2021 NewFronts Will Stay Virtual, Be Immediately Followed By Podcast Upfronts

By 12/10/2020
2021 NewFronts Will Stay Virtual, Be Immediately Followed By Podcast Upfronts

The 2021 NewFronts are going virtual–and, in a bid to encourage “holistic” investments from marketers across video and audio content, the Interactive Advertising Bureau has scheduled the event back-to-back with another of its annual gatherings, the Podcast Upfront.

The NewFronts will stream live May 3-7, and the Podcast Upfront–which normally takes place in the fall–will run the week after, May 10-14. For the uninitiated, the NewFronts began in 2014 as digital media’s version of traditional TV “upfronts.” During the event, media publishers and social platforms do their best to entice ad dollars by showcasing their latest features to marketers. The Podcast Upfront is similar, but for, well, podcasts.

2021’s scheduling change is intended to “enable marketers to evaluate their omni-channel investments in an increasingly holistic way,” the IAB said in a statement. But the back-to-back schedule isn’t all the bureau is doing to try to make things more comprehensive for next year.

“Buyers could not have been more clear coming out of the 2020 NewFronts: they want to move the video marketplace closer together to make it easier to buy,” David Cohen, IAB’s CEO, said in a statement. “Buyers are tired of incompatible measurement structures, differing currencies, technological complexities and the intricate negotiation that inevitably follows.”

As such, the IAB added, the 2021 NewFronts will “take place in context of IAB’s cross-industry video initiative, which aims to modernize how video is bought and sold around a consistent set of principles, standards, practices, and–where applicable–products and technologies.”

Presenters and marketers across digital, streaming, and linear video are invited to attend in 2021, the IAB said. It noted that the 2020 NewFronts drew more than 14,000 attendees total.

Hosts, presenters, and programming details will be announced “in the coming weeks,” per IAB. The 2020 event featured presenters like Amazon, Condé Nast, Hulu, The New York Times, Twitter, Verizon Media, VICE Media Group, YouTube, and first-timers TikTok, Facebook, and Snap.