Since the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has decided on a hybrid format for the 2022 NewFronts, many attendees will experience the annual digital ad buying event through their computer screens. However, there will still be plenty of excitement for those who make the trip to Manhattan. The 2022 NewFronts schedule has been released, and it features in-person presentations from major tech companies like TikTok, Meta, Snap, and Twitter. Five days after the conclusion of the NewFronts, the Podcast Upfront will take center stage, with veteran creator Franchesca Ramsey (pictured above) once again serving as its host.
The NewFronts schedule has undergone a lot of changes over its 14-year history. Marketing agency Digitas launched the first NewFront in 2008, and by the early 2010s, the event spanned two weeks. It shrank back to one week in 2018. The 2022 edition, which begins on May 2, will be a four-day feeding frenzy for digital ad buyers. The first three days will feature hybrid sessions, with most of the online video industry’s heavy hitters pitching to advertisers during the coveted late afternoon and evening timeslots.
On Thursday, May 5, the presentations will move to a fully remote setup. Those sessions will be shorter, and 20 different events are scheduled for that day alone. Attendees who log in will be able to hear from companies like Fubo TV, Tastemade, and Vevo, whose execs will discuss the ad inventory they have for sale.
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“As the media world continues its rapid digital intensification, the opportunities afforded by ad-supported streaming will invariably become richer and more satisfying for consumers and marketers alike,” said IAB CEO David Cohen in a statement. “With streaming at the center of everything, we should be both energized by the possibilities and enthusiastic to rethink legacy practices around planning, activation, currency, measurement, creativity, and diversity.”
Compared to usual, YouTube’s name is hard to find in the 2022 NewFronts schedule. The leading online video platform typically delivers its yearly Brandcast in the middle of the IAB’s gathering, but this year, it has bucked tradition by moving its presentation to coincide with the TV upfronts. That means YouTube’s May 17 presentation will come 12 days after the NewFronts end. Expect CEO Susan Wojcicki to use her annual pitch to position YouTube as a competitor for conventional TV networks. Meanwhile, YouTube will be the principal sponsor of the NewFronts and will help kick off the week at 9:15 am on Monday.
As old NewFronts presenters find new ways to court ad agency execs and operatives, the IAB is looking to recruit fresh blood. Its inaugural PlayFronts, which occurred earlier in April, provided a link between video game content distributors and the people who would like to jam that content full of ads. That get-together produced some enlightening results.
After the 2022 NewFronts end, the IAB will promote an industry that is now at the forefront of ad-supported digital media: Podcasting. The 2022 Podcast Upfronts will be entirely virtual, and its schedule includes 31 sessions spread across three days. Ramsey, who gained fame on her Chescaleigh YouTube channel before hosting 112 episodes of the podcast Last Name Basis between 2015 and 2019, will serve as the virtual emcee. She operated in a similar role during the previous Podcast Upfront.
The brands that will show off their audio programs include NPR, Wondery, Vox Media, and Slate. “Podcast advertising is a billion-dollar industry, but there are still brands who have yet to fully embrace these advertising opportunities. Podcasting dominates the audio marketplace and influences listeners, content creators, and advertisers alike, while also delivering great scale to brands across all vertical categories,” said Eric John, VP of the IAB Media Center, in a statement. “Powered by a unique and intimate relationship between listener and host, podcasting provides a highly engaging and personalized ad-friendly environment that resonates with consumers and helps deliver high ROI for brands.”
Click here to see the full Podcast Upfront lineup.
In announcing the 2022 NewFronts and Podcast Upfront schedules, the IAB noted that all presenters and timeslots are subject to change. Don’t be surprised if you see some amount of shuffling before the presentations actually begin. Platforms have dropped out in the past, and when they do, the IAB usually finds newcomers to replace them.
As always, Tubefilter will offer comprehensive coverage of the IAB’s annual online video gathering and the presentations therein. You can keep an eye on this page if you want to read our latest NewFronts updates as they go live.