BuzzFeed and Bloomberg Emphasize Reach and Data at NewFronts
Bloomberg announced tools that create data-driven video animations in minutes, and place relevant information on top of videos.
While BuzzFeed, which specializes in amusing diversions and articles punctuated with animated GIFs, and Bloomberg, a leader in business news, wouldn't seem to have much in common, they spoke a similar language at their 2016 newfronts.
Monday marked the beginning of the 2016 newfront season in New York City, where online sites show upcoming original video programming to advertisers in hopes of getting sponsor commitments. BuzzFeed and Bloombergo both held events, and both emphasized their reach, use of data in making programming decisions, and desire to create brand integrations.
BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti opened his company's newfront, talking about the site's growth (it now gets over 7 billion monthly content views, and appears on over 30 platforms in 12 countries), and its strong connection with viewers. After that, Ze Frank, president of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, explained how the site's video creators are multi-hypenates, acting as the writers, actors, directors, and producers of their creations. Frank brought out video makers Quinta Brunson, Ashly Perez, and The Try Guys to talk about their upcoming shows and pitch for ad support.
Frank explained that the site's popular food video series "Tasty" began in August as a way to reach viewers in Facebook's volume-off, autoplay newsfeed, and now reaches 360 million Facebook users each month.
Bloomberg had more news to share, including the debut of a series called "Big Problems, Big Thinkers," that will address critical global issues. Director Steven Soderbergh is taking part in the show, and promoted it in-person at the newfront.
"I think if you're paying attention there's a trajectory that we all feel, that we're trying to wrap our minds around, which is the connection between our economic activity and what's happening in the environment," Soderbergh said, adding that he thought this series offered a great opportunity to talk about the issue. Soderbergh asked the audience to stay open and resist entrenched ideologies, which he called the enemy of problem solving.
Other new Bloomberg series include "Peer to Peer," where financier David Rubenstein speaks with a range of leaders, "Walk the Talk," which addresses gender equality in the workplace, and "Success by Design," which dives into the business of luxury goods.
Bloomberg will debut tools that add more data to online video. Bloomberg VidPlus will place contextually relevant information (including brand messages) on top of online videos at targeted moments, while Rithm will create data-driven video animations in minutes.
Director Steven Soderbergh and journalist Terre Blair at the 2016 Bloomberg NewFront
Maker demonstrated that it's ready to work with brands on original content, and that it can create and promote new online series.
Joel McHale, Naomi Campbell, Simon Cowell, and Michelle Rodriguez join Yahoo execs to get the newfront party started.
Shane Smith interrupted the party to preview several new cable TV shows, but didn't offer details on the channel itself.
Looking back at this year's newfront announcements, it's clear that long-form series are best left to the SVODs, while online publishers keep things short and breezy.