|A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM AMAZON FREEVEE|
|Thursday May 4, 2023|
|Live from NewFronts: Thursday Edition
The first week of the 2023 NewFronts is coming to an end, but discourse over ad innovation and connection capabilities is heating up. Celebrity wattage from the likes of Anna Wintour, Edward Enniful, J Balvin and Ashley Park wasn’t enough to distract from presentations that focused on industry-altering new content, tech and advertising opportunities – not even Revry’s LGBTQ-inspired performance of “The Wizard of Oz” (though it came close). Read more about the voices and visions driving results.
During the course of the week, Snap, Roku and Samsung all made announcements about artificial intelligence-powered ads. On Wednesday, Samba TV highlighted AI as a way to produce creative, and target and measure cross-screen, cross-platform performance. “[It will] affect the way we work, how we understand audiences, even the way the technology is being built into the television will basically transform the viewing experience,” said Samba TV Co-founder and CEO Ashwin Navin.
This year, there has been a focus on outcomes measurement. While currency has been making headlines, advertisers equally value brand, behavioral and business outcomes, as well as optimization. “With modern capabilities, advertisers don’t need to settle for campaign report cards, but can demand their media partners show how investments will be automatically optimized as the campaign progresses,” said Upwave CEO Chris Kelly. As companies shift budgets from linear to streaming and reevaluating partners, presenters have emphasized the importance of companies positioning themselves as brand-safe, with inclusive initiatives.
And the buzz about the future of measurement and attribution capabilities is just getting louder. Tying the impact of media with real-world business KPIs, advertisers are demanding better accountability for their media buys across linear and digital. “As linear, CTV and digital converge, we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible,” said DIRECTV chief advertising sales officer Amy Leifer. “It’s really exciting to see how strategies like addressable advertising are already allowing for seamless planning and measurement across linear and CTV. And now we’re seeing the crossover of innovative ad formats—like pause ads—that can create engaging opportunities for consumers to interact with brands in a way that cuts through the clutter and drives meaningful interactions. Pairing innovation with precise targeting capabilities is a win-win for advertisers and brands.”
As TV consumption changes, currency must evolve to fit the future of TV. “It’s no longer that family gathering around one TV set to watch a specific show at a particular time,” said Tal Chalozin, Innovid CTO and co-founder. “People are viewing video content across devices, platforms and time. The industry is at an inflection point where the daily time spent with digital video is surpassing linear television. So these standards must take into account that TV has increasingly become digital, and will continue to do so at a rapid pace.”
|A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM AMAZON FREEVEE
Canela Media launched new product innovation and a content roadmap, rolling out Canela Connect, a proprietary data and audience solution. Centered on an OTT-first approach to reach US Hispanics, the female and minority-owned technology company’s strategy will include over 2,000 hours of original content for 2023-24. “We’re committed to disrupting through data and content, while connecting with communities authentically,” said Canela Media Founder and CEO Isabel Rafferty. “Our goal is to continue to innovate not just in the content we produce for our audience, but in how our advertising partners can reach the U.S. Hispanic audience with more precision and across the OTT ecosystem beyond our platforms, regardless of the language in which they consume content.” Canela Media also announced original series, including the return of “Secretos de Villanas” and its spinoff “Secretos de las Indomables,” starring Alicia Machado.
“We don’t just make content, we make culture, and in turn we make history.” So said Pamela Drucker Mann, Condé Nast global chief revenue officer and president, US revenue and APAC, who spoke to attendees about Condé World, and why Condé Nast is the new must-have media partner. Creating “the NFL of fashion” and the “NBA of beauty,” Drucker said, “Forget the metaverse, we’re already living in a multiverse.” And with new partners such as Starbucks, Gucci and Valentino, the company’s commercial strategy is working to create content that drives culture forward. With a Vogue World in London this September, and new projects such as “A List with Franklin Leonard,” Architectural Digest’s “Home At Last” with host Tan France, 230 returning series and 300 new pilots, Drucker said, “Culture is Condé Nast.”
GSTV unveiled new partners, as well as original content coming to its network this year. Among the highlights: “Must-See America,” developed in partnership with travel destination Matador Network; snackable financial journalism from Benzinga; and game show “Name That Tune,” from Prestige Entertainment. Promoted by “American Idol” alum Randy Jackson, “Name That Tune” will allow viewers to test their music knowledge. GSTV Sounds Bites powered by Live Nation will bring musical artists ranging from Macklemore to Nickelback and more to GSTV screens as they share interviews from touring on the road. “By doubling down on new content partners and unveiling new original programming, we want to further distinguish GSTV as a video platform where advertisers can organically integrate with or place advertising content adjacent to our entertaining, informative, and family-friendly content,” said Sean McCaffrey, President and CEO of GSTV.
According to Bindi Patel, director of Agency Partnerships at Vevo, advertisers are continuing to look for efficiency, flexibility and proof of investment, and buyers are looking for incrementality – including harder-to-reach diverse audiences and Gen Z.
|A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM AMAZON FREEVEE
Spanish-language media companies Canela Media, Estrella Media, LATV and Americano Media each took to the stage on Wednesday to highlight bilingual and Spanish-language audiences in the streaming space. Jacqueline Hernández, CEO and co-founder of Majority Ready, said Hispanics are “over indexing the total [US] population,” yet out of over 1,400 FAST channels, only 252 are Spanish language, and only 21 are dedicated to African American audiences. Under the slogan “No más fake news,” Americano Media has affirmed itself as a “brand safe” company reporting the facts. “We’re here to give both sides an opportunity to speak freely and fairly without canceling or shutting anybody down,” said the company’s Founder and CEO Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo.
Michael Bologna, chief accelerator at BrightLine, predicted that CTV would take center stage in this year’s presentations, in the overhaul from linear to streaming. “Despite some post-pandemic cooling, connected TV offerings remain a focal point,” Bologna said. “All parties are placing significant emphasis on innovating ad experiences to align with the viewing experiences enabled by these devices. Interactive, personalized, and out-of-pod ad experiences are now available across all major TV streamers. Failure to align the ad experience with the viewing experience is equivalent to running standard definition TV commercials in a 4K environment.”
Amazon Freevee has launched in the UK, Germany and Austria – and so far, so good. “The free streaming service has been resonating with customers in each location as we have continued to expand both our content offering and app availability,” said Ryan Pirozzi, head of Amazon Freevee.
|A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM AMAZON FREEVEE
Demonstrating an alignment of big media with big tech, NBCUniversal and Twitter have partnered for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024. Sharing live Twitter moments and stories of athletes in the lead-up to the Games, the companies plan to have a larger focus on premium video, and evaluate existing and new products to bring new ideas on-site. Beginning in February and counting down until the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on July 26, 2024, Twitter will feature NBCU’s pre-Games coverage, including Olympic-related competition highlights, key US Olympic Team Trials moments and a “Paris 25-day Countdown” with daily athlete and event clips. Throughout the Games, NBC Olympics will also feature memorable moments and key highlights on Twitter and in Spanish on the Telemundo Sports Twitter account, and will produce and publish a daily live show on Twitter. “For the first time since 2018, the Olympic and Paralympic Games will return to their true glory in 2024, with full stadiums and the world’s greatest athletes competing against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Paris, where the modern Olympic Games were conceived 130 years ago,” said Joe Varvara, global head of partnerships at Twitter. “Together with NBCUniversal, we’re excited to bring you new opportunities to align with the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer.”
SEEN & OVERHEARD
At Condé Nast’s NewFront this morning, Pamela Drucker Mann observed, “We aren’t just another company, we are way better dressed.”
“I don’t think anybody can be [just] a measurement company anymore,” said Dan Aversano of TelevisaUnivision. “If you’re not working in and around identity, in how we plan, [buy], optimize and activate [media], you’re dead in the water.”
Conan O’Brien, in a pre-recorded video for his new network on Samsung TV Plus, said, “You have to pay for water these days. My shows are free. Free. Check them out!”
“We’re just starting to scratch the surface of what AI can do for content development, for both large audiences and niche audiences. It’s a paradox to figure out,” said IAB Chief Executive Officer David Cohen.
And that’s a wrap on NewFronts coverage! This insight-packed week will close at Sony Hall, where Colombian music superstar J Balvin will conclude Vevo’s NewFront with a live performance.