Digital upfront draws print publishers

30 April 2013
NEW YORK: Traditional print publishers like The Wall Street Journal and Condé Nast have joined online-only brands such as Yahoo and YouTube in presenting at this year's "upfront" for the digital sector.

The Digital Content NewFronts were launched in 2012 to create a marketplace, similar to the existing TV upfronts system, to showcase and sell high-value digital ad inventory.

Explaining the company's presence, Michael Rooney, chief revenue officer for The WSJ, said: "The Journal has really transformed itself since News Corp's acquisition into a complete content provider and not just business, finance and economics."

"The world still needs to learn and understand about that and what we have to offer," he added.

Rooney's colleague Nina Lawrence, VP of Global Marketing and Advertising Sales, elaborated, pointing out that the Journal's video product now includes 100 hours a month of original video content that is distributed across 30 platforms, with "core partners like YouTube, Roku and Hulu as well as Apple's iPhone and iPad".

She said that the Journal's approach to monetising video mostly involved pre-roll ads and these were largely sold directly.

Condé Nast is appearing on the back of its recent launch of a digital video network with premium branded programming inspired by its magazines Glamour and GQ and sponsored by Procter & Gamble, Microsoft and Mondelez International.

The company has plans to extend this approach to some of its other magazine brands, including Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.

One outcome of the event could be that digital video takes a greater share of advertiser budgets than ever before.

"It's because we can now act more like television," said Scott Ferber, chief executive of Videology, writing in MediaPost, and he credited Nielsen's Online Campaign Ratings system for this development.

This, he declared, "will be considered the single most important moment in catapulting digital video's evolution from marginal player to mainstay".

But Ferber also cautioned that television remained the "linchpin" for brand marketers and that work remained to be done to "define video's specific value proposition by showing how we can directly equate all video ad exposure with sales success".

Data sourced from AdExchanger, MediaPost, Yahoo!; additional content by Warc staff
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