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The Big Guys Want the Spotlight at Next Year's NewFronts Per IAB memo, the founding partners seek more control

The biggest companies in Web video are looking to assert more influence over the scheduling strategy for next year's Digital Content NewFronts.

According to a memo from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the NewFront Founding Partners—YouTube, AOL, Microsoft, Hulu, Yahoo and others—are planning on putting together a list of companies that will be invited to present during NewFront week. The Founding Partners will ultimately decide who presents during that week, and who doesn’t.

That’s a change from last year, when nearly 20 different digital video companies hosted NewFront events during the week, and some grumbled that the biggest names in video (i.e. the Founding Partners) might get drowned out. Last year was the first year that the IAB had been invited to manage the process.

Of course, two years ago, the NewFronts were spread across three weeks. The result was a disjointed, though well-received, initiative.

This time around, the tentative plan is to have the big companies go first, with the spotlight to themselves as the week proceeds—much like the broadcast TV upfront week. Then, on Friday, a group of selected smaller sites would give a series brief NewFront presentations, according to sources.

That group of companies will come from a survey the IAB plans to conduct using the top 100 content companies as ranked by comScore. That initial list will be circulated throughout the industry for a vote—after which the Founding Partners will decide which companies will get Friday slots.

The 2014 NewFronts are scheduled for April 28 through May 2.

Here’s the memo:

The 2013 NewFronts were a great success and we are so glad [company] could be a part of it.
Planning for 2014 has begun. The 2014 NewFronts will be held April 28 through May 2.
I'm overseeing the management of the 2014 NewFronts at IAB and am working with the Founding Partners and an Advisory Board (comprised of Agencies/Digital & TV Buyers and Brands) to establish a process for presenter selections this year that looks much the same as last year.

The Founding Partners have decided on the following process for selection of 2014 NewFronts Presenters:

  1.  IAB will put together a survey based on the comScore Top 100 content creation companies and circulate to the Advisory Board for additions/approval
  2.  IAB will circulate this list of content creators as a survey to a large, industry representative group, to vote on their top choices for who they’d like to see presenting at the 2014 NewFronts
  3.  Results will be tallied and survey results will go to Founding Partners and Agency/Marketer Advisory Board for final decisions on presenters
  4.  Top ranked companies will be invited to present during the week
This process will occur over the next month.
Our plan is to send invitations to 2014 NewFronts Presenters the week of November 4.
New this year and in line with the goal of showcasing a wide range of creativity throughout the week, Friday will be programmed with shorter presentations by smaller content creators.
Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions at all.

_______________________
Leigh Ferreira
iab.
Director, Industry Initiatives

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