As 2015’s Digital Content NewFronts Kick Off, We Celebrate the Era of Unprecedented Choice

With video, nothing is certain, and anything is possible

Headshot of James Cooper

While it's debatable whether or not this is the golden age of video, television or content, it is undeniably the golden age of choice.

Never have viewers had so many options to watch. Before them exists a vast array of video content ranging from UGC trampoline fails to Robin Wright devouring lushly produced scenes in the Netflix original House of Cards. It is a remarkable time to be a viewer when you can't keep up with all the great video content being produced, even as it's increasingly on-demand, binge-enabled and mobile. There is just too much to watch.

With this as preamble—and with this, our annual Video Issue, plus a hub devoted to video content at—the curtain goes up today on the fourth annual Digital Content NewFronts. The world has changed significantly since last year's presentations. Web-only series have started to win mainstream awards, Facebook and Twitter leaned into video (and will likely change the mode of its monetization within the next year), and Comcast just last week walked away from its bid to buy Time Warner Cable, as the debate rages over who will control the broadband lifeline over which this content will be delivered.

This is a wild time to be in the business of producing and distributing video content, which also makes it a blast for us to cover. The editors at Adweek saw this new world approaching four years ago and have been honored to be the official media partner with the Interactive Advertising Bureau during a time of great creative and commercial change.

IAB president and CEO Randall Rothenberg correctly points out that while traditional television has always been very adaptable and will continue to survive, the future belongs to nonlinear Web- and mobile-based video. Adweek also partnered with the IAB for a roundtable discussion on the digital video creative and advertising marketplace, featuring five industry execs charting the path forward for their respective companies and clients.

Among the takeaways from that conversation, moderated by IAB svp and general manager of mobile and video Anna Bager: Clearer standards are needed; traditional media companies have the opportunity to create new offerings and revenue streams; and premium content is only so if it authentically engages, and travels with, viewers.

And then, there's content itself. The IAB's NewFronts have ballooned to 33 presentations this year, and Adweek will cover each and every one over the next two weeks. After the presentations wrap, we will collect clips, samples and previews from those presenters for our long-tail showcase at that packages the programming by demographic focus for the media-buying community to review as they set spending plans for their clients.

And finally, Yankee legend Derek Jeter graces our cover. Jeter, who spoke with Adweek's Michelle Castillo, has stepped behind the scenes to create The Players' Tribune, a portal that features content directly from athletes. It will be distributed in partnership with AOL, which is betting big on original digital sports content—yet another viewing decision to make. Choice is king.

@jcoopernyc James Cooper is editorial director of Adweek.