing across multiple social networks. Rather than displaying that an article received X amount of tweets, Facebook shares and the like, the tool can show the path of these shares by tracking an anonymous code included in an article’s URL. Buzzfeed hopes to work with beta partners to develop POUND into an effective marketing tool.
Creating New Trends
Buzzfeed, Maker and Refinery29 are fostering the next generation of hit content creators, particular millennials. Condé Nast Entertainment’s Creators in Residence program specifically mentors millennials in their storytelling efforts. Newsy, a millennial-focused news video producer, plans to have a total 12 new original series by the end of the year in addition to their normal output of 30 to 35 news videos per day. YouTube celebrated its self-made celebrities with a red carpet leading up to their presentation.
While some companies announced a plethora of new programs, a major focus of this year’s NewFronts aimed to build partnerships on the ground floor of new projects, as well.
How New Content Will Be Delivered
Although not a presenter, Snapchat was never far away from any one NewFronts presentation this year. Brands like Popsugar, Hearst and Vox Media announcing initiatives to utilize the 10-second video messaging app, which attracts over 80 billion views a day. Snapchat, realizing how “hot they are right now,” has recently raised their advertising rates to meet demand.
Facebook wasn’t a presenter, either but has partnered with Activision Blizzard to form a new eSports network. Daily live programming will begin June 10 during the MLG Anaheim Open gaming tournament. Live streaming is gaining popularity in the marketing world beyond video games as well, with brands like Jose Cuervo hosting concerts and BMW unveiling new vehicles.
YouTube has partnered with Studio71 and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to create a channel for his production studio, Seven Bucks Digital. Big Bird helped announce the launch of Sesame Studios, a new channel that will feature educational content and popular YouTube personalities. NBA commissioner, Adam Silver also took the stage to announce a deal to make all of the NBA’s footage available on the Google Preferred ad network. “We’re incredibly excited about this deal, and we think it’s going to be a great way for us to partner with all of your brands,” said Silver.
Virtual Reality (VR) played a large role this year, with The New York Times offering virtual reality journalism. Refinery29 announced VR29, a new virtual reality studio devoted to creating VR and 360-degree video programming. Hulu has partnered with Live Nation for a VR concert series, while NatGeo announced a number of original media created specifically for the medium. Other brands with upcoming virtual reality content include CNN, Time, Inc. and The Economist.