The 2017 Digital Content NewFronts starts today ( Monday, May 1), and runs through Friday, May 12. At last count, there were a total of 36 presentations at various locations around New York City on the schedule. What can video marketers who get invitations to the invitation-only events expect to hear from the presenters? Well, as Winston Churchill once said, “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.” That key to successfully predicting the likely news announcements days or weeks ahead of time is to understand the latest trends in the digital video marketing business.
#NewFronts 2017: Latest Digital Trends
Yes, it also helps if there have been a couple of winks, hints, or teasers. For example, back in February, Bill Shaw, the CRO of Entrepreneur Media told Sami Main of Adweek, “We’re not just ‘Entrepreneur Media’ as you’ve known us.” After working with YouTube last year to create a premium video network, called Entrepreneur Network, Shaw said (wink, wink), “You’ll see a variety of content and energy, just like we’ve shown through the Entrepreneur Network already.”
So, we can expect news announcements on Tuesday, May 9, of new content about the “people who solve problems, or who use their jobs to give inspiration, or who use their tools to make big things happen for others,” instead of Entrepreneur magazine’s traditional coverage of companies. For example, the Entrepreneur Network has a series by Gerard Adams, the co-founder of Elite Daily, entitled “Leaders Create Leaders,” that follows Adams as he travels to “underprivileged areas to help people turn kids into leaders, while featuring other celebrities in a really dynamic way.” We can expect announcements of more new projects like that one.
Here’s another hint that was made “bigly” in March: Twitter’s vice president of global revenue and operations, Matthew Derella, told Ken Yeung of VentureBeat that it will be showcasing new original content and live programming for the 2017 season at its first ever Digital Content NewFronts event.
What exactly Twitter will reveal on Monday, May 1, remains unknown, but the company could tout more of the type of programming it had in 2016, namely news, entertainment, sports genres, and possibly creator-inspired content. Or, Twitter could unveil more details about its plans to air live video 24 hours a day, 7 day a week inside its apps and desktop site, building on the 800+ hours it aired in the first three months of 2017. But, after just announcing that average monthly active users (MAUs) has reached 328 million worldwide, up 6% year-over-year, we can expect Twitter to try to pull a rabbit out of their hat in order to get brands and their agencies interested in increasing, instead of decreasing, their advertising on the video platform.
Finally, here’s a third teaser about what we can expect to hear: Back in March, BBC.com issued a press release that can only be described as “short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics.” How short was it? Well, if you don’t count the 11 words in the headline, the body copy was only 115 words long.
It said, “BBC.com, the award-winning international news website, has today announced it will be hosting a breakfast and ad sales presentation event, for the first time ever, at the sixth annual Digital Content NewFronts on Monday, May 8, 2017 from 9:00am – 11:00am ET in New York. BBC.com joins a long line of leading digital brands in showcasing their dynamic content to the media community. Further details will be announced in due course. During the event, BBC.com, one of the most trusted news sources in the world, will explore how its editorial expertise and values can enhance its commercial offerings, as well as how news organizations like the BBC can play an integral role in combating fake news.”
So, there you have it. All the news that’s fit to print … in advance of 36 events by media powerhouses and digital innovators. Frankly, I’m shocked, shocked that they are so good at keeping their upcoming announcements secret. Maybe that’s to ensure that brands and media buyers have to come to their events to hear the new news from the presenters themselves.
NewFronts 2017: Buzzword Bingo
But, I don’t need anyone to leak more details about what the presenters will be talking about. Why? Because I know that whatever it is, it needs to be relevant and timely – which means it needs to address the latest trends in the digital video marketing business. So, while most columnists will wait until after the last event has been held before analyzing what has been said, let me confidently predict what we can expect to hear from the Digital Content NewFronts presenters. Heck, if you want to create a buzzword bingo card and bring it with you (along with your Tubular Tear Sheets), then go right ahead. When you get five buzzwords in a row (up/down, left/right, or diagonally), you’ve won!
First, the IAB announced in January that the “IAB Cross-Media Ad Effectiveness Study” found that media plans which include mobile and desktop advertising executed simultaneously with traditional offline media consistently drive greater lift across brand impact metrics than traditional offline media alone. So, expect at least one presenter from a traditional media company to cite that research.
Second, the IAB also announced in January that “The Outlook for Data 2017: A Snapshot into the Evolving Role of Audience Insight” found that marketers, media buyers, publishers, and digital advertising technology executives said that “better reporting, measurement or attribution” will be the top industry issue this year. So, expect at least one presenter to address this topic.
Third, IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg called for the industry to rid the digital marketing and media supply chain of “fake news” and restore the trust that is essential for a thriving democracy and a free market at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in January. Hey, we already know BBC.com plans to talk about this subject, so count this as the “free” square on your buzzword bingo card.
Fourth, there were 536 articles in March about AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, and other big brands boycotting YouTube because they didn’t want their ads running on “hateful, offensive and derogatory content.” So, you can bet dollars to donuts that brands and media buyers will get an update on Google’s commitment to improve its brand safety controls at YouTube Brandcast on Thursday, May 4.
And fifth, the latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, which was released in April, revealed that video revenue on mobile devices accounted for close to half (46%) of the record-breaking $9.1 billion spent on digital video in 2016. So, it’s a safe bet that several presenters at the 2017 Digital Content NewFronts will talk about “mobile video.”
Now, whatever you do, please don’t shout “Bingo” when you hear the fifth buzzword. Just use the hashtag #Newfronts2017 and call me out by adding @gregjarboe in a tweet. Let me know which event you were attending when you completed your buzzword bingo card. What will you win? I don’t know, but I’m confident that Tubular Insights can come up with something.
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