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NewFronts 2017: Trends & Takes


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DigitasLBi, the only agency co-founder and presenter of the Digital Content NewFronts, brings you a wrap-up of what matters most for brands coming out of NewFronts 2017.

Published in: Marketing

NewFronts 2017: Trends & Takes

  1. 1. NewFronts 2017: Trends & Takes
  2. 2. 2017 NewFronts Yearbook Every Presentation (in 5 words or Less) Credibility meets creativity Empowering women with insights-driven programming Voice of under-served young audiences Lifestyle inspiration from influential talent Trustworthy news in real time Inspiring through guidance and escapism Real-time moments that matter High-quality programming, data-driven foundation Nostalgic storytelling meets modern distribution Credible stories with innovative distribution Young, authentic voices at scale Intersection of storytelling and technology Powerhouse brands fueled by data Regaining trust through premium content Brand reinvention around core values TV programming with data-informed distribution Premium quality at cord-cutter pricing Expanding cultural programming and partnerships
  3. 3. Top 5 Trends 1. Taking Risks and Innovating vs. Maintaining Brand Safety WHO: YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki promised: “YouTube can and will do better” at protecting brands against unsafe environments. The New York Times stressed the importance of credibility in the era of fake news. 2. Making Diversity a Priority, from Staff, to Partners, to Stories WHY: To reach their audiences and avoid being called out as “tone deaf”, brands need to include a wider set of marketers, creators, and storytelling voices. 3. Moving from Data to Insights WHAT: A hot topic at last year’s NewFronts was the availability and access to data that digital affords over TV. This year it was about the marriage of technology-backed algorithms with human intelligence to help power and optimize content and distribution. Significant money and resources are being spent on “insights infrastructure”: Conde Nast announced their Hit Predictor, which promises marketers the ability to identify and align with video content before it goes viral. Time Inc. touted solutions to help content marketers with acquisitions of insights-driven companies like Viant and Adelphic. 4. Doubling Down on Premium, Non-Interruptive Content – Regardless of Format (Audio, Video, or Virtual Reality) WHO: YouTube added 40 original programs with celebrities and top-tier creators; The New York Times launched their successful podcast The Daily; Twitter announced 16 partnerships across news, sports, and entertainment. 5. Investing in Over-The-Top (OTT) WHO: Content partners like Bloomberg, Hearst, YouTube, Time Inc., and Awesomeness TV announced new OTT packages or extensions. WHY: Over 63% of homes in the US with broadband service utilize an OTT device. So it’s no surprise that skinny bundles, cord-cutting, and digital/offline synergies were hot topics; OTT growth has been one of the strongest strategies used to reach coveted consumer and customer segments.
  4. 4. NewFronts 2017 Takes: Themes, Programs, & Announcements
  5. 5. We Started it. The DigitasLBi NewFront is the centerpiece of the Digital Content NewFronts, a two-week event packed with 30+ of the world’s biggest publishers (including Google/YouTube, Hulu, The New York Times, and Vice), the best storytellers, and the ad industry—all gathered to focus on the future of premium digital video content at scale. And we started it. We held our first NewFront in 2008 (we celebrated our 10th birthday this year), igniting a marketplace that went from a humble start of $730 million to a projected commercial value of $18 billion in 2020. As the only agency presenter & co-founder of the Digital Content NewFronts, DigitasLBi continues to have a proud, leading voice in the evolution and vitality of the premium digital video marketplace— from the story telling to the story selling. (That’s why our clients are the smartest digital media strategists and buyers in every room.)
  6. 6. Theme • “The Caveman & the Astronaut” explored the tension that exists between the space-age tools marketers have at their fingertips and primal human emotions. Key Messages • The 10th annual Digitas NewFront featured perspectives from a variety of industries & experts reinforcing the always-critical need for compelling stories, but also for the data and insights that enable relevant connections. • Speakers included Paul Haggis, Oscar-winning writer & director, Million Dollar Baby, Crash; Steve Levitan, Emmy-winning co- creator, Modern Family; Tavi Gevinson, Editor-in-Chief & Founder, Rookie; Jon Steinberg, Founder & CEO, Cheddar. Announcements • Partnership with Group Nine Media to offer an exclusive turnkey production solution that transforms existing assets into engaging video content that is distributed across multiple platforms. • Chief Content Officer Scott Donaton called for an industry-wide “Content Coalition”, made up of marketers, publishers, agencies, and content creators, to devise benchmarks and standards for content. PHOTO: DIGITASLBi
  7. 7. Theme • “Truth or Dare”: Building brands in safe environments and “going all in on the idea,” leveraging NYT to serve as a creative power for brands. Tenets • The importance of credibility in the era of fake news. • Using innovation and creativity as the catalyst for powerful storytelling. Announcements • Expansion of the wildly successful podcast, The Daily, into weekend segments. • Increased focus on their how-to series, Guides. • Partnership with Spotify to bundle both services. Cost: $5/week. PHOTO: IAB
  8. 8. Theme • Content curated across a variety of audiences – including Gen Z, Millennial moms, and kids. • Continued growth and evolution in both their TV and film arms. Programs & Announcements • Launch of Awesomeness News – socially-conscious news for Gen Z. • Collaboration with Hollister Co, a global retail brand, to produce an original series called This Is Summer and an integrated campaign that would incorporate live events and an original soundtrack with music videos and brand integrations. • Incorporation into skinny bundles via PlayStation Vue, YouTube, Amazon, and DirecTV. • Netflix original film targeted to Gen Z audience, You Get Me, a teen version of Fatal Attraction, coming out June 16. PHOTO: IAB
  9. 9. Theme • “Go” - a nod to the expansion of all three areas of Bloomberg Media: investing, story-telling, and invention. Tenets • The importance of authority and trustworthiness in the era of fake news. • Development of unique ad products, including a trigger- based unit fueled by market and business changes. Programs & Announcements • Shining a light on opaque industries: Provence will feature the world of high art dealing; Leagues of Nations will focus on soccer. • “Twitter first, Bloomberg verified” – Partnership with Twitter to create 24-hour streaming news network. PHOTO: IAB
  10. 10. Key Messages • Twitter is WHAT’s HAPPENING.  • Per Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder and CEO, “Twitter is the first place people turn to find out what is happening”. • Twitter is building content partnerships that can deliver on one of four key elements: speed, comprehensiveness, personalization, and the ability to drive conversation. Tenets • The importance of authority and trustworthiness in the era of fake news. • Development of unique ad products, including a trigger- based unit fueled by market and business changes. Announcements • 16 new premium content partnerships across news, sports, and entertainment, including a mix of both live and scripted content. PHOTO: IAB
  11. 11. Programs • Sports-related: • Live WNBA games. • Live MLB games and commentary. • Live streaming of the 17th hole at the PGA Players Championship, with 360° views. • NFL pregame and highlights for Thursday, Sunday, and Monday Night Football. • Within Derek Jeter’s Players Tribune company, a new show, Verified, in which athletes talk directly to fans, Q & A style. • Stadium, a 24/7 sports commentary show, labeled “your new home of sports”. With these investments, and notably 24-hour sports commentary, Twitter is potentially placing itself as a competitor with linear sports networks. Still, broadcast rights are a significant part of major league teams’ compensation, so do not expect any of these sports to go exclusively to Twitter anytime soon. PHOTO: TUBEFILTER
  12. 12. New/expanded partnerships in News • Circuit Breaker - The Verge’s Gadget Show will cover tech news and product reviews. • Cheddar, which already covers Wall Street’s closing bell live via Twitter, will add a second segment covering the opening bell. • Bloomberg Media/Twitter partnership for 24/7 live news coverage. • Morning Feed - a weekday morning show in partnership with BuzzFeed. Entertainment partnerships • The Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, and The Streamys with Dick Clark productions. • Three awards shows from Viacom: BET Awards, MTV Movie Awards, and the Video Music Awards. • In partnership with IMG, live streaming coverage of all Fashion Week shows. • Live Nation will feature live streaming concerts. • #WhatsHappening, a new show with production company Propagate, will focus on pop culture and entertainment news and moments, hosted by Phoebe Robinson. PHOTO: IAB
  13. 13. Key Messages • Scalable distribution and premium programming across Disney’s franchises. • Growth in original programming rooted in nostalgic franchises like Star Wars and The Mickey Mouse Club. Programs • Science and Star Wars: a series that explores the parallels between the science of Star Wars and the real-world breakthroughs Star Wars has inspired. • Club Mickey Mouse: a variety show that celebrates the original show but brings it into the present-day. • Disney IRL: Oh My Disney brings classic animated Disney characters and moments to real life, surprising people on location and our viewers at home. Announcement • Launch of the Disney Digital Network, an aggregation of their digital-first properties and social media entities under one streamlined roof. PHOTO: DISNEY
  14. 14. Key Messages • Defy Media creates meaningful, mobile, on-demand programming that resonates with Defy Media’s 125MM monthly visitors and today’s media consumer. Programs • Three new shows will be produced by Smosh, the comedy channel started by Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla on YouTube: Operation Open World, SmoshLab, One Hour Song Machine. A reprise of the comedy group’s live sketch-comedy special Smosh Live is also in the works. Smosh Pit is being launched as the new hub for Smosh’s unscripted and community-oriented content. • Get Jacket and Get Real, from Clevver, the news and lifestyle brand geared towards young women. • Galaxy Quest, a documentary on cult sci-fi comedy, and live coverage from 2017 Comic-Con, from ScreenJunkies, aimed at movie and TV fans. Announcement • New distribution partnerships with platforms like Spotify, YouTube Red, and Pluto. PHOTO: IAB
  15. 15. Theme • “Connectability” Key Messages • Continued focus on premium video franchises – both existing and newly created – and their in-house production studio, 23 Stories. • Breadth of innovative new ad products including mobile- first interactivity and e-commerce elements. Announcements • “Hit Predictor”: data-fueled algorithm to help brands identify and align with the next big viral videos. • Three new ad products, all video-focused and optimized for mobile usage: • Video2 – partnered with Celtra to provide swiping features “guaranteed” to engage users. • Video IQ – an interactive ad unit that brings together video & quizzes, in a mobile-first product. • ShopIt – working with partner Clicktivated, Condé Nast delivers on the promise of users buying directly from a video. PHOTO: IAB
  16. 16. Theme • Not your typical NewFront - Unlike last year’s lavish NewFront, this year AOL held an intimate, private dinner for 50 clients and their agency leadership. Key Messages • AOL is focused on defining the go-forward strategy across content and platforms for OATH, the Verizon business unit that will house AOL and Yahoo. • Doubling down on efforts to put content first with four core objectives for their content slate: • Align content to its AOL brand ethos. • Create an emotional connection. • Have a thoughtful and quality distribution strategy for each series. • Produce with client partners in mind.
  17. 17. Key Messages • Continued expansion in premium quality original programming, building on recent successes like The Handmaid’s Tale. • Focus on measurement, accountability, and ad innovations – including a synced cross-screen “t-commerce” functionality and 360 ads for mobile and OTT. Programs • The Handmaid’s Tale; I Love You, America, a weekly political/topical news program featuring Sarah Silverman; the dystopic-comedy Future Man; the 9/11 thriller, The Looming Tower; and Marvel’s The Runaways. Announcements • Launch of their live TV skinny bundle – including 50+ channels, a cloud-based DVR, and simultaneous streaming across all devices. Cost: $40/month. PHOTO: TUBEFILTER
  18. 18. Theme • “We Rise, We Shine”: Empowering women through uplifting and inspirational original content, fueled by data & insights. Programs & Announcements • Investment in long-form video production start-up Toy Rocket to develop video content for broadcast, cable, OTT, and POPSUGAR’s own properties. • A new movie unit called POPSUGAR Films. The first project in the pipeline is a feature film in collaboration with Lionsgate, Untitled Entertainment, and Cinestar Pictures, called Honored. • From Where We Stand, in collaboration with Complex Networks, about power couples and their perspective on life. PHOTO: TWITTER
  19. 19. Programs & Announcements (continued) • New Heights, the first video series on POPSUGAR Travel Channel, tells stories of young, entrepreneurial women who use airline seats as their office space as they travel to build their careers. • Raising the Game is about the relationships between professional athletes and their families who have supported them. Directly developed from trends spotted via user’s search trends and preferences for sports and fitness content. • From Toy Rocket: Malfunction, a series focused on millennial women and technology and UNBX, a series with a twist on unboxing videos that were made popular on YouTube. • Whine & Dine, a new series featuring comedian Arielle Vandenberg, focused on young kids and their reactions to tasting gourmet dishes. PHOTO: IAB
  20. 20. Theme • “Our Party is Women”, focused on growth in female- focused original programming slate, powered by influential celebrities and creators. Programs & Announcements • Original content includes collaborations with singer- actress Willow Smith; Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation); R&B duo Chloe x Halle; Zosia Mamet (Girls); Evan Rachel Wood and her band, Rebel and a Basketcase; and Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live). • Their programming slate falls under three buckets: long- form, short-form, and live events. • Long-form: Girly, a docu-series developed by Fictionless Films and executive producer Rashida Jones that tells stories about girls trailblazing in their communities. PHOTO: TUBEFILTER
  21. 21. Programs & Announcements (continued) • Short-form: nine returning and new series, including The Drop, a new original that offers exclusive music- video premieres from female artists.  • Live events include a refreshed 29Rooms: an augmented-reality (AR) layer will be incorporated into this in-real-life event that combines art, fashion, and technology. • RIOT Writer’s Lab: a two-day comedy lab where six emerging female comedy creators will receive guidance from experienced TV writers and executives, including Sasheer Zamata. Brands will have the opportunity to work with RIOT Writer's Lab to have custom content tailored to them. PHOTO: IAB
  22. 22. Theme • "Hearst is Everywhere”: the relevance of Hearst’s 22 brands in today’s mobile-first world. Key Messages • Continued content growth from their 22 portfolio brands and 6 Snapchat Discover channels. • New editorial programming centered around “Find Your Way” (lifestyle guidance) and “Get Lost” (escape and exploration). Programs, Partnerships, & Announcements • Originals around the theme “Find Your Way”: Be the Mom with the Most Likes (in partnership with Elle, Marie Claire, and Harper’s Bazaar); Dad Like a Mother, in partnership with Esquire; Grown Woman’s Guide to Life, in partnership with Cosmopolitan. • Around the “Get Lost” theme: Put the Phone Down, a content series with travel advice and adventure ideas from the voice of Marie Claire. Rules of Adventure from Esquire. Craft a New Life from Cosmopolitan will incorporate live and VR travel content from around the world, Good Housekeeping will produce All Roads Lead to Home. PHOTO: IAB
  23. 23. Programs, Partnerships, & Announcements (continued) • The launch of Delish Kids, an online destination featuring videos, how-tos, and recipes made by kids, for kids, along with the launch of Delish TV, “the first viral food show”, to debut this fall on A+E Network’s FYI brand. • Expansion into OTT, partnering with Amazon Fire as their initial partner. • Yara Shahidi, star of the show Black-ish, will launch a show on the Snapchat Discover platform focused on the topic of self-care. • Social platform will launch a slate of original video series about beauty and fashion from Seventeen this summer. • Harness (, a multi-platform content partnership in collaboration with America Ferrera, actress and activist, will include an original docu-series across Cosmopolitan, Elle, and Marie Claire to encourage conversations around ongoing social issues and share ways to get involved. • A new video-first Millennial media brand, Glo, an irreverent and entertaining approach to health and wellness, will debut in September.   PHOTO: TUBEFILTER
  24. 24. Theme • “Get Real”, referring to Time Inc.’s mission of delivering premium trusted content, people-based targeting, and creative cross-platform opportunities. Key Messages • A robust programming slate including new and returning programs across each Time Inc. brand. • Importance of data, fueled by Viant and Adelphic acquisitions. • Strong content solutions for brands powered by their in-house creative studio, The Foundry, and new ad products like ADAPT, a responsive video tool optimizing content for each platform. Programs & Announcements • Launch of OTT-exclusive Sports Illustrated Network, with over 300 hours of original programing, covering documentaries, live event programming, fantasy sports, and swimsuit contest. • Coinage, a 600-video custom series covering personal finance across 22 Time Inc. sites, to debut this year. • A new worldwide streaming Twitter partnership for Essence Now. PHOTO: IAB
  25. 25. Theme • An experiential, immersive brand experience that allowed agency partners and their clients to see, touch, taste, hear, and learn about everything that Bleacher Report, CNN, and Great Big Stories has to offer through interactive displays, experiences, and a formal presentation. Programs & Announcements • A new measurement tool, Emotional Quotient (E.Q.), which quantifies the emotional impact of stories. • Great Big Story will launch: • New video experience on Apple News. • Great Big Cuentos, a bilingual offering targeting young Spanish-language and bilingual viewers. • Partnership with TED, including distribution of docu-series, podcasts, and TV specials. PHOTO: TWITTER
  26. 26. Programs & Announcements (continued) • Three opportunities for brands to partner with Bleacher Report: 365 day partnerships where brands can become part of the customer journey; flighted media programs that include sponsorships and alignment with brand seasonality; custom-brand opportunities to have unique platforms built for advertisers. • CNN will be launching a new digital venture in collaboration with YouTube star Casey Neistat, debuting this summer. PHOTO: IAB
  27. 27. Theme • “YouTube is not TV — and never will be.” . - YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki Key Messages • “We apologize for letting some of you down,” Wojcicki said, adding, “With great creativity comes responsibility.” • IAS and comScore were mentioned as two companies that YouTube will work with on brand safety, but with no elaboration. • YouTube’s power to connect with your audience: every group, every interest, and every gender is represented on YouTube. • YouTube creators were still at the forefront of their content story, but there was an increased focus on established celebrity creators for an added aura of credibility. Announcements • New premium, celebrity-driven original programs from top-tier talent such as Ryan Seacrest, Ellen DeGeneres, and Kevin Hart. PHOTO: IAB
  28. 28. Theme • “Maximum Impact”: Scale, Data, and Innovation. Key Messages • TV is alive and well among all demographics, including millennials. What is changing is how consumers watch TV; the content is being consumed differently across multiple screens. • The role of digital is to extend the reach of TV’s premium content—an unusual theme for a NewFront event, which are traditionally digital-first. Announcements • “Audience App”, a TV planning and buying tool combining geography, demographics, and audience attributes to optimize TV schedules based on data. Launch in select markets is expected in July. • “Household Addressability”, a capability allowing brands to target specific audiences at the household-level, targeting up to four audience segments and creating up to four ad versions within a given ad space on TV, OTT, mobile, etc. PHOTO: IAB
  29. 29. Key Messages • With a reach of over 288 million consumers, Vice is realigning their approach around audience in four key areas, with opportunities for brands to engage: knowledge; entertainment + sports; creativity; and experience. • A focus on building effective brand partnerships, highlighted through relationships with brands such as Samsung, Red Fuse, and Lululemon. Programs & Announcements • New original programming includes: Nuts & Bolts, which focuses on how things are made; The Therapists, featuring therapy sessions with big name rappers hosted by Tyler, the Creator; What Would Diplo Do? a spoof coming to Viceland starring James Van Der Beek as the famous DJ. • A partnership with Grapeshot, a company that works with major programmatic marketplaces to aid in the pre-bid screening process, to roll out a customized brand safety solution for VICE's content. PHOTO: TWITTER
  30. 30. Programs & Announcements (continued) • Digital channels including Vice News, Motherboard, and Noisey will be available on Amazon’s Twitch live- streaming platform. Only at Vice… • In true Vice style, the event ended with a boxing match between Eddie Huang, host of Viceland’s Huang’s World travel show, and chief of staff Niall Cooney in an actual ring set up in the middle of the room. PHOTO: IAB
  31. 31. Thank You!