Verizon’s Oath media unit rolled out a slate of programming at its NewFront presentation Tuesday evening that was heavy on recognizable names, both in the talent appearing in the programming, and in the media brands behind the shows.
The underlying theme of the night, from signage at the event through presentations, was that of consumer and advertiser trust for Oath’s media brands, which include Yahoo, HuffPost and Build.
“We think we have a history and a legacy of equity and trust — and again, trust is important. So while we could go out and make up or buy new properties, these brands have a deep relationship with advertisers,” John DeVine, Oath’s chief revenue officer, told Digital News Daily backstage before the event. “They have come to trust Yahoo Finance, for example."
Actor Jamie Foxx hosted the event, which was held at Pier 26 in Manhattan and which the company referred to as an “uprising” rather than an upfront. Dancers performed routines throughout the space, while attendees noshed on burgers, burritos and popcorn served from carnival-style booths spread across the pier.
In its programming, the company leaned into its strengths: sports, built around Yahoo Sports; news, built around HuffPost; and personal finance,
built off Yahoo Finance and “Makers" series.
In sports, the company announced three shows, including “The Rush,” a mobile-first highlights show hosted by comedian and former football player Jared Quay. “The Spin” will feature Yahoo Sports journalists analyzing and previewing big events in video form, while “Soccer Mom” is an interview series hosted by U.S. soccer star Abby Wambach.
HuffPost will launch a docu-series profiling female 2018 midterm candidates across the country called “Storm The Gates.” The company also announced a significant expansion of its “HuffPost Life” brand, including a parenting conference set for later this year.
Yahoo Finance is expanding its video content in partnership with the company BuiltByGirls, a live panel show looking at the tech industry with a woman's perspective. Similarly, “Makers Money” will partner with ElleVest on a personal finance show for women.
Oath’s “Build” series is adding two new programs, including a panel show.
The company also announced a notable deal with Samsung that will see Oath’s apps pre-installed on Verizon Samsung Galaxy S9 and S+ phones.
"Ultimately we think content is going to be consumed along the three vectors of live, mobile and video,” DeVine said.
“On linear television, ratings keep going down in all demos, but especially certain key demos that advertisers want. Why? Because they want mobile, they want content on their phone, when they want it,” said Oath head of Americas sales Jeff Lucas, who joined the company just last month. “Putting the power in their hand, letting them watch when they can watch it, is the key.”