×

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

Following are highlights from last week’s NewFronts presentations:

BuzzFeed

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.

Refinery29

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.

AOL

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.

Hulu

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.”

Yahoo

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.

YouTube

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

  • Illustration of the video streaming company

    Netflix Insists It Won't Move Into Selling Advertising

    Netflix wants you to know: It doesn’t have any plans now or in the future to start running commercials on its streaming service. Company execs have have regularly explained that being ad-free is a core part of Netflix’s attractiveness to consumers, and the strategy has been a standard part of its “Long-Term View” mission statement [...]

  • MODEL RELEASED Hand holding iPhone with

    Netflix to Launch Lower-Priced Mobile-Only Plan in India

    Following several months of testing, Netflix is getting ready to officially launch a mobile-only plan in India. Priced significantly below its regular subscription plans, the new plan is meant to help the company better compete with local players like Hotstar. Netflix announced the step in its Q2 2019 earnings letter to investors Wednesday, writing: “We [...]

  • Always Be My Maybe

    'The Perfect Date,' 'Always Be My Maybe' Draw Big Crowds on Netflix

    Rom-coms are working for Netflix: “The Perfect Date,” a romantic comedy starring Noah Centineo from the company’s hit movie “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” has been viewed by 48 million subscriber households in its first four weeks on the service, Netflix revealed Wednesday. And “Always Be My Maybe,” starring Ali Wong and Randall [...]

  • Nintendo Switch

    Nintendo Releases Updated Switch With Better Battery

    Nintendo just refreshed its wildly successful Switch game console, but the company isn’t giving existing Switch owners many reasons to upgrade: The renewed game console comes with a better battery that guarantees up to 9 hours of game play, while otherwise sticking with the same design and features of the original Switch. The new model [...]

  • Ryan Chanantry - Topic SVOD

    First Look Media's Topic Plans to Launch Subscription VOD Service (EXCLUSIVE)

    Can Topic execute a solid pivot into premium video? The digital storytelling outlet of Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media thinks it can put together a niche Netflix-style subscription-video service curated to appeal to young “culture cravers.” Topic plans to launch the subscription VOD service in the fourth quarter of 2019, stocked with hundreds of hours [...]

  • Dan Ahdoot

    This New Podcast Lets You Take a Peek Into Celebrities' Fridges (EXCLUSIVE)

    Comedian Dan Ahdoot wants to show you a side of celebrities you haven’t seen before — which is why he is having them open up their fridges. Anyone appearing on Ahdoot’s new podcast “Green Eggs & Dan,” which was launched by the podcast network Podglomerate Wednesday, has to bring along a photo of the inside [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content