The 2020 Digital Content NewFronts are moving about two months later as live-streamed virtual presentations, with organizers citing the need for more time for participants to prep.
Previously, the annual NewFronts had been scheduled for April 27-May 6 at various venues in New York City — but with the COVID-19 pandemic it became clear earlier this month the in-person events were off the table. Now they’ve been rescheduled for the week of June 22, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the trade group that runs the NewFronts.
Companies previously scheduled for the 2020 NewFronts were YouTube, Twitter, Roku, Verizon Media, Amazon, BBC News, Condé Nast, Ellen Digital, Hulu, Meredith, The New York Times Co., Vice Media Group, Walmart’s Vudu and ad agency Digitas. It’s not clear whether all of them will be participating in the rescheduled series in June.
According to the IAB, by pushing back the NewFronts, publishers will have more time to fine-tune their messaging and figure out how to showcase their businesses in a streaming environment rather than in-person events. “Our goal is to create a dynamic marketplace that connects buyers and sellers in a way that allows ample time for development, a robust platform for delivery, and safety for all,” IAB president David Cohen said in a statement.
Styled on TV upfronts, the NewFronts are designed to let digital media players show off new programming, formats and advertising capabilities to audiences of brands and agencies.
Among this year’s NewFronts participants, Google’s YouTube was the first to announce that it was shifting its Brandcast event to a streaming-only format over coronavirus concerns. IAB had previously said in-person events would still be an option for the 2020 NewFronts but that’s no longer in the cards.