NewFronts day three focuses on CTV measurement, ad tech and Spanish-language media platforms

On the third day of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s four-day NewFronts, digital video platforms and publishers discussed the latest advancements in connected TV measurement with a focus on identity tracking and the future of artificial intelligence. There was also a showcase of a number of Spanish-language and bilingual media companies.

The key details:

  • AI is the new buzzword in ad tech
  • Measurement and identity need to be “stitched by the hip”
  • Spanish-language CTV offerings get the spotlight
  • The BBC returned to the NewFronts stage for the first time in two years. Read Digiday’s exclusive story on why here.
  • Revry was onstage on Wednesday as the first LGBTQ-focused presentation in the NewFronts’ history, with an energy-fueled performance that included dancing and Wizard of Oz costumes.

The goal of the NewFronts’ third day was to “give underserved voices a voice,” IAB CEO David Cohen told Digiday. Nearly half of the days’ sessions were dedicated to diverse media companies, he said. “That was by design. The marketplace is changing — and society is changing.”

The new buzzword

AI is officially the new ad tech buzzword. As Digiday reported on Tuesday, Snap, Roku and Samsung made announcements around AI-powered ads. That trend continued on Wednesday, with a number of companies including the term “AI” in their presentations.

Samba TV’s NewFronts session mentioned using AI technology to produce creative as well as to target and measure performance across screens and platforms.

Ashwin Navin, Samba TV co-founder and CEO, said AI and machine learning technology will “affect the way we work, how we understand audiences – even the way the technology is being built into the television will basically transform the viewing experience.”

Addressability is key

At long last, NewFront presentations got more into the weeds on CTV ad targeting, with companies like Innovid, LG Ad Solutions and Samba TV breathlessly promoting their data and measurement tools. 

Innovid and Disney announced a new partnership, where Innovid will take Disney’s first-party audience segments, starting first with digital and CTV ads on Hulu. The partnership will give Disney insights and help measure both local and national advertisers’ outcomes to give them more visibility into how the inventory they are buying is performing. It will also use Innovid’s clean room technology.

And as the connected TV world’s walled gardens and audience fragmentation continues to challenge media buyers when it comes to targeting, attribution and measurement, Dan Aversano, svp of data, analytics and advanced advertising at TelevisaUnivision, argued in an interview that addressability is an imperative. 

“I don’t think anybody can be a measurement company only anymore. If you’re not working in and around identity – in how we plan, [buy], optimize and activate [media] – you’re dead in the water,” Aversano said.

Measurement and identity need to be “stitched by the hip,” he added.

Spanish-language CTV offerings

Wednesday’s event featured Spanish-language and bilingual media companies such as Canela TV, Estrella Media, LATV and Americano Media, which focused on the fact that Hispanic, bilingual and Spanish-language audiences make up a significant portion of the U.S.’s streaming audience and yet are underrepresented in the streaming marketplace.

Jacqueline Hernández, CEO and co-founder of New Majority Ready, cited a recent Horowitz Research study, which found that 85% of Hispanic people said they view streaming TV content every week. “40% are just streaming,” she said, adding “Seven out of 10 [Hispanic households] have smart TVs.”

Hispanic viewers “are over indexing the total population” in the U.S., Hernández added. Out of over 1,400 FAST channels, 252 are Spanish language, while just 21 channels are dedicated to African American audiences, she said.

LATV CEO Andres Palencia and president Bruno Ulloa also called on advertisers to help close the diversity gap in Hollywood by spending budgets with them to reach Latino audiences.

With the slogan, “No más fake news,” the Americano Media — founded just last year — is positioning itself as a “brand safe” outlet focused on mostly hard news each day alongside a few hours of opinion and commentary commentary.

“There are a lot of things that people are pushing, a lot of misinformation and misinformation in hispanic media,” said Americano Media Founder and CEO Ivan Garcia-Hidalgo. “We’re here to report the facts. We’re here to give both sides an opportunity to speak freely and fairly without canceling or shutting anybody down.”

New businesses

A handful of companies announced rebranded or newly launched businesses on Wednesday. CafeMedia and AdThrive rebranded as Raptive last month and outlined how they’re helping creators with their businesses. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment debuted its recently-formed ad sales division Crackle Connex. The company said it reaches over 80 million monthly active users through Crackle, Chicken Soup for the Soul and Redbox, which it acquired last year. Canela Media announced Canela Connect, a new data and audience product for advertisers.

Preview of Day 4

The fourth and final day of the NewFronts will include just four presentations— Condé Nast, Vevo, Meta and TikTok — with TikTok’s pitch only open to partners and closed to press.

Both TikTok and Meta have faced continued scrutiny on a number of fronts. TikTok is also facing increased pressure from regulators, with state and federal officials considering bans on the platform. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday proposed banning Meta from monetizing data from users under the age of 18 and forcing the company to pause launching new products, services or features unless receiving approval from a third-party assessor and limiting new facial recognition technology.

According to the FTC, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram violated a 2020 privacy order as well as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (COPPA). In a tweet on Wednesday, Meta spokesperson Andy Stone described the agency’s proposal as “an abuse of authority and wrong on the facts” and claimed Meta hasn’t violated the existing agreement.

According to the FTC, Meta has 30 days to officially respond to the agency about the claims and the proposal. However, it’s far from a done deal, with FTC Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya already questioning whether the FTC even has the authority to impose the restrictions on Meta.

Digiday senior reporter Marty Swant contributed reporting.

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