The TV industry has long used ‘upfronts‘ as a way for networks to sell ad space long before each season reaches the air. Last year, the online video industry held a series of Digital Content Newfronts, where major players showed off their upcoming offerings to hungry advertisers. The second rendition of the DCNF is coming in late April 2013, and it was recently announced that the Interactive Advertisizing Bureau (IAB), a digital advertising trade organization, will take over the event’s reins from Digitas.
The 2012 DCNF attracted many of the big names in the online video sphere, including Google, Hulu, Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft. However, concerns were raised about Digitas’ ability to expand the event, and the IAB, with its network of over 500 online video providers, should have no issue accomplishing just that. The organization hopes that it can attract a more focused group of presenters, and it wishes to feature pitches about online-exclusive content as opposed to TV content repurposed for the Internet.
The first DCNF was a great place for the big names in the digital content industry to make public their upcoming plans, with YouTube announcing a huge marketing push for its Original Channels at the event. With a more targeted approach expected in 2013, don’t be surprised if we’re able to report even more pertinent news this time around.
Digitas deserves credit for bringing mainstream recognition to the digital upfront format, and if there’s any justice in the world, they will continue to produce their own upfronts (which they have hosted for several years) alongside the DCNF. Multiple events are fine by me, but with branded entertainment on the rise, the bigger presence provided by the IAB is a necessary component of a bigger, sexier DCNF.
Once again, the DCNF begins April 29 in New York, so we’ll keep you updated as it draws near.