If you plan on attending the NewFronts, here's a prep list:
- Tweet with peers about who will be attending various NewFront events
- Read the trade articles and company press releases
- Watch the full first season of Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" (it's hysterical)
Editor's note: click here for full iMedia NewFront coverage.
The NewFronts aren't a fledging event anymore. Execs and media folks are packing out major NYC event venues to talk about content from names like Ed Helms, LeBron James, and yes, Jerry Seinfeld. In addition, companies like Yahoo are making partnerships with major players including Saturday Night Live, WWE, and ABC News.
Last year, the companies who held NewFronts were in a bit of a catch-22. Online video was exploding, but the industry couldn't yet define exactly what online video was. Was it original video extras from NBC's The Office cast members? Did it still include YouTube UGC? What about brand-sponsored originals like Dentyne's "The Single Life"? Or did it have to be professionally-produced and TV-like, ala Hulu's Keifer Sutherland dramatic web series "The Confession"?
This year the IAB has defined online video content as OPOV, original professional online video. And current stats show that 31% of 18-34 year olds watch OPOV, along with 20% of the general population.
If you're a marketer, you need to know what's happening at this year's NewFronts. Yahoo's COO Henrique DeCastro challenged the audience at last night's Yahoo event: "Shift 5-10% of your TV spend to us. If you don't see ROI, we won't keep your money." The audiences continue to grow, the metrics are maturing, and mobile had paved the way for always-on consumer demand.
We'll regale you with more stats later this week. For now, keep an eye on twitter.com/bethanysimpson. We'll give you the highlights from the events, and we'll talk with insiders who can tell us what the announcements really mean to marketers.
Here are some of the highlights so far:
Marissa Mayer and other Yahoo execs took the stage, alongside some of the company's new video talent, to announce new partnerships and content including:
- Partnerships with Saturday Night Live, WWE, ABC News, CNBC, Conde Nast
- Original content including: "Tiny Commando" with Ed Helms, "We Need Help" from Cheryl Hines, and "Losing Your Virginity with John Stamos."
- New lifestyle shows including "Fashion Recipe," Cinema & Spice," and "Grill Girls"
- New Fall shows including "The Fuzz," and "Ghost Ghirls"
The Weather Channel
You might be surprised that The Weather Channel held a NewFront event. But the company says 25% of users go to TWC apps or Weather.com as their first and last experience every day. The company also says that Weather.com has 100 million unique visitors per month, and is adding 100,000 new users every day. So why not make a play in original video?
The company announced, as part of Weather Films, "I am Unstoppable," an inspirational series about athletes overcoming physical disabilities, "Alive," first-person accounts of people who survived life-threatening weather events, and "Virus Hunters," a show focused on killer-virus outbreaks.
The gaming-gone-content company kicked off their NewFront event with fire dancers (from Lucent Dossier), and made content announcements including:
- StageDoor: an MSN video content destination (see video below)
- A second season of "The LeBrons," an animated series featuring LeBron James. The show received more than 50 million views in its first season in 2011.
- Microsoft's Xbox group is partnering with Onebeat to develop a new app
- A partnership with ShowTime Networks' docu-series "Years of Living Dangerously"