NewFront Week 2019 Starts Monday; Here's What We Want to Know
Next week is a big one for streaming video insiders: It's NewFront Week 2019, when the most important ad-supported content companies unveil their plans and look for sponsors. It's become an essential milestone for charting the progress of streaming video entertainment and understanding the strategy that guides it.
As always, StreamingMedia.com will provide daily coverage of the week's most newsworthy announcements. As we prepare for a grueling slate of dog-and-pony shows, here's what we're most curious about:
- What are the big box retailers doing here? This year, Walmart and Target are both holding newfronts. Walmart owns Vudu and likely has some original content to showcase, but what is Target doing? Will it launch a streaming network or a series of shows on multiple platforms? Is it now in the content business?
- Where did all the sports go? There are no sports publishers on the 2019 schedule. Companies like Bleacher Reports and ESPN and no-shows this year. Given that live sports is a proven streaming winner, why aren't we seeing more action here?
- Will partnerships again rule the week? Last year, we declared Twitter the winner of NewFront Week, since so many publishers partnered with it when launching new shows. Publishers decided they needed Twitter's reach to get enough eyeballs on their content to make it sellable. Will publishers again look to social platforms to grow their audience?
- Will celebs see a comeback? In the early years, newfront announcements were driven by high-profile celebrity series, but those proved to be bad business decisions. Publishers changed tactics, moving from scripted originals to daily highlight shows that don't depend on star appeal. At they same time, they signed on with online celebs, not mainstream celebs. Is that the new normal or will Hollywood names come back to online video?
- Is connected TV the only platform that matters? Mobile has been eclipsed by CTV, where the screen is big and the ads are unskippable, Will we see a nonstop war for dominance in the living room, or is mobile still hot?
- How many presentation will bring up brand safety? We're guessing every single one.
Also, Vudu creates a massive ad targeting network using Walmart first-party data and Vice bans the blacklist (in the name of diversity).
In other newfront highligths, Condé Nast expands its top tier of premium video, while Studio 71 partners with AWS on predictive technology for influencer marketing.
Emphasizing content and connections, Twitter announces deals with the NFL, Wall Street Journal, Time, Univision, Live Nation, and more. Also, updates from the Viacom, BBC News, and New York Times NewFronts.
The yearly schedule for the IAB's Digital Content NewFronts show which companies are succeeding with online video advertising and which companies want to make a statement.
News, entertainment, and sports brands want to work with Twitter to stream live niche programming to an engaged, lean-forward audience.
In today's advertising climate, even Vice needs to assure advertisers their messages will find a brand-safe home on its platform.