What to watch for at the Newfronts: Day one
The NY Times kicks off with a greater focus on breaking news
May 2, 2016
By the editors of Media Life
The Digital Content Newfronts kick off today with the first of more than three dozen presentations over the next two weeks. Media Life will present daily previews of these companies to assist media people in ranking their importance, influence and popularity.
New York Times Co.
What it is: Newspaper company.
Why it’s doing video: To diversify revenue and attract new users to the site.
The NYT digital video department was founded in 2005, but it’s become more of a focus for The Times, as has video for all newspapers recently. The paper has said it wants to double digital revenue by 2020, and video provides a premium advertising platform where it can make more money.
Sample show: “The Displaced,” a virtual reality production about child refugees from the Sudan, Syria and Ukraine.
Reach/stats: Last year The Times’ videos drew more than 354 million views.
One buyer says video has a CPM of $90.
The Times has 674,000 subscribers on YouTube. The video department has 146,000 Instagram followers and 218,000 Twitter followers.
What to expect today: The Times recently overhauled its video department, laying off a number of people in order to bring in others with more experience. It’s shifting focus from long-form videos to include more breaking news as newspapers continue to experiment with what type of video best serves their audiences.
Influencer rank, on a scale of 1 to 10: 8.
It’s not known primarily for video, but it is The New York Times. What it does will help shape the approach to video of other newspaper companies.
What it is: An online news company.
Why it’s doing video: Video resonates with the site’s target audience of Millennials. BuzzFeed has made forays into serious journalism, but it’s best-suited to viral moments such as video that shows people doing something stupid, unexpected and/or totally fascinating.
Sample video: This spring, the site posted a video of employees putting rubber bands around a watermelon until it exploded. It was viewed more than 10.6 million times on Facebook alone.
Reach/stats: BuzzFeed averages more than 100 million video streams per month, according to comScore, ranking regularly among the top three on the web.
Buyers say the CPM for a campaign on BuzzFeed is $5 to $10, though that also includes non-video content.
What to expect today: BuzzFeed will undoubtedly emphasize a recent investment from NBCUniversal. Traditional media companies investing in new ones always gives them more gravitas.
Influencer rank, on a scale of 1 to 10: 7
While BuzzFeed draws huge numbers for its videos, it’s seen as low-brow by buyers.
What it is: A global news service.
Why it’s doing video: It’s a necessity for any traditional media company in the digital age.
Bloomberg also has a TV network it can draw on and a slew of experts across different media it can leverage for commentary. In 2014, Bloomberg began focusing more intently on video content, and that’s driven sharp viewership increases over the past two years.
Reach/stats: Last year Bloomberg averaged more than 165 million video streams per month, according to comScore.
It regularly ranks among the top three for comScore’s business and finance video category.
One buyer says video has a CPM of $75.
What to expect today: The company is getting some pre-presentation buzz for becoming the first Newfronts presenter to simulcast its presentation online, inviting agencies across the country from Washington, D.C., to Miami to San Francisco to watch live online.
Influencer rank, on a scale of 1 to 10: 6
While its video offerings are growing and it’s seen huge improvement in viewership, Bloomberg still lacks the prestige of The NY Times or the viral ability of BuzzFeed.
What it is: A women’s entertainment and lifestyle site that’s also pushing into news coverage.
Why it’s doing video: Any content destination must have a video arm.
Last year at the Newfronts, Refinery 29 said it had received a $50 million infusion from WPP and Scripps Network, and it rolled out an aggressive plan for not just the tutorials on makeup and fashion it has long served up but also scripted series and actual reporting on issues such as politics and health.
Sample show: “Try Living with Lucie,” in which host Lucie Fink tries extreme lifestyles in bite-sized chunks of five days, such as going without sugar and wearing the same outfit.
Reach/stats: Refinery 29’s YouTube channel has more than 252,000 subscribers.
What to expect today: More partnerships with famous women such as Lena Dunham, which will bring more attention and prestige to Refinery29’s video.
Influencer rank, on a scale of 1 to 10: 4
Refinery29 does quite well within its niche, but it’s not known for its innovation. Its content is fun fluff that people can watch and forget.
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