- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
A streaming giant is joining May’s upfront fray.
For the first time, YouTube will hold its annual Brandcast advertising event during TV’s upfront week, giving the Google-owned digital-video giant stage space alongside The Walt Disney Co., NBCUniversal, Paramount, Fox Corp., and (presumably) Warner Bros. Discovery.
YouTube said Wednesday that it will hold its event on Wednesday, May 17, at 8 p.m. in New York, with an option to livestream the show for those that can’t make it.
Brandcast has for years been the closing event of the IAB Newfronts, with the company taking over Radio City Music Hall and nearby Rockefeller Plaza for its presentation and party (before the COVID-19 pandemic sent all the newfronts and upfronts virtual in 2020). The company will still participate in this year’s newfronts (in fact it will be the principal sponsor), but will shift to host a smaller event focused on creator economy insights in partnership with MediaLink on May 2.
In a blog post published Wednesday titled “YouTube is the Main Stream,” YouTube vp Debbie Weinstein wrote that the event will “feature top creators and music talent,” and elaborated on why the company made the shift.
“More than ever before, our customers are asking us how they can tap into the streaming boom and continue to reach new audiences. Our answer is simple: Today, streaming and TV are one and the same. And YouTube can help advertisers reach more of their audiences on the big screen,” Weinstein wrote, adding that according to Nielsen data, YouTube now “accounts for over 50% of ad-supported streaming watch time on connected TVs among people ages 18 and up.
“The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) NewFronts and the Upfronts — the annual marketplaces for digital video and TV ad sales — are the most important moments to reach advertisers and agencies as they plan their media strategies,” she added. “We feel this is the right time to help our customers bridge the gap between linear TV and digital, which is why YouTube will have a presence at both events this year.”
2022 is shaping up to be a year of significant change for the upfronts.
With major entertainment companies holding their first live upfront events since 2019, streaming is expected to take center stage, with NBCU’s Peacock, Disney’s Hulu, ViacomCBS’ Paramount+ and Pluto, Fox’s Tubi, and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max all expected to be featured heavily, alongside the traditional broadcast and cable TV offerings.
The streaming focus for 2022 may have given YouTube an in, given its massive scale in ad-supported streaming. The video platform had $28.8 billion in advertising revenue in fiscal 2021.
In addition, Fox and Disney are changing venues for the first time in years, with Fox not only folding Tubi, Fox News and Fox Sports into its presentation, but moving it to lower Manhattan. Disney, meanwhile, is leaving Lincoln Center for the Lower East Side’s Basketball City complex. NBCUniversal will return to Radio City Music Hall, while ViacomCBS returns to Carnegie Hall.
Disney’s new venue could pose a challenge for YouTube’s upfront plans as well. While YouTube hasn’t revealed where it will hold its Brandcast event just yet, Basketball City’s relatively isolated location could make attending both events difficult for advertisers.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day