VI-Voices: The 2014 Digital Content Newfronts Slate

/ Feb 10, 2014

Vi.Voices Newfronts

What will be the biggest issue going into the 2014 Digital Content Newfronts? What are your thoughts on this year’s list of presenters?

Larry Tanz, CEO, Vuguru:

“The digital distributors need to create a scarcity of time and inventory around the shows presented during the Newfronts. That’s what makes the TV upfronts work: a certain number of shows are launching at a certain time. It’s a world of certainty. For digital, many of the shows presented at the Newfronts never get made and the timing for those that do is typically not locked in, so the buyers are left with a feeling of ‘I can buy in at any time’ or ‘these shows aren’t getting made without advertisers attached anyway.’ If the Newfronts focused on greenlit shows with set launch dates, it would be interesting to see if more buyers stepped up in the moment as they do for TV.”

Corey Moss, SVP, Digital and Production, Principato-Young Entertainment:

“I believe the Newfronts are the biggest two weeks of the year in digital and it’s exciting to see the them continue to grow. I’m looking forward to each of them, but am especially excited to see what Maker has in store with Erin McPherson at the helm. I’m probably most curious about BuzzFeed, and most optimistic for Vice. And Yahoo will certainly have some major announcements in store. Of course the focus is on ad sales, but these events to me are just as much about brand building.”

Paul Kontonis  SVP, Strategy and Sales, Collective Digital Studio:

“The awareness of original online programming and the untapped advertising and brand value inherent within these programs will continue to be the biggest challenge for all Newfronts presenters. This is rapidly changing but the brands that are getting in now will still be perceived as cutting edge advertisers.

The schedule is shaping up to be a who’s who of the industry. Look for many more official and, of course, unofficial events to round out the two weeks.”

Gabe Lewis, Head of AOL Originals & AOL Studios, AOL:

“This year’s Newfronts will be even bigger than last year in terms of the number of events, as well as the number of announcements. The program has been extended to two weeks and there are a bunch of new participants, which is fantastic for the industry in general. It’ll be interesting to see what the returning creators and distributors present for their new slates (which should be good indicators of lessons learned in 2013) and what the new players bring to the table.

I’m also looking forward to seeing how companies will be pushing the boundaries of both formats and distribution, especially OTT and mobile. Looking at the list of 2014 Newfronts presenters, it’s becoming clearer that to become a successful media brand, companies need to excel within content, publishing, and technology; simply being the best at one is no longer sufficient. The challenge for 2014, as it was in 2013, is to create compelling content that will resonate with audiences as well as advertisers, and having the right platform in place to be able to deliver for both.”

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