×

Group Nine Media to Sit Out NewFronts in 2019, Will Stage Multi-City Marketing Tour Instead

Group Nine Media, the Discovery-back digital media publisher, says it has a slate of over 50 original shows premiering in 2019. But it won’t be showcasing them at the Digital Content NewFronts marketing confabs this year.

Instead, Group Nine will take the show on the road with a series of presentations across the U.S. showcasing its four brands: Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo and Seeker. The “Nine-Fronts” roadshow will kick off in April. The initial phase of the series will hit New York, L.A., San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas and Boston. The company hasn’t set a schedule of dates or venues yet.

Group Nine participated in the New York run of NewFronts in 2018 and 2017. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), which manages the NewFronts, has not officially announced dates for the 2019 session.

Unlike the TV industry’s upfronts — aimed at selling ad inventory ahead of the fall television season — digital-media players don’t have a finite bucket of advertising avails or a specific time of year when they launch new content.

The advertising opportunities developed by Group Nine “aren’t limited to a season or a cultural event,” Christa Carone, president of Group Nine, said in a statement. “With a social-first, mobile-first mindset, we’re always connecting with our audiences in the moment and providing partners with the contextual relevance to do the same.”

Given the cost of holding NewFronts presentations — which deliver promotional value, but don’t necessarily result in hard-revenue deals — IAB has faced a simmering pushback from companies over the last few years. In 2018, the trade group truncated the original New York series to one week (instead of two) and added a two-day L.A. event in October, in part to cater to companies that wanted to reach West Coast marketers.

According to Group Nine, the company’s brands collectively reach 75% of U.S. consumers 18-34. The company claims to be the No. 1 content publisher on mobile in the U.S. and that its brands generate over 5 billion monthly video views.

Privately held Group Nine was formed in 2016 with a $100 million investment from Discovery, combining three startups backed by Lerer Hippeau Ventures — Thrillist, NowThis Media and the Dodo — with Seeker (formerly Discovery Digital Networks). It subsequently raised a $40 million follow-on round from Discovery, Axel Springer and Lerer Hippeau Ventures.

More Digital

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Ends Long Strike Against Ad Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty

    SAG-AFTRA has ended its 10-month strike against Bartle Bogle Hegarty after the advertising agency agreed to sign the union’s new commercials contract. The union instructed its 160,000 members in September not to accept any work for BBH, which had been signed to SAG-AFTRA’s commercials contracts since 1999. The strike came two weeks after BBH publicly [...]

  • FaceApp is displayed on an iPhone,

    SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About FaceApp Terms of Use

    SAG-AFTRA is warning its 160,000 members about the “overreaching and invasive” terms of use for the FaceApp mobile application. FaceApp, developed by Russian company Wireless Lab, uses neural network technology to automatically generate transformations of faces in photographs. The app can be used to make users appear older, younger, or change gender. The terms include [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    ARRI, Mobile TV Group Back New Venture Revitalizing Streamed Concerts

    A new venture looking to bring a fresh approach to live-streaming concerts has gotten the backing of hardware heavyweights ARRI and Mobile TV Group. Wide+Close is launching with the mandate of shooting music performances with film cameras and cinematographers in order to give the content a more cinematic feel. “We want to take concert filming [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    How 'Fortnite' Fans Can Earn Loot by Watching YouTube Videos

    Epic Games and YouTube have teamed up with a special offer for “Fortnite” players — giving players of the popular battle-royale game rewards when they watch “Fortnite”-premiered content on the video platform. The catch: You have to watch at least 20 minutes of “Fortnite” special content or live esports broadcasts to receive the loot. Under [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Plans to Expand to Brazil, Other Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Roku plans to expand to multiple new territories in the coming months, Variety has learned. One of the first new markets for the company will likely be Brazil. An international expansion could help Roku grow its customer base, which in turn should lead to growing advertising revenues. Roku executives have been hinting at plans to [...]

  • Google Stadia Pro to Include 1

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service to Include Free Monthly Game

    Google has been busy sharing additional details about its upcoming game streaming service Stadia, clearing up some confusion in the process. Stadia’s pro subscription tier, which will cost $10 per month, won’t be a Netflix-type subscription service. However, subscribers will get free games at the rate of about a title per month. That’s according to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content