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NewFronts 2019: Content, Consumers, and Collaboration

7 MINUTE READ | May 28, 2019

NewFronts 2019: Content, Consumers, and Collaboration

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Amanda Lisak

Amanda Lisak has written this article. More details coming soon.

PMG attended the celebrity-packed NewFronts this year and we are here to report what’s new and what you need to know to get your brand involved in the latest and greatest of the digital world.

  • Ellen Digital Network’s big focus this year is on digital content. These shows are star-packed, with names like Ashley Graham, Kristen Bell, and Leah Michelle.

  • Augmented reality. Join Ellen’s “The Game of Games” through new augmented reality online.

  • All shows within Ellen’s Digital Network preach positivity and ensure they are doing something good. If this fits your brand’s personality, Ellen Digital Network is a great fit.

  • Content integration and digital series launches. Advertisers can surround digital series launches and get involved in content integration with the celeb-packed and positive digital series. There is also an opportunity for advertisers to support Ellen’s vast network of Apps and Games, like the wildly popular, Heads Up!

  • New Units

    • The new pause ad unit (available to advertisers this summer) will appear when a user pauses the show they are watching. Initial beta results have shown Hulu viewers are responding positively to this ad, as it is less of an interruption to their viewing experience. There is an opportunity for over a billion ad-supported pauses each month!

    • Another new ad unit, the binge ad unit, rolling out in late 2019/early 2020, will show when a viewer watches 3+ episodes of the same series. The scale for this unit is also huge with over 40% of all Hulu viewers binging more than one series a month. The ad itself will require a brand’s message to be tailored for that viewing situation but allows for a more customizable and potentially incentivized, viewing experience.

    • Friends With Benefits is a new Hulu feature that will reward users for browsing. Disguised as content, these tile ads will reward the user with special offers.

  • New Content

    • There is a ton of room for advertisers to surround new series or Hulu original movies this year. Hulu presented over ten new shows and films that boast a celeb-packed roster, so you know the anticipation and viewership will be high. Advertisers can capitalize by heaving up media dollars on Hulu during these launches or working with Hulu for exclusive inventory on launch days. This is beneficial for not only contextual alignment, but cord-cutting mass reach, and with Hulu’s new frequency cap (of 4x per day), you can also ensure your audience won’t be annoyed by your ad.

    • Live Sports is also getting bigger on Hulu. For example, your brand can surround Hulu’s steam of the Women’s World Cup this year.

  • Shoppable Video is a huge trend this year.  Meredith announced it on their wildly popular site, Allrecipes.

  • A new Vertical Video Series will cater to the digital mobile audience. Meredith is launching a new series optimized for vertical viewing on Instagram.

  • They can help you spot trends. Meredith tech has the ability to see what topics on their network of sites are trending and can produce more content to capitalize on the trend. Advertisers then also capitalize on this data.

  • Meredith, from a female perspective, now has a large multi-cultural reach. They now reach 76% of Latinas.

  • Their digital video drives large viewership and gets picked up virally. A short clip of how to make a backyard fire pit drove millions of views. Many new digital shows and content are being released this year, giving advertisers the ability to surround or integrate with the shows.

  • A new integration with Univision will provide soccer, music, and political content coverage for the Hispanic community.

  • More tailored user experience. Twitter is working on ways to provide their users with a more immersive experience for big events they care about, like awards shows. They are also customizing the user experience by showcasing videos and hashtags at the top of each user’s feed that is relevant to each consumer.

  • More Interaction, Customization, and Content

    • Advertisers are able to surround Twitter only shows and Live Content on Twitter, more than ever before. For example, the Wall Street Journal will launch its own Twitter live show focused on Tech.

    • The content is also becoming more interactive with the ability for users to vote during live Twitter shows and even impact the content, like which celebrity they want to see react to an acceptance speech.

  • Twitter continues to focus on sports by renewing their NFL, MLB and Bleacher Report partnerships.

  • Their acquisition of Pluto TV is driving solid results. Digital ads on Pluto are driving 100% completion rates and give uses ad-supported access to browsable TV. We anticipate this being a big player in the OTT channel space this year, especially with Viacom’s support.

  • Viacom is going big on Gen Z and their digital originals are driving their growth. Award shows like The Kids Choice Awards on Nickelodeon are seeing more streaming viewers than ever and Wild N’ Out on MTV, the second most popular show for young males after the NBA is launching podcasts and Twitch channels.

  • The new will be rolling out. This will streamline how their audience engages for an improved digital experience. The brand is also releasing a vertical video product to integrate with their new vertical platform.

  • VICE is taking a stand on blacklist bias. They will no longer allow partners to blacklist content that contains 25 keywords that are commonly classified as “not safe” but are words they feel describe their audience and many brands’ consumers.

  • But they are still focused on brand-safe content: Moving forward, every piece of content VICE produces will be reviewed for content and context to ensure it is safe to monetize through a partnership.

  • Gen Z is big for Vice, too. Gen Zers are advocates and storytellers, which is endemic to Vice’s brand.

  • Vice is global with only ⅓ of Vice’s traffic coming from the US.

YouTube loading screen

  • They’re breaking down the paywall. Some of YouTube’s Original series and specials will soon be available for fans to watch for free with ads — just like they enjoy other content on the platform. This will provide another safe outlet for advertisers to align with relevant content.

  • Comparing YouTube to TV is now possible. Nielsen Total Ad Ratings (TAR) is now supported on YouTube, enabling advertisers to compare, apples-to-apples, YouTube and TV reach.

  • YouTube continues to dominate. Videos on YouTube reaches more 18-49-year-olds than all cable TV networks COMBINED.

  • To really lean into content integration, advertisers need to trust the influencers. Popular influencers on YouTube know their audience, they know what resonates. Give them your product and some guidelines and then give them room to be creative. That will allow for the most authentic feel to your product promotion and integration.

  • Their commitment to brand safety still continues. They are doing more every day to work on brand-safe comments and content. They understand there were some rough patches in the past 12 months and are constantly making changes to make YouTube a safe space for everyone.

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We enjoyed our time at NewFronts and can’t wait to see these new features and ad units in action.