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    IAB NewFronts rings in the age of digital video dominance

    IAB NewFronts rings in the age of digital video dominance

    With digital video poised to overtake linear ad spend for the first time, there was a celebratory feel to this year’s IAB NewFronts week of events.

    “I love that this business is thriving, but we are not here to take a victory lap,” said David Cohen, IAB’s CEO, in his keynote on Wednesday. “Instead, I’m reminded of a quote most often attributed to John D. Rockefeller — ‘Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.’”

    The annual digital advertising showcase held in New York and streamed online gave marketers a chance to see the new ways consumers are watching video and how to reach them through connected screens.

    Why we care. Many of the presentations this year pointed the way forward to make video experiences better for consumers through improved browsing and better programming. For marketers, the ability to reach these consumers at scale is also improving with AI technology. The picture is coming together where always-connected consumers can watch more of what they want, where they want, while brands remain present in an unobtrusive way. 

    Here are some of the biggest developments from the NewFronts.

    T-Mobile in-store RMN

    At its first NewFronts appearance, T-Mobile announced an in-store retail media network (RMN) comprising video screens in over 11,000 T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile stores.

    The RMN expands T-Mobile Advertising Solutions’ ability to reach customers out in the world. It boasts 400,000 digital out-of-home (DOOH) screens, a number the company plans to double in the next year.

    Powering T-Mobile’s Magenta Advertising Platform is the data from 119 million T-Mobile users, 7 million of whom participate every month with the company’s T-Mobile Tuesday loyalty promotions. The advantage to advertisers here is the ability to measure mobile engagement — where consumers spend 75% of their screen time — on top of other digital channels. A food delivery app measured 23% app re-engagement and 6% app reinstall rate following exposure to a recent Super Bowl ad, the company shared from the NewFronts stage.

    T-Mobile also announced a partnership with streaming company Plex to expand CTV reach with free ad-supported TV (FAST) on-demand.

    Google PAIR protocol

    At Monday’s NewFront, Google announced it was partnering with IAB Tech Lab to open up access to its identity protocol, PAIR (Publisher Advertiser Identity Reconciliation). Clean room providers like LiveRamp and InfoSum are using it. The identity solution is live with NBCUniversal and coming soon to the Disney Real-Time Ad Exchange (DRAX).

    “Getting this balance right, navigating privacy and personalization, will help transform how your brand connects with your customers,” said Sean Downey, Google’s President, Americas and global partners. 

    Google AI

    Google advocated for the need to unify CTV, linear and creator campaigns within a single DSP. Google AI technology uses genAI to allow marketers to easily build audiences in Google’s Display & Video 360 (DV360) DSP. Users describe their ideal audience and audience attributes, and the tool pulls up relevant audience segments reachable through DV360.

    “Beyond privacy, AI can help you be better marketers,” said Downey. “Having an identified target only works if you’re right about who and where your audience is. AI doesn’t just give us more data, it gives us the right data.”

    Olympics on CTV/OTT

    With a growing share of ad spend and eyeballs, CTV is becoming more relevant for viewers to navigate tentpole events like the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024. On Tuesday, NBCUniversal and Roku announced the launch of NBC Olympic Zone on Roku.

    Roku OTT and smart TV users with a subscription to Peacock can tap into 5,000 hours of live events carried by NBC. They’ll be able to discover this content through an innovative browsing experience on Roku that will feature dedicated content rows of live and upcoming events, as well as replays, highlights and athlete profiles available on-demand. Sports fans will also be able to keep updated at a glance with the Medal Count Module, which updates the medal counts for each competing country.

    Navigation and home screen

    CTV watchers are attentive even before they settle into their next binge session. AT NewFronts, several streamers and ad providers announced updated home screen experiences that are relevant to users and make for prime inventory for advertisers.

    Fubo announced content sponsorships on its Marquee, enabling advertisers to set up content carousels on the home screen. The activation is fully customizable, with branded and themed backgrounds, custom titles and subheads, as well as log placements in the immersive environment.

    Additionally, Fubo announced pause ads. These ad types kick in a few seconds after a user pauses a content stream. The ad disappears when the viewer unpauses.

    LG Ad Solutions also announced an improved browsing experience for its smart TVs. The company is committed to using AI and automated content recognition (ACR) data in the coming years to better match content to users.

    Roku announced new video ads to run on its home screen. It’s also adding cars to its well-known Roku City screensaver. The first car sponsor will be DoorDash.

    Filling out FAST

    Samsung announced new channels to Samsung TV Plus, the smart TV’s free ad-supported video (FAST) service. New sports with major sports leagues will offer sports fans free coverage of games and events from MLB, PGA Tour, AHL (hockey), Formula One racing and ONE Championship martial arts. A new partnership with Warner Music will add new content to nearly 500 existing national and local channels on Samsung TV Plus.

    LATV, with its roots in Los Angeles-based bilingual linear programming, unveiled LatiNation Media — a combined linear, FAST and on-demand network with in-house LatiNation Creative services.

    On Wednesday, free LGBTQ+ streaming service Revry spoke about its growing slate of programming and its PrismRiot ad network, which reaches 110 million U.S. households through CTV and mobile.

    AI-powered brand placement

    Rembrand uses AI to incorporate a brand presence into video content, instead of interrupting the video content with a separate ad. This leads to longer screen-time exposure than in ads that viewers skip or ignore. Advertisers can also use the technology for retargeting campaigns and measure lift on the AI brand placements against viewers who watched the video content without the ad. PepsiCo tested Rembrand with Bubly and Starry soft drinks.

    “We wanted to make sure our consumers would be excited about Rembrand’s solution because we know that sometimes product placement can be seen as intrusive or ‘cringe,’” said PepsiCo marketing’s Emily Schwartz. “We were really happy to see that when the campaign wrapped consumer sentiment was really high and amazing positive comments.” The campaign, which incorporated brand placements into influencer video posts, generated over 18 million views.

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    The post IAB NewFronts rings in the age of digital video dominance appeared first on MarTech.

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