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YouTube Cancels In-Person Brandcast Event, Moves to Online Stream Over Coronavirus Concerns

Annual presentation allows companies to show off new shows and products to advertisers and the media

YouTube on Wednesday said it would not host an in-person Brandcast event this year and would instead stream its presentation due to fears over the coronavirus outbreak.

The event, which was set for April 30 in New York, was scheduled alongside several other NewFronts presentations. Those presentations are now in jeopardy of also being switched to digital-only, with the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the firm behind NewFronts, asking the 13 other companies to move to streaming their event.

“Out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our customers, partners and employees, and in alignment with the best practices laid out by the CDC, WHO and other relevant entities regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), YouTube has decided to shift Brandcast to a digital-first event to be premiered on YouTube.  We will share more details shortly,” A YouTube rep told TheWrap.

Google, YouTube’s parent company, on Tuesday recommended all of its North American employees work from home until April 10 due to coronavirus concerns.

The company’s decision on Wednesday comes as several popular events and festivals in the U.S. have been postponed or cancelled in the last week. Both the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals on Tuesday were postponed, and SXSW, which was set for this week in Austin, Texas, has been cancelled.