IAB Trims NewFronts Schedule, Plans Los Angeles Event

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YouTube's 2017 NewFront

The Digital Content NewFronts ballooned to over 30 companies at its height, but as the media industry goes through a period of retraction, the annual event has signed up just 16 presenters this year.

The Digital Content NewFronts will be a smaller affair this year. 

The annual event, during which digital media companies show off in front of potential advertisers, is being cut down from two weeks to one.

There are currently 16 companies scheduled to participate this year, down from more than 30 companies that showcased at the event's height. Among the presenters are Twitter, Disney Digital Network, Oath, Hulu, ESPN and YouTube. The IAB said that it expects more companies to join in the weeks to come.

This year, the IAB is also planning a Los Angeles event, which will take place during the fourth quarter. The schedule for that event has yet to be released.

"Advertisers' increasing demand for innovative, original digital video programming opportunities prompted us to extend the conversations held at NewFronts, with the creation of a second event on the West Coast," said Anna Bager, exec vp industry initiatives at IAB. "Audiences are turning to a variety of platforms — from OTT to mobile — to engage with digital video content whenever and wherever, and marketers want to be part of this movement. The New York City roster for this spring includes media powerhouses and digital upstarts that will offer action-packed, star-studded presentations. The marketplace is sure to encourage even greater spend from brands, which increasingly recognize the dynamism of video and its valuable role in the media mix."

The NewFronts were established in 2012 as the digital industry's response to the television upfronts, which take place just a few weeks later. As digital startups boomed, the event grew to encompass BuzzFeed and Vice Media and other startups. Then, traditional media firms with digital ambitions — including the New York Times, BBC and CNN — joined. 

But in 2017, many companies pulled back, choosing to hold less lavish events or no event at all. Now, companies across the industry are tightening their purse strings as they face revenue shortfalls or declining valuations. BuzzFeed, Vice and CNN — all regular NewFronts presenters in the past — are not on the schedule this year. 

The Digital Content NewFronts will run April 30 to May 4 in New York. 

Here is the full schedule: 

Monday 4/30

9 a.m. The New York Times
12 p.m. BBC News
6 p.m. Twitter

Tuesday 5/1

9 a.m. Disney Digital Network
12 p.m. Fusion Media Group
3 p.m. Conde Nast
6 p.m. Oath

Wednesday 5/2

9 a.m. Hulu
12 p.m. ESPN
3 p.m. Refinery29
6 p.m. Jukin Media

Thursday 5/3

9 a.m. Meredith
12 p.m. Group Nine Media
2 p.m. DigitasLBi
6 p.m. YouTube

Friday 5/4

9 a.m. IAB NewFronts Insights Breakfast
12 p.m. Studio71