• Here come the Digital Content Newfronts! -

    The annual TV Upfronts have a new sibling:

    the Digital Content Newfronts,

    a collaborative undertaking by AOL, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

    Pioneered by Digitas, it’s a marketplace for digital companies to showcase their made-for-web, original digital content to potential advertisers.

    The time appears to have come for the likes of the DCNFs. 

    According to eMarketer.com (1/19/12),

    “US online advertising spending, which grew 23% to $32.03 billion in 2011, is expected to grow an additional 23.3% to $39.5 billion this year—pushing it ahead of total spending on print newspapers and magazines.

    … This year, TV ad spending will grow an estimated 6.8% to $64.8 billion.

    Clearly, money is starting to flow in the direction of  the upstarts in web video programming. eMarketer estimates that online VIDEO ad spending alone was $2.16 billion in 2011 and that by 2015 it will reach $7.1 billion (PR Newswire, 2/22/12).

    As Michael Learmonth writes in AdAge Digital (3/12/12),

    “An upfront for digital video is well-timed, as traditional TV viewing fragments. While more people are watching overall, the biggest shows reach smaller audiences.

    Meanwhile, rising TV-ad costs have marketers looking to digital to lower media expenses. Web companies are betting that original content will send dollars their way.

    AOL and Yahoo have renewed their commitments to content, Hulu is increasing its investment in original shows, and Google’s YouTube is pouring $100 million into 96 original channels just now getting off the ground.

    … content providers feel the imperative to simply get in the heads of agency folk and brands before they spend $9 billion on broadcast TV.

    The media and advertising community around this time of year is in a mindset of planning billions of dollars for the next 12 months,” said Hulu sales chief JP Colaco. “It’s important to all of us that we get in front of these folks in a concerted way and talk about our product.”

    The DCNFs are slated to start in New York just before the annual TV Upfronts in May. Hulu is scheduled to present first, on April 19th, followed by Microsoft and AOL on April 24th, Yahoo on April 25th, Digitas on April 26th, and Google/YouTube on May 2nd.

    For a schedule of what’s happening when ….

    (All DCNF events are by invitation only.)

    RP & KW