Media Planning and Buying Future of TV

(Almost) every ad product announced at IAB NewFronts 2022

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

May 6, 2022 | 5 min read

The IAB NewFronts served as a week-long shop front of digital advertising innovation from some of the world’s biggest broadcasters and tech companies. The Drum summarizes the announcements in a bitesize manner.

The NewFronts is digital media’s version of the Upfronts. It’s an annual IAB-run event that explores all the coming ad formats. This year it commenced in the first week of May and featured top brands including NBCU, Amazon, Samsung, Roku, Snap, Meta, TikTok, Twitter, Comscore and Nielsen.

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Learn what was announced at the NewFronts

Launching the event, the IAB released a report claiming that connected TV (CTV) ad spend exploded to $15.2bn in 2021, up a huge 57%. There’s 39% growth expected this year, and platforms are all jostling for a share of the pie.

Here’s what some of them announced.

Amazon

Amazon unveiled a suite of new features across multiple platforms, including Prime Video and Twitch.

Freevee, previously IMDb TV, expanded its content portfolio, including some Disney material – a big win for the new streamer.

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Further ahead, it announced new virtual product placement (VPP) features for its library of content on Prime Video or Amazon Freevee.

Furthermore, livestreamer Twitch released a rewarded ad viewing mechanism, and finally added an ad management tool.

NBCU

It was the first NewFronts presentation from Peacock. Two years since its launch, it has secured 28 million monthly active users – ahead of projections. Around 13 million were in the premium tier.

It introduced ‘scene ads’ to insert images into the backgrounds of shows, similar to Amazon’s virtual product placement. Additionally, it introduced frame ads that appear on screen during shows, creating even more formats for advertisers to play with.

Roku

Roku boasted of the pull of its Roku Originals, which include Quibi content, most of which are on the Roku Channel.

The Roku Brand Studio upped its output to include 12 short-form films across four genres – drama, comedy, documentary and animation – as well as unscripted show To Paris For Love: A Reality Rom Com and Hello Sunshine.

Showing off its new toolkit, Roku’s OneView introduced shoppable TV ads. It will also work more closely with Microsoft to understand how TV drives brand uplift and online search.

The brand had been talking a big game about its first-ever streaming Upfronts. It also recently introduced its data clean room.

Twitter

Twitter has been quietly building its ad capabilities through partnerships with broadcasters and the introduction of new video formats. After the news Elon Musk has advanced $44bn to buy the platform outright, however, the social media platform has rapidly announced a new suite of features to calm jittery advertisers.

This was the advertiser’s first NewFronts since 2019 and it unveiled Twitter Amplify, a premium video product. There was also a measurement partnership with NBCU.

Snap

Following its Partner Summit last week, Snap unrolled a partnership with struggling Cameo to enable brands access to the talent too.

There was also a new ad product called Snap Promote announced. This format is designed to drive further reach of content partners on Discover in the For You feed.

TikTok

TikTok announced Pulse, a contextual advertising tool that will enable brands to advertise alongside the top-performing content in the ‘For You’ feed.

It will place ads next to the 4% most engaging videos on the platform across 12 content categories from beauty and fashion to gaming, cooking and automotive.

The company also plans to launch its first advertising revenue share program with creators, public futures and media publishers on the platform.

Meta

Facebook’s first ‘meta’ NewFronts saw few new product announcements, but more of a taster of its metaverse vision. Of its current crop of video products, Reels sat at the core.

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