Amidst a long, drawn-out M&A journey, Yahoo has decided to pull out from the 2017 Newfronts, a week-long “marketplace” that Yahoo! co-founded alongside Digitas, Hulu, Google/YouTube, Microsoft and AOL in 2012. Positioned as an opportunty for publishers, content owners and brands to connect around media buying and branded entertainment, the show has become a must-attend despite murkiness around the actual deal-flow generated from the week’s presentations.
“ In lieu of hosting one NewFront in New York City, our team is excited to launch a series of localized events across the country to discuss the massive and transformational growth of video advertising in more intimate settings with our agency and brand partners,” said Yahoo CRO Lisa Utzschneider in a blog post earlier this morning.
It’s a move that mirrors that of Maker Studios at the 2016 Newfronts, post-Disney acquisition. For Yahoo, according to Utzschneider’s letter, the business has been tracking well in its news, sports, tips/tricks and how-to videos across its various verticals as well as live events, and the decision is merely to have a more intimate brand-agency presentation.
The Newfronts run a steep price though — $25,000 to hold the space on the schedule and hundreds more to produce the well-intentioned marketing exercises that have become the annual performance and talent-driven presentations. With a limited track record for truly driving deal flow, justifying the spend might be questionable.
At a time when Yahoo is underway on diligence into its acquisition, wise spending is likey top of mind for Utzschneider and team.
But unlike Yahoo, which is being diligent about that spend, Twitter, which has also been in troubled territory as a business, today announced it has signed on for the Newfronts. On Monday, May 1st in New York City, the social media platform will showcase its product offering around live events and simulcasted events. For Twitter, linear simulcasting and creating partnerships with content publishers for live formats has proven fruitful for its advertising bottom line — the primary motivator for them logging on for its first Newfront.