You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

From BuzzFeed to YouTube, Who’s Making Waves at the NewFronts

Following are highlights from last week’s NewFronts presentations:


The specialist in lists, quizzes and viral videos is sticking to its content-crafted-by-data strategy — which appears to be working, as the company now has 7 billion monthly views, up 2.5 times from a year ago. That’s been driven mainly by the 8-month-old Tasty network, which most recently topped 2 billion monthly video views, mostly on Facebook. BuzzFeed also said it is working with new investor NBCUniversal to jointly pitch brands on projects with talent from both organizations. At the event, comedy quartet The Try Guys (500 million-plus views) unveiled a spinoff series, “The Try Kids,” featuring adorable tots attempting things for the first time.


Kristen Stewart, Gabourey Sidibe and America Ferrera signed on to produce original programming for the femme-focused digital media company. It also launched a virtual-reality production studio, and unveiled two new YouTube channels (Riot, for comedy, and Brawlers, covering women in sports) as well as programming for Facebook Live and Instagram.

Defy Media

The youth-skewing video producer unleashed 30 new series, including sketch show “These 5 People” from the Smosh team (led by YouTube stars Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla) and celebrity parody series “Diss Track” on Defy’s Clevver pop-culture channel.

Condé Nast Entertainment

The publisher’s video production arm is backing three incubators to discover emerging young filmmakers, two in partnership with Indigenous Media. Condé Nast also announced a distribution deal with Comcast, bringing its footprint to 50-plus digital platforms, and relaunched The Scene as a mobile-first video net with partners the NBA and CNN offshoot Great Big Story.


The Verizon-owned Internet company offered up 20 new and upcoming series via interactive booths at its outdoor South Street Seaport fiesta (featuring performances by Demi Lovato and Snoop Dogg). AOL also revealed plans to open a 13,412-square-foot studio space in downtown Manhattan — with a street-facing main stage — as the home for its live-interview-and-event series AOL Build. Slated to open in the fall, the studio will be equipped with cameras that shoot 360-degree video for live VR experiences.


A crowd of 2,700 packed into the theater at Madison Square Garden, where Hulu revealed renewals of its drama “The Path” and sitcom “The Mindy Project,” as well as the pickup of Ron Howard’s Beatles documentary — marking the company’s first foray into the genre. But even more tantalizing was Hulu’s announcement that it’s targeting 2017 for the launch of a cable-like skinny bundle of TV channels, which CEO Mike Hopkins said will “fuse the best of linear TV and on-demand.”


The Web giant, currently on the sales block, held a no-frills session at its New York office highlighting content in its core areas of news, sports, business and lifestyle. Katie Couric wasn’t present, but Yahoo touted the news anchor’s interviews as pulling in nearly 400 million views to date, and said her traffic doubled in the past year. Execs also spotlighted plans to webcast 400 live sporting events in 2016 via its MLB, NHL and PGA deals.

Time Inc.

To snag TV ad dollars, it helps to have something that looks like TV. That’s the bet behind the People/Entertainment Weekly Network, featuring longform shows on celebrities and pop culture, set to launch this fall on connected TVs and other devices. The free, ad-supported network will feature a linear, TV-like stream with an initial lineup of about 100 hours of original programming. Time Inc. is also developing a video-only mobile network dedicated to covering digital stars on YouTube, Vine, Snapchat and other social platforms.


Google’s video heavyweight took some (fully expected) swings at TV: CEO Susan Wojcicki boasted that YouTube delivers more viewers 18-49 in primetime than the top 10 TV shows combined. This year, in addition to homegrown creators, YouTube spotlighted TV players exploiting the platform, including James Corden of CBS’ “The Late Late Show” and his viral “Carpool Karaoke” series. Big Bird waddled onstage to introduce Sesame Studios, a new YouTube channel with shorts created specifically for digital, while NBA commissioner Adam Silver gushed over YouTube’s global billion-viewer reach in announcing the league’s pact to make all its digital video content available to buyers of the Google Preferred premium ad network.

More Digital


    'The Umbrella Academy' Superheroes Series Premiere Date Set on Netflix

    The dysfunctional-family superheroes of “The Umbrella Academy” are landing on Netflix worldwide on Feb. 15, 2019. The live-action series is based on the “Umbrella Academy” comic books created and written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, published by Dark Horse Comics. The Netflix original series comprises 10 one-hour episodes. “The Umbrella Academy” stars [...]

  • ATF: Hooq Adds Trio of Original

    ATF: Hooq Adds Trio of Original Series, Partnership With Vice Media

    Asian video-on-demand service, Hooq has unveiled three Indonesian-made original series, and a partnership with online content group Vice. The new shows range from a talk show “TL;DR” that will be co-produced with Vice, to a full-length series, “Check Out The Store Next Door” (“Cek Toko Sebelah the Series”) and a short form series. The partnership [...]

  • ATF: Indian Streamer Eros Now Launches

    ATF: Indian Streamer Eros Now Launches 'Flesh' as Original Series

    Eros Now, the video streaming arm of Indian film production and distribution giant Eros International, has begun production of an original web TV series. Its human trafficking drama “Flesh” will air in early 2019. “Flesh” stars Swara Bhaskar (“Raanjhanaa,” “Veera Di Wedding”) as a belligerent female cop who takes matters into her own hands in [...]

  • Avengers End Game Trailer

    'Avengers: Endgame' Trailer Smashes 24-Hour Video Views Record

    With the Marvel fandom’s anticipation leading up to “Avengers: Endgame,” it’s no surprise that the trailer drop set a new record for most views in its first 24 hours. The “Avengers: Endgame” trailer was viewed 289 million times in its first 24 hours, after it was released around 5 a.m. PT Friday, according to Marvel [...]

  • Fandor Logo

    Fandor Lays Off Staff, Sells Assets of Indie-Film Streaming Service (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fandor, the independent-film streaming service, has laid off nearly all of its employees and has sold its assets, Variety has learned. Reached for comment, Fandor CEO/chairman Chris Kelly sent a statement in which he said Fandor has a deal in place that will let a “new entity” continue to operate the service. He declined to [...]

  • ESL And Oculus Partner For VR

    ESL And Oculus Partner For VR Charity Challenge Game Show

    Esports company ESL is teaming up with Oculus for the Change the Game VR Charity Challenge (VRCC), it announced on Friday. Two teams of influencers will compete for a $100,000 prize during the event. Each will represent one of two gaming charities — Stack Up or Take This. Stack Up is a nonprofit that works [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content