By Sahil Patel
Launched in 2012 as an industry-wide showcase for premium digital video content, the Newfronts are anchored by its founding partners: AOL, DigitasLBi, Yahoo, Microsoft, Hulu, and YouTube. Other digital media companies like Vice and Defy Media, as well as a few traditional giants like Scripps Networks Interactive and NBCUniversal, have participated in previous years.
If Facebook does show up to the Newfronts next year, it would probably be the main attraction for advertisers.
It’s no secret that Facebook is in the middle of a strong push to bring more video content and video-ad money to its network. The company has solicited traditional and digital media creators to publish videos natively on the social network, and is actively pitching advertisers to distribute and promote their content within users’ news feeds.
All of that has worked to drive Facebook’s video numbers up in recent months.
It only makes sense, then, for the company to show up during the two weeks in May when the top digital video players try to pitch their platforms and content to advertisers. It wouldn’t be Facebook’s first time around the Newfronts rodeo, either, having presented at the inaugural IAB UK Digital Upfronts in October. (IAB organizes and oversees the Newfronts.)
It’s not clear yet what Facebook would showcase during its presentation next year. Adweek suggests that the company is likely to feature original programming. That’s certainly a possibility, and would not be unlike YouTube’s recent decision to fund original content from top creators on its platform.
That said, Newfronts, like the upfronts, are designed to attract ad dollars. And as of right now, Facebook videos are not monetizable, unless it’s an advertiser spending money to distribute content on the social network. (There’s also LiveRail, which allows Facebook extend its video business beyond its own walls.) So if the presentation focuses more on video ad products Facebook offers — like its UK presentation did — don’t be so surprised.