DreamWorks Animation will launch a YouTube family channel called DreamworksTV that will kick off this summer YouTube’s head of content and business operations Robert Kyncl told advertisers today at the company’s NewFront presentation in NYC. It was part of a campaign by the Google-owned company to promote itself as a place that’s safe for advertisers — with tons of data and, now, audience guarantees.
The problem with YouTube as an ad medium is that it’s too vast, and has too much inventory. Advertisers fear that their messages will be lost, and don’t want to pay up. But the service hopes to address that with a new sales initiative called Google Preferred, which it launched with support from ad agency Digitas. The program promotes the 5% most popular channels specializing in food, music, and entertainment. YouTube says it partnered with comScore and Nielsen to provide data in addition to Google’s real-time analytics. And Margo Georgiadis, Google’s sales president for the Americas, says it can make a “100% guarantee you’ll reach the audience you want to target.” That’s especially potent for those who want to reach 18-to-34 year olds. YouTube is the “No. 1 place [they] go to learn about a product or a passion,” she says. Read More »
“Our goal is to continue to lead the online video advertising market,” CEO Mike Hopkins says in a blog post — echoing the message he delivered this morning at Hulu‘s Newfront presentation in NYC. The TV network backed streaming service says that its Hulu Plus subscription service has more than 6M subscribers — nice growth albeit still far behind Netflix‘s 35.7M domestic online customers. But Hulu’s forte is ad sales and the company offered some impressive stats to buyers: Desktop viewers spend about 50 minutes per session with Hulu, longer than any rival ad-supported premium video site in comScore’s top 100. It also will offer three new ad “experiences,” Hopkins says: It will enable users to make purchases without leaving Hulu; Pizza Hut is the launch partner. The service will offer cross-platform interactive ads with an algorithm that “predicts the appropriate audience for the brand.” And it’s introducing the Hulu 360 Ad that can tailor messages depending on where the viewer is accessing the programming. “We know which device a viewer is on, and we go beyond the traditional video ad to serve a groundbreaking viewing experience,” Hopkins says. On the programming front, Hulu announced that it’s ordering a second season of Deadbeat.
CEO Tim Armstrong told about 2,000 advertisers at his company’s Newfront presentation today that AOL decided to hold its presentation in the Brooklyn Navy Yard — near the Brooklyn Bridge — to make a point about bridging the gap between TV and digital video. But the unseasonably cold rain left staffers trying to make the best of a bad situation as they huddled annoyed young ad buyers into ferry boats and then into an overpacked warehouse to see brief presentations about AOL’s original programming. “We need to be scouts, curators, wide open to talent … on every platform the tech world is dreaming up,” AOL Brand Group CEO Susan Lyne — formerly President of ABC Entertainment — told the crowd. But the event was filled with familiar personalities including actress Zoe Saldana (her show, My Hero, has celebs visiting people who influenced them), Kevin Nealon (professional comics interact with kids in Kevin Nealon’s Laugh Lessons), and Sarah Jessica Parker (her City.Ballet looks at the New York City Ballet).
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Execs didn’t use the word but their Newfront presentation to advertisers in NYC left little doubt that Yahoo sees itself as a classy, Conde Nast-like alternative to others on the web who shoot for the lowest common denominator. CEO Marissa Mayer says she’s focusing on mobile, social, native, and video ads. Regarding the future of video “we’re positioned to influence and sometimes invent it….at scale, across devices, every single day,” Yahoo CMO Kathy Savitt told advertisers.
Producer Mike Tollin (Smallville and Arliss) kicked off Yahoo originals introductions by teaming with Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love to pitch Sin City Saints, a series with eight half-hour episodes about a basketball team based in Las Vegas. Director Bryan Gordon (Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Office) will help out with what Tollin called a “behind the scenes comedy“ shot with a single camera. Hilarity ensues when a Silicon Valley tech tycoon who wants to own a basketball team buys one, but doesn’t know what to do with it. “The Saints are not good…you could say they’re in a rebuilding mode.” Paul Feig (creator of Freaks And Geeks, and director of Bridesmaids and The Heat) appeared in a video to pitch a futuristic sci-fi comedy Other Space, which also will run for eight, half-hour episodes. Savitt says that Yahoo will introduce other shows later.
Related: Yahoo Preps Pair Of Original Comedy Series For Web
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Microsoft execs made a lot of promises, but had little to show, in their Newfront presentation to attract advertising for their Xbox Originals shows. “I know from experience that building something substantial won’t be easy and will take time,” Xbox Entertainment Studios President Nancy Tellem told th NYC gathering. But with 85M Xbox owners, the Internet delivered programming for the game console “is in a unique position to reach audiences everywhere…This is where TV wants to be.”
Based on clips from Possibilia — a short film that gives viewers the ability to choose the direction of the story — TV wants to be schizophrenic. The film shows two characters in a troubled relationship whose feelings change with the click of a button as they constantly ask questions such as ”Are you going to stay or are you going to go?”…”You don’t think I can handle unfamiliar territory?” …”Why is it so hard to be a human being?”
The company is “laser focused” on appealing to Millennials, EVP Jordan Levin says adding that “Microsoft understands what it takes to achieve these goals.” As you might imagine, the original shows are heavy on fantasy (as in the drama Humans planned for 2015) and goofy gags (as in Extraordinary Believers). A series of six interactive documentaries from Jonathan Chinn, called Signal To Noise, will focus on technology-related matters including a dig this past weekend … Read More »
AOL and other web video providers showed with their NewFront presentations — timed to coincide with the TV networks’ upfronts in May — that they’re serious about trying to siphon ad dollars that typically go to broadcast and cable networks. Now AOL’s Tim Armstrong says he wants to take the next step by introducing the AOL Networks Programmatic Upfront on September 23, designed to become an annual event. The term “programmatic” refers to display ads that companies including Google and Yahoo sell in auctions, typically handled just by computers. The problem: “The online advertising industry has created a fear and chaos-based environment filled with hundreds of small companies each pitching highly technical necessities” for advertisers to reach audiences, Armstrong says in a blog post this morning. “They can’t shift their budgets from TV until we — as an industry — demonstrate the true power of digital to unlock creativity.” AOL’s “Programmatic Upfront” will feature marketers and agency execs explaining why advertisers should “pre-allocate media budgets against large scale display inventory,” he says. This market is growing fast: Advertisers are expected to spend $3.36B this year on real-time bidding, and eMarketer forecasts that it will grow to $8.49B in 2017, accounting for 29% of digital display spending.
The NBC Universal property boasted of its 100M cable subscribers and doubled growth in unique visitors to its weather.com site at today’s NewFront in NY. There it announced three new web series which will debut on Weather‘s website, cable TV channel, mobile platform and for tablet in six 2-4 minute episodes launching on the same date: Read More »