This year the Newfronts are going international, only they’re going by a new name — the Digital Upfronts UK, headed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau UK. Following a successful (depending on who you speak to) Newfronts in New York this past spring, the IAB, which took over the Digital Newfronts in 2013, will now expand the event across the pond.
Scheduled over the course of a week — October 13–17 — the inaugural Digital Upfronts UK has already locked in AOL, DigitasLBi, Facebook, Google, Mashable, Microsoft, Millennial Media, Twitter, and Yahoo as presenters. The official schedule has yet to be released but we anticipate that some of the usual suspects who were present at the 2014 Digital Newfronts will also show up.
Perhaps most interesting is Facebook, which will be debuting a premium video product at the Digital Upfronts UK that allows brands to put 30-second messaging followed by a carousel of content directly into an auto-play video unit. Instagram will also be core focus for Facebook at the presentations along with plans to showcase its future investment in mobile and native advertising opportunities. Remember when we said that Facebook was supremely positioned to take a piece of YouTube’s pie? Looks like that’s starting to publicly take shape.
Claire Valoti, Facebook’s head of agency relations for the UK said in a video interview with IAB UK: “We believe at Facebook that digital upfronts are really key if we’re really going to change how digital is planned. It’s always been very tactical and it’s often always felt like something that gets thought about at the end of the planning process. Digital Upfronts gets people to think about digital being at the heart or at the forefront of that planning process.”
The move to expand the showcase internationally comes at a pivotal time for the online video industry since we’ve seen meaningful dollars start to shift over to digital media and video.
But to further explain the international need, IAB UK has put together this nifty video. Warning: This video includes very elementary descriptions of the television upfronts and online video, so to the seasoned online video execs out there, avert your judgement.