Between April 27th and May 7th, more than 30 companies will descend on New York for the Digital Content Newfronts, where they will pitch upcoming programs and services to advertisers. The week before those festivities begin, a company with massive online video goals will make its own pitch. Facebook, which was once rumored to be a part of the Newfronts schedule, will now host its on event on April 22nd.
As the Wall Street Journal explains, Facebook will invite advertisers, marketers, and agency reps to its New York office, where it will discuss its upcoming online video initiatives. Chief among the social media giant’s video plans is Anthology, a program that will distribute branded content across Facebook’s massive user base. The Information, which first reported on Anthology, cited Vice, The Onion, and Vox as potential partners.
Anthology is a big part of Facebook’s ambitious push toward a larger online video presence, which heated up sometime around the beginning of 2014. Since then, Facebook has implemented video ads, courted high-profile content creators, and made its player embeddable, all in the hopes of challenging sites like YouTube. Tangible results are quickly surfacing: In January 2015, Facebook announced it had surpassed three billion video views per day.
By putting so many resources toward video, Facebook seemed like a logical addition to the Newfronts lineup, and for a while, it seemed as if that would happen. However, when the event’s preliminary schedule arrived, Facebook was nowhere to be found. “We had initial talks with the IAB about participating in the NewFronts, and as we got closer to the schedule being confirmed, we had more in-depth conversations about the goals of the NewFronts and IAB’s vision for the event,” a Facebook rep told Adweek at the time. “Since Facebook does not produce original content, we decided it doesn’t make sense for us to participate at this time.”
By hosting its own event, Facebook can direct the conversation in whichever direction it chooses, and given its scale, influence, and collection of data, advertisers will be eager to listen.