It’s been 9 years since the very first NewFronts and for the first time we’ll be welcoming the festival on the West Coast. We’ve taken a look at the presenter and panelist line-up and have prepared the following primer. Download Tubular’s exclusive NewFronts West scorecard to give you an objective view of how everyone is actually doing in the space, and read our overview of the digital first, news publishers, and influencer platforms and partners that are presenting at the event:
News Publishers and Their Role in the Current News Cycle
News publishers are mobilising, via their social video channels, to meet the demand for current affairs reporting and analysis. But how is the industry addressing major concerns regarding responsible journalism, and how are the big players responding to the current video ecosystem? What announcements can we expect from the major news publishers in today’s social video landscape?
The New York Times makes another appearance at the event, as does the The LA Times. Both legacy media companies have made social video a major part of their content strategy but face stiff competition from digital first publishers like Vice (who are also presenting and whose properties generated 6% of all news media views in the last year). Given the current news cycle, both national and international, how will these news-led properties position themselves, and gain the trust and attention of an audience by with editorial integrity? With legitimacy of reporting at the forefront of the current conversation around current affairs and the political news cycle it will be interesting to see how both traditional and digital first publishers tackle the most challenging aspects to become the ‘source of truth’ in the space both for advertisers, and their followers.
Digital First Players Bring the Positivity
Also joining the roster at NewFronts West are a bevy of established digital first players – Jukin Media, Ellen, SoulPancake, and Viacom Digital Studios. As with NewFronts past, we can expect announcements regarding original programming, with a prediction that longer-form content with play a bigger part in cross-platform audience development strategy.
We’ve covered how Jukin Media is leveraging original video content after viral success, so it will be interesting to hear the latest strategy from a company powered entirely by user-generated content. Also, Viacom Digital Studios will be front and present and no doubt announcing future initiatives around AwesomenessTV. Viacom acquired AwesomenessTV, a media company and leading digital-first destination for original programming, in July 2018, and renamed it Viacom Digital Studios (VDS). Awesomeness had established an unparalleled connection to GenZ, the most digitally savvy cohort in history, so we’ll get to hear more about the role VDS will play in Viacom’s growing premium content production ecosystem.
Digital first publisher SoulPancake will also be in attendance. The media publisher is home to some of the most positive content on social video, and intentionally creates “smart, uplifting, meaningful, shareable content targeted to the Optimistic Millennial.”
The Next Steps for Influencer Platforms and Partnerships
Also presenting at NewFronts West are a range of influencer partnerships and platforms, namely Snap Inc, Famebit, and Gallery. As part of Snap’s panel includes Sean Mills, Head of Original Content, there should be some expectation around the platform’s plans around that format
One of the stated reasons for holding NewFronts West in Los Angeles this fall as well as the traditional Digital Content NewFronts in New York City each spring was “to establish a year round content dialogue and provide an opportunity for more digital content creators, advertisers, and agencies to connect, share, and create new partnerships together.” As things are changing so rapidly in the online video ecosystem, NewFronts West is going to be an important event in the industry calendar, and a valuable place to keep up-to-date with the latest industry trends.