Ahead of NewFronts, Industry Leaders Predict Brand Safety Will Be Top of Mind

Adapting to OTT's evolution also a focus of Adweek's annual video roundtable

As the 2019 NewFronts kicks off in New York today, the brand safety issue will once again be the apex talking point between programmers and brand and agency partners, who are considering whether to shift more of their advertising budgets into OTT and non-linear television. The annual Adweek NewFronts roundtable convened at Adweek’s HQ a few weeks ahead of the marketplace also revealed that following consumer patterns and listening to their view wants and needs will be central, as will the debate over free and subscription viewing models. Weighing in on what’s ahead were Alana Calderone Polcsa, svp, Warner Brothers Entertainment, the Ellen Show and the Ellen Digital Network; John Halley, COO, ad sales, Viacom; Anna Bager, evp, industry initiatives, IAB; Sarah Personette, global vp, Twitter client solutions; Peter Naylor, svp, ad sales, Hulu; and Tara Walpert Levy, vp, agency and brand solutions, Google and YouTube. One interesting trend that surfaced during the discussion: the courtship of DTC and challenger brands in the OTT space, with programmers seeing them as almost kindred spirits and particularly ripe for their nontraditional platforms. —James Cooper

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This story first appeared in the April 29, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.