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NewFronts Not Diverting TV Ad Dollars, Says Pivotal Research

8 May, 2013 By: Doug McPherson

NEW YORK – Will Digital Content NewFronts, the organization that showcases and sells original video content and adjacent advertising opportunities in digital media, cause a shift in ad TV budgets?

Some analysts believe not. In fact, Brian Wieser, a Pivotal Research Group executive, has even issued a new report on any potential impact. Wieser calls NewFronts “mostly a loud sideshow” that will not cause any “meaningful ad budgets shift” to the web because of the group’s glitzy presentations, he says in MediaPostNews.

“Any indications around ad budget commitments emerging from these events are unlikely to reflect incremental ad spending,” Wieser adds.

Why? He says the Web still hasn’t created a measurement standard it needs to convince advertisers to commit large, TV-sized budgets. “Nielsen's online campaign ratings system is helpful, but Google's lack of use of the standard is a source of delay,” Wieser says. “Agency-advertiser contracts need to better reflect execution costs associated with buying online video and workflows across platforms need to simplify.”

Despite all the buzz, desktop and laptop viewing of video amounted to just 4.3 percent of TV viewing among those who watch any online video, Nielsen data reveals. Yet, Universal McCann predicts that ad deals resulting from this year’s NewFronts could near $1 billion.

Dani Benowitz, managing partner of integrated investment for Universal McCann, tells, “I don’t know that people will commit because of the NewFronts, but it does help in letting them know there are alternatives.”

Pivotal Research data found that online video ad revenue amounted to $1.3 billion in 2012. Wieser did concede that NewFronts events could have the positive effect of deepening relationships between sellers and buyers.

Digital Content NewFronts, backed by AOL, Digitas, Hulu, Microsoft Advertising, Yahoo! YouTube and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, held its second annual event in New York, April 29-May 3.

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