Upfronts 2012: NBCUniversal Touts New Digital Offerings
The two-week extravaganza known as the Digital Newfronts, where big online companies including Yahoo, AOL, YouTube and Hulu conduct TV industry-style pitches to ad buyers, continues this week. The event is not merely reserved for new media giants. Some old-line companies are also touting their new digital offerings. Tuesday night, NBCUniversal makes its own presentation of new offerings and partnerships.
Among NBCU's announcements at Skylight West in midtown Manhattan:
- The launch of the Universal Games Network (UGN), which will aggregate all of NBCU's most popular online, mobile and social gaming efforts around a single platform and allow fans to engage with content. UGN will reward loyal viewers who participate in its online properties with "reward points," allowing them to redeem them for real and virtual goods.
- NBCU subsidiary Telemundo is partnering with Fandango on the launch of "Fandango Cine," designed to reach U.S. Hispanic movie fans. The platform, integrated within the websites of Telemundo and Fandango, will offer movie-related editorial and video programming in Spanish, and also seek to improve the movie ticketing experience of Hispanic audiences.
- NBCU networks are launching web-exclusives including "Oxygen Connect," a social TV platform set for May 18th that among other things will offer a first look at the second season of The Glee Project; "The 80 Plates Tweet Challenge," a partnership between Bravo and Infiniti that encourages fans to tweet a hashtag in promotion of its new culinary competition show and win plane tickets; "StyleCandy," a partnership between the Style Network and Daily Candy that will feature short-form original content on the latest lifestyle trends and styling tips.
- iVillage, a website owned by NBCU, is launching a new video series franchise, My Best Idea, said to merge professionally curated content with tips delivered via video by real members of the iVillage community. The program will debut on Wednesday and the company says it was inspired by a study that found that women who traffic the site come for solutions and inspiration.
“This is a milestone day for NBCUniversal, and shows our commitment to digital and our strong belief that it is a key driver of consumer engagement,” said Linda Yaccarino, president of NBCUniversal entertainment cable and digital ad sales unit, who will be hosting Tuesday's digital upfront.
The company has also announced the formation of a new digital advisory board, Women@NBCU, that will serve a "think tank" for female trends and marketing to women across digital platforms. It is co-chaired by Lauren Zalaznick, chairman of NBCUniversal’s entertainment and digital networks division, and Nick Lehman, president of digital at the same division.
NBCU follows Disney Interactive, which gave its own digital upfront presentation on Thursday. At the SoHo House in New York, the Disney division introduced new web series targeted at women, including Moms of, featuring interviews with the mothers of accomplished citizens; Thinking Up, a look at creative individuals; and That's Fresh, a cooking show. Additionally, Disney Interactive launched Talking Friends, a kids show based on a popular gaming app and Dadsaster, a reality show about stay-at-home fathers.