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Newfront Roundup

“More content was created yesterday than you can consume in a lifetime.”
—Dawn Ostroff, Condé Nast Entertainment

So it’s true. Content truly is king, and vast is his castle.

This week, we’ve been learning how content has dominated our culture, our audiences and our time spent, and translating those shifts into what that means for us at the agency and our clients.

We’re just getting Newfronts started here in New York. The Newfronts is a two-week long event, similar to the TV upfronts, where leaders in premium content and digital video announce new original programming, new distribution deals and new talent partnerships to excite agencies and marketing decision makers for the year to come, in hopes of attracting advertising budgets.photo 1We’ve got a packed agenda: listening, watching and meeting with media giants like The New York Times, BuzzFeed, Hulu, Yahoo!, AOL and many others.

Here are some of our early predictions.

Jacks of all trades.

We’ll be seeing more content providers and publishers diversifying offerings—meaning more tactics, targeting and placement opportunities than ever before. They’ll position their offerings as a “one-stop shop” for all client and agency needs, from data-targeted buys, to high impact to content creation and distribution. An example of this is Yahoo!, which has really amped up their capabilities with their acquisition of key players in social, mobile and video, namely Tumblr, Flurry and BrightRoll.

The once start-ups take the main stage.

Many once-small digital properties are going mass, attracting larger audiences and gaining in time spent—truly gaining ground on the more established media giants and shaking up the status quo. Hulu, for example, has quickly dominated the marketplace in its young eight years.

To combat audiences shifting, programmers at media companies will continue to strive for the next big hit show, investing more in production in hopes of attracting audiences who are burdened with content choices. We predict fall sweeps will be among the best programming we’ve seen in order to retain audiences and combat fierce competition.

What you’re going to see are some big announcements from independent, digital-focused media companies breaking more into traditional channels like TV.

The younger media companies get it;—they not only appeal to the millennials but they understand how content is consumed fluidly—and have invested in platforms that deliver anytime, anywhere. Vice, for example, has quickly become a leader in original storytelling through video, which has enabled it to grow its audience.

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Millennialization of media.

When it comes to programming this fall, you’re going to see more shows and content devoted to millennials coming of age. And you’re going to see this programming offered anytime, anywhere through devices and smartphones as millennials are turning off the TV and instead turning to more personal, portable devices. Expect to see more live programs as well.

Every story told.

Our last prediction is that content will become more diverse, not only in terms of format—long, short and even virtual—but also in terms of the types of stories it will tell and the storylines it will feature. We’ll predict content will be inclusive of every walk of life, truly leaving no story untold.

It’s no fairy tale; we’ll be seeing more brands aligning with audiences through content and well-told stories.

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