The schedule for the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2020 Digital Content NewFronts has been set—again.
This morning, the IAB has released a revised lineup for its annual digital media event, which was postponed for two months due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The updated schedule—which adds new presenters Snap, and TikTok—features a weeklong slate of programming aimed at attracting ever-shrinking advertising budgets in a time of economic upheaval.
Presentations will stretch from Monday, June 22 through Friday, June 26, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET, with five to seven events every day. The slate adds several new companies, following the exit of eight original presenters—including Amazon, Digitas and Twitter—that opted not to participate when the event was postponed from late April/early May to June.
In addition to Snap and TikTok, video hosting service Vevo and DVR company TiVo are also joining, as are news publishers Forbes and American Public Media. Ad-supported streamers like Tubi and Crackle Plus had been previously announced as new additions when IAB revamped and recommitted to the NewFronts last month; publisher The Recount, which had been listed as a new addition two weeks ago, is no longer participating.
In addition to the official presentations, the week will also include what the IAB is calling “contributed or industry insights sessions” from Facebook, GSTV, Samsung Ads, TiVo, Tremor Video and Xandr.
The goal of the new NewFronts slate, which is still being finalized with more presenters expected to be added, is to highlight trends in shifting audience behavior as streaming and gaming have surged. The IAB is also programming several gaming and esports panels, which will take place most of Friday afternoon.
“These new opportunities, new technologies and new ways of thinking are what the NewFronts week is all about,” said IAB president David Cohen in a statement.
Today’s announcement did not specify the specific times that companies will presenting, only the order that the presentations will take place.
Roku, Crackle Plus, Tubi and Hulu will present in that order on Monday, while Snap, Condé Nast, Facebook (offering insights, not a full-fledged presentation), Ellen Digital and Vevo will stream their events on Tuesday.
Wednesday will feature more news publishers, with The Wall Street Journal/Barron’s Group kicking off the day, followed by Forbes, Vice Media Group, audio platform Vibenomics and American Public Media.
YouTube’s Brandcast will begin the day Thursday, followed by TiVo, Tremor Video, Samsung Ads, GSTV, Xandr and TikTok. Tremor Video, Samsung, GSTV and Xandr will, like Facebook, offer shorter industry insights presentations.
Friday’s lineup is still murky as the IAB works on presentations centered on gaming and esports, but digital entertainment studio and game developer 3BlackDot, which works with influencers in the gaming space, will be the last presenter of the week. The whole week will feature a host, who has yet to be announced, a new function of a digital-only event that will be streamed remotely to marketers and media buyers.
“NewFronts is the only marketplace that brings together the entire ecosystem and looks at content, consumers and technology as equally important,” said IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg in a statement. “Social distancing isn’t stopping industry leaders from coming together online to develop relationships that ignite collaboration, strategic discussion, and generate unique ideas to set the stage for business to thrive as the economy comes back to life.”
The NewFronts, like its TV counterpart the upfronts, is looking very different since Covid-19 has turned the media and marketing industries on their heads. The IAB first prepped a livestreamed option for NewFronts in early March as concerns about Covid-19 began to percolate; now, of course, everything will be held remotely.
The presentations come at an acceleration point for streaming services, which are seeing high levels of usage and new signups amid the ongoing pandemic. But it also comes as marketing budgets are drying up: Advertisers are already anticipating they will spend 33% less during this year’s upfront, according to a new survey from Advertiser Perceptions, and first-quarter earnings from major media companies revealed that advertising revenue was shrinking across the board.
Platforms with connected TV functionality, including NewFronts presenters Roku and YouTube, have moved to accelerate some connected TV tools and features to make it easier for marketers to invest in their platforms.