Digital NewFronts: New strategies unveiled

Digital NewFronts have taken place across the country and they have all unveiled their new plans. For years now, digital publishers have been competing with TV for a part of the $70 billion TV ad business. Instead of coming out with new flashy, star-studded content that lasts one season, publishers at the Newfronts have been discussing renewing existing shows and creating long-form content in order to position themselves as the new primetime.

Digital publishers discussed their plans for the future at the 2019 Digital Content NewFronts. Their plan is as follows:

 Newfronts focus on OTT

As more TV networks begin to offer OTT services alongside their linear programming, digital publishers have realized they too must connect into linear TV and OTT.

Meredith and Condé Nast both discussed their OTT services. Meredith’s PeopleTV has a new talk show, “Reality Check,” and is distributing the service through some of its local stations.

Renewing, not replacing

YouTube focused on renewing partnerships and continuing programs already on the platforms at the Newfronts. In the past, digital publishers often talked up content that didn’t last beyond one season. This was in contrast to TV’s goal of creating lasting programming. YouTube announced Season Three of “Cobra Kai” and Season Two of Kevin Hart’s “What the Fit.”

The new Primetime

YouTube is promoting its platform as “personal primetime,” separating audiences according to niche interests like cooking, dancing, makeup tutorials or fix-it shows. “We can deliver personalized media in a way we never could before,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said during the company’s so-called Brandcast.

Safety first

Brand safety continues to be a focus for YouTube. Currently, it is trying to placate advertisers’ concerns over their messages appearing alongside controversial content. Other publishers once again took advantage of the opportunity to promote their platforms as a safe haven for brands.

Hulu gives a crash course

If there is one place where the lines between digital and TV seem to have been erased, it’s with Hulu. It has been praised for talking about its content in the context of premium TV and tackling advertising in OTT. Hulu discussed how it is capping ad frequency and introducing new ad formats for the binge-watching experience.

Broadcast Network Upfronts

While the Broadcast TV Networks unveil their new Fall and 2020 programming to the Media Planners/Buyers this week, it is interesting to see how digital publishers and OTT Platforms will try to take a slice out of the 70 billion dollar pie.