Blog Post

IAB NewFronts 2023: Digilant’s Key Takeaways

05/11/2023 - Carley Wells

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) recently held its highly anticipated 2023 NewFronts event in New York City, where advertisers got an exclusive look at expanded offerings, new measurement capabilities, innovative partnerships, and more.

Our sales engineers, Kyle Malone and Otniel Calderon, were in attendance and have shared their five key takeaways from the event. Here’s what they had to say:

1. TV is gaining traction among consumers due to its versatility

As technology within the CTV space expands, so do its capabilities in reaching a broader range of users at greater scale, and with more versatility and accuracy than ever before. Competition in the market has driven brands to increase development in FAST Channels, SVOD, Gaming Hubs (where you don’t need to own a console), shoppable CTV ad space, and original content. For instance, Samsung touched upon its gaming abilities in the Samsung Gaming Hub, in which users can instantly play top games from Xbox and other streaming partners without needing a console, a separate streaming stick, or downloads. 

Overall, TV is becoming a central hub for even more entertainment sources. Therefore, advertisers must adopt a video-first mindset when crafting their media plans, allocating a substantial portion of their video budget toward streaming content across CTV/OTT. By doing so, they can effectively leverage the growing presence of these platforms and maximize their reach and impact on the target audience.

2. Free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) is growing exponentially

FAST services offer consumers a seamless and convenient way to access content with linear-like viewing experiences via free and ad-supported offerings. FAST is a linear alternative and can be linear adjacent to provide incremental reach. With TV operating systems becoming more sophisticated, more of these programs are accessible to consumers. According to Statista, FAST will reach $6.1 billion in ad revenue in the US by 2025. 

During NewFronts, several platforms showcased their FAST offerings. For instance, Samsung TV+ revealed its expanded programming, featuring a new partnership with Conan O’Brien, the inclusion of A&E content, and an expanded news offering encompassing local programming in over 100 DMAs. Vizio’s Watch TV+ also stood out, offering an impressive array of 260+ live channels and more. Vizio also reported that 60% of adults aged 18-34 consider FAST a must-have medium, fulfilling their linear viewing requirements without the cable subscription costs.

Multicultural audiences have been found to have a higher affinity for FAST channels. During NewFronts, Estrella Media highlighted that Hispanic audiences are over-indexing on programs such as Tubi, Youtube, and Samsung TV+, and are considered early adopters of the FAST television distribution model. This presents an excellent opportunity for advertisers to reach these audiences, especially as minority-owned media platforms continue to grow their offerings.

3. Shoppable Ads Within the CTV Environment

CTV has revolutionized the TV advertising landscape by introducing a new era of precise targeting and comprehensive analytics, aiming to boost conversions. The IAB predicts 21% growth in CTV throughout 2023, as an increasing number of consumers gain accessibility through connected devices. Moreover, the IAB reports that 65% of buyers view CTV as an essential channel for advertising. Shoppable ads have emerged as the latest advancement in CTV, offering convenient interactions between consumers and brands on their mobile devices or directly on the TV screen, seamlessly integrated with their preferred content.

In the Samsung presentation, the platform announced its recent partnership with KERV, allowing it to create dynamic CTV ads with little disruption to the content on screen. Similarly, Vizio and LG shared insights on their home screen advertising pages with carousel ad formats, QR codes, and more. Peacock introduced “must shop TV,” a feature that showcases product suggestions tailored to the displayed content, facilitating a seamless shopping experience. Crackle Connex also touted a shoppable ad unit that would be available in their FAST offering.

4. Video’s definition of “premium inventory” is changing

When one thinks of premium inventory, one might immediately think of Netflix and Hulu. However, the landscape is changing, and what has long been considered “premium,” has evolved to include new and different channels.

According to the IAB’s 2022 Video Ad Spend and 2023 Outlook Report, creator-driven video is perceived as premium by nearly two-thirds of buyers. To drive that point further, 65% of buyers move ad-spend dollars fluidly across creator and Hollywood-produced video content. So what really constitutes premium inventory? Content that is scalable and addressable. 

But this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Take TikTok for instance: The platform has seen tremendous growth in the last year, becoming one of the most popular platforms for video consumption. TikTok users in the US spend an average of one hour per day watching videos. In other words, TikTok users could watch hundreds of short videos in the time it takes them to watch a movie. And with TikTok’s announcement of Pulse Premiere (their new publisher and advertising program), brands and advertisers have even more ways to reach consumers through creator content.

Minority-owned and operated media stands as a prime example of the ever-changing realm of premium inventory. The IAB Newfronts served as a platform to feature many of these remarkable media companies, such as Revry, Canela Media, LATV, Americano Media, and Estrella Media. These companies showcased their influential reach, establishing connections with distinct audiences that make up a large portion of the consumer demographic. This inherent ability to forge robust connections with unique audiences renders this inventory truly premium for advertisers seeking to engage with these consumers effectively.

5. Enhanced data and measurement capabilities

At NewFronts, there was a consensus that TV currency and measurement need to change. Nearly 81% of buyers agreed there should be a minimum of two currencies available to measure TV. Across the board, platforms announced their current and future measurement efforts.

While Samsung representatives made it clear they are “getting into the currency game,” they did announce new measurement capabilities. Advertisers can obtain deeper measurements and insights via Samsung’s panel data, which can run within a household without a Samsung device. Samsung’s enhanced measurement will allow advertisers to better understand the dynamic between their linear and streaming TV mix, providing “person-level” reporting across devices. Additionally, Samsung confirmed it will be able to capture ACR data via streaming apps, further adding to its measurement capabilities outside of just linear TV. 

Vizio announced that it’s expanding its partnership with Inscape to provide currency-grade TV measurement (in addition to working with ComScore, iSpot.TV, Videoamp, and 605) to expand on the new growing need for multiple digital + linear currencies. 

SambaTV echoed the need to move beyond GRPs and meet the current/future needs of the evolving TV ecosystem. New currencies would help to account for a more diverse population and diverse consumption patterns. No new currency will be viable without some sort of ACR technology. 

Regarding content distribution: measurement currency has evolved with this new consumption format of video. With the convergence of data, hardware, operating systems, and software, advertisers can now measure a user’s relationships with a brand/advertiser through the entire funnel across devices. Advertisers can validate viewerships, extend unique reach, and measure success accurately.


Take Your Advertising Strategies to the Next Level With Digilant

At Digilant, we are constantly learning and evolving with the ever-changing digital advertising landscape. By staying up-to-date on current industry announcements and advancements, we are able to help navigate our clients through these changes and provide comprehensive strategies emphasizing data measurement, attribution, and scale to reach your target audience. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you achieve your advertising goals. 

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