2019 NYC Digital NewFronts

May 6, 2019

The 2019 Digital NewFronts have given us much to digest, from ads for binge watchers to purple gorillas. Here are five announcements from this week’s event.


Meredith Plans to Expand Coverage to Reach “Her”

The media giant is doubling down on programming geared towards women – “Our goal here is to understand her needs, inspire her and entertain her and help her with everyday decisions and drive her to action,” says Catherine Levene, chief digital officer. Meredith plans on leveraging its legacy brands like People and InStyle to not only dive deeper into content it knows its audience is expecting, but also to highlight the empowering stories of women across the globe with new programs like Goal Crushers and Badass Women.


YouTube to Make Original Content Available for Free

In addition to its how-to’s, music videos and YouTube personalities, YouTube has broken into the original content space in recent years with viral series like Cobra Kai and Step Up: High Water. The video platform has its users to thank for the popularity of YouTube originals, since their massive consumption of Karate Kid and dance clips trends largely led to the inception of both Cobra Kai and Step Up: High Water, respectively. What’s more, YouTube plans to pivot from a subscription-based model to an ad-supported, free offering for premium content viewing.


Target Makes Its NewFronts Debut with Roundel

Target Media Network, no more. In a nod to its signature bull’s-eye, the retailer unveiled Roundel, its newly rebranded in-house agency and media network. Since 2016, Target has leveraged its massive amounts of first-party shopper data to create content and campaigns for advertisers, including brands it does not sell in stores. Now, Roundel’s expanded inventory will include audio and linear TV in addition to its already available display and social.


Hulu Targets Binge Viewers with New Ad Format

Hulu is rolling out its latest ad format, what SVP and head of advertising sales Peter Naylor describes as “situationally relevant” creative – for example, a user may be rewarded with a commercial-free episode once he’s four or five episodes in. Or, the user may be recognized as a binge viewer with creative that suggests an action based on how long they’ve been watching; e.g. “Hungry? Why not order some food on DoorDash?” With binge viewing targeted ads, Hulu is changing its approach to advertising in a way in which its linear competitors cannot.


Verizon Media Lasers in on 5G

Following a company-wide reorganization to focus on the transition to 5G networks, Verizon Media opened its NewFronts pitch with an on-screen demonstration featuring “Hypezilla” the purple gorilla, who explained his presence was made possible only via the high speed of 5G – transforming him from an actor in a motion-capture suit to his purple gorilla self in the blink of an eye. In addition to Hypezilla, Verizon displayed its augmented-reality tour of Notre Dame in partnership with USA Today as an illustration of what can be created in partnership with Verizon’s extended-reality journalism studio – all built on its 5G technology.


Sources: Adweek, AdAge

Image Source: IAB