IAB Moves 2020 NewFronts to June

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YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki at YouTube's 2018 NewFronts presentation

The event organizer says the date shift will "give publishers time to be creative, fine tune their messages and do their best work."

The Interactive Advertising Bureau, organizer of the NewFronts, is moving the annual pitchfest to June to give presenters more time to prep their virtual showcases. 

The NewFronts were originally scheduled to run from April 27 to May 6. But after the novel coronavirus outbreak hit the United States, the IAB decided to turn it into a virtual event with partners including YouTube and Twitter agreeing to live-stream their presentations. Now, the IAB says in a blog post that it will postpone the event by a little more than a month, moving it to June 22 to "give publishers time to be creative, fine tune their messages and do their best work." 

The IAB did not say how many participants would continue to offer presentations given the new schedule. It also did not say whether the event would continue to run for two weeks — with a week devoted to streaming video — as originally planned. 

"The NewFronts have always been about realizing our collective potential, not looking through the lens of the past," said IAB president David Cohen. "In that spirit, we're having extensive conversations with both buyers and presenters about how to leverage this year's unique challenges to create something that’s not just 'OK, all things considered' but really and truly better. Our goal is to create a dynamic marketplace that connects buyers and sellers in a way that allows ample time for development, a robust platform for delivery, and safety for all."

The NewFronts began more than a decade ago as the digital industry's response to the television upfronts. At its peak, the gathering hosted more than 30 individual company presentations over two weeks. In recent years, as the digital media industry has contracted, the number of presenters has declined. But this year, IAB added a day devoted to audio programming and a three-day Streaming Week that was to be capped off with Hulu's annual upfront presentation. 

In the blog post, the IAB said it would share more details about the postponed event in the future, noting, "This will be a 'new NewFronts' in every way you can imagine."