The spring NewFronts are digital media’s take on the traditional TV upfronts, when advertisers have traditionally committed a large amount of their yearly TV spending. During the NewFronts, online publishers, platforms and other companies host presentations and parties to show off their programming, audience data and tools to media buyers. This year’s event will take place virtually from May 3 to May 6.
Amazon’s ad business has commanded a growing market share in the digital ad industry, a theme that appears likely to continue this year. An ad-buyer survey from Cowen in January said Amazon will be the leading market share gainer among major digital ads businesses in 2021 and 2022. The survey was based on responses from 52 senior U.S. ad buyers in December who represent $15 billion in U.S. ad spend.
Amazon had been scheduled to make its NewFronts debut in 2020, but said it wouldn’t be participating in the event as the Covid pandemic started to erupt in the U.S.
This year’s presentations include companies like YouTube, Roku, Twitter, TikTok and Snap, along with publishing world players like BuzzFeed, Conde Nast, BBC News and Vice Media Group. Other first-time players to the NewFronts will include A+E Networks, Entercom, Estrella Media, Penske Media and Vizio. Mainstay Hulu will not be part of this year’s event; instead, it will be featured in parent company Disney‘s own events.
The IAB said its 2020 event drew more than 14,000 brands, agencies and media buyers. This year’s event promises to delve into how consumer behavior has transformed during the pandemic and how content creators have made programming across all video formats.
Amazon’s Q4 2020 earnings report showed the benefits of a rebound in advertising following a pandemic dip. Amazon’s “other” category, which primarily consists of advertising, brought in $7.9 billion in revenue for the quarter, an increase of 64% from a year prior.
Amazon may also benefit as advertising peers brace for upcoming Apple privacy changes that will impact their businesses. “We believe that AMZN is extremely well positioned to ride out [Apple’s privacy] changes thanks to the transparency of its attribution and general high intent of platform purchases,” Deutsche Bank analysts said last month.
The e-commerce giant opened up about some of its initiatives at the IAB’s annual leadership meeting last week. Its VP of Global Ad Sales Alan Moss said that with a slate of IMDb TV originals launching this year, it would be offering product integration and branded content opportunities to help advertisers “authentically align their brand with cultural moments and genre themes.”
Moss also discussed how Amazon plans to expand its podcast advertising.
In another panel, the Amazon Studios COO and co-head of television Albert Cheng spoke about the growing prominence in the sale of goods directly through TV screens, Deadline reported last week. He said “T-commerce” is in its early days, but that Amazon is making progress there. For instance, Amazon has streamed Savage X Fenty shows and embedded those livestreams with buying opportunities.