The decision by the digital-video network — which says it’s going to hold a NewFronts pitch online instead — comes after BuzzFeed, Fullscreen Media and Yahoo (one of the founding members of the NewFronts) each pulled out of the lineup in favor of targeted events for media buyers and brands.
Studio71, majority owned by German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1, was scheduled to present to advertisers and agencies on Tuesday, May 9, from 12-2 p.m. in NYC. Now it has decided to stage a “virtual” presentation, featuring streaming content from some of its big talent partners including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Lilly Singh (known online as “||Superwoman||”), Roman Atwood, and Rachel Levin (aka RCLBeauty101).
“Rather than asking you to come to a certain place, at a certain time, we want you to enjoy the show on your terms,” Matt Seiler, president of brand solutions at Studio71, said in a statement. Because the company is not spending money on an in-person presentation this year, Studio71 will make a contribution to WE.org, a development charity and youth-empowerment movement, for every view of its “virtual NewFronts” content.
Studio71 will remain on the NewFronts schedule, even though it isn’t going to be physically present in New York, according to a rep for the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the digital-advertising trade group that manages the event series. The company’s virtual presentation will kick off at 12 p.m. ET on May 9, and will be viewable through the end of the month. Of course, that obviates the need for a specific day and time on the schedule, but evidently IAB convinced Studio71 to remain a partner so it wouldn’t look as if another company was exiting the NewFronts.
The three companies that have officially quit the NewFronts have opened up slots for other entrants. Twitter took over Yahoo’s premiere May 1 session from 6-9 p.m., and other recent additions include BBC.com, MediaLink, Astronauts Wanted and Uproxx Media.
The 2017 NewFronts will run from May 1-12. Companies slated to present include Hulu, YouTube, AOL, AwesomenessTV, Bloomberg Media, Defy Media, DigitasLBi, Disney Media-Maker Studios, Group Nine Media, Hearst Digital Media, the New York Times, Popsugar, Time Inc., Turner, Vice Media, and Warner Bros.