Views from 6th Digital Content NewFronts – digital and linear spaces are converging
Over the last couple of weeks, at Digital Content NewFronts 2017, in New York, as many as 32 digital publishers presented a wide range of content packages and insights into the behavior of their audiences. The fortnight-long NewFront events provided a marketplace to media buyers and sellers to network and build partnerships extensively.
This is the sixth edition of what is undoubtedly one of the biggest events of the year for digital video, where digital video publishers got first hand clues on how to develop an effective sales presentation in the NewFront/Upfront format. Spending on OTT advertising has increased exponentially, even as digital and linear spaces have begun converging, more than ever, while presenters like Hulu are leading the field with streaming videos.
At this year’s NewFronts, industry professionals also got an idea of the technology, trends and content that will sustain the interaction surrounding digital video for the current calendar. In a recent ad buying study, media buyers said they planned to allocate 40 percent of original digital video budgets at this year’s NewFronts, up from 37 percent last year. This increase reflects the growing demand for digital video and also the strength of NewFronts as a vital platform which motivates media buyers and marketers to make win-win deals that are helping in faster growth across the original digital video segment.
If VR content and VR-designated studios took center-stage at NewFronts 2016, this year, it was brand safety at the forefront mainly because it matters a lot to game changing enterprises. Biggies like New York Times and YouTube set aside their scale and focused more on how they are improving brand safety, while displaying more transparency on measurement. NYT made a presentation titled, “Truth + Dare” which explained how it gets to the truth; this was projected at brand managers to try and tell their own stories with similar ethical efforts. YouTube, too, preferred to bypass its staggering viewership numbering over a billion hours every day, and spoke of winning the trust of brands. Most media owners conveyed the message that brands will face much less risk when working directly with publishers.