Big Digital Publishers Pass On NewFronts This Year

Warner Bros. Digital Networks, which acquired Machinima last fall, made it known today that it will not participate in the NewFronts this year, joining Yahoo, BuzzFeed, and Fullscreen.

Instead, the publishing companies will hold their own events for advertisers and clients.

In a statement obtained by Adweek, Warner Bros. Digital Networks said: “We will not be presenting at this year’s NewFronts on May 5th in New York. However, we are eager to connect with you and all of our partners early this summer to share our robust plans and the latest developments for the Warner Bros. Digital Networks.”

NewFronts were created in 2012 as the digital publishing version of the TV upfronts, an annual week of events when channels woo advertisers for their upcoming programming. NewFronts last two weeks in New York each spring and give digital media companies the opportunity to host events to pitch advertisers on their Web video content.



Doug Ray, president of product and innovation at Dentsu Aegis Network, told The Wall Street Journal: “What clients are looking for is scale… There are very few digital video platforms that can truly deliver premium video content at scale. Therefore, [are] the NewFronts, where you’ve got dozens of suppliers rolling out and having conversations with clients…really needed anymore?”

Yahoo will hold smaller, regional events around the country for agencies and brand partners. BuzzFeed will host an interactive opportunity to show clients how it uses technology to develop content. Studio71 will stream its presentation online.

AOL will hold a private event for its presentation, a reversal from last year’s takeover of South Street Seaport, which featured celebrity guests like Snoop Dogg and Demi Lovato.

However, not all big digital publishers are passing on NewFronts this year.

BBC and LittleThings will partake in the event, as well as YouTube, Hulu, AwesomenessTV, Bloomberg Media, Defy Media, DigitasLBi, Disney Media-Maker Studios, Group Nine Media, Refinery29, Astronauts Wanted, Hearst Digital Media, the New York Times, Popsugar, Conde Nast, Time Inc., Turner and Vice Media.

Twitter will host its first NewFront this year, as will Millennial-male focused digital media company Uproxx.

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