VideoInk: The IAB’s Anna Bager Talks the Biggest NewFronts Yet

Excerpt of Interview in VideoInk with Anna Bager, the SVP of mobile and video and the general manger of both IAB Digital Video and Mobile Marketing Centers of Excellence.

It’s common to hear some people complain that the NewFronts are too much like the TV Upfronts, while others bemoan that they are not enough like the TV Upfronts. What is your opinion on that?

Attendees at this year’s NewFronts are going to see things that they would never get to see at the TV Upfronts. The ability for digital publishers to take risks, to innovate, to respond to and even to include the viewer in content is unlike anything that traditional, linear TV broadcasting can deliver. Digital video can deliver all the quality and engagement of TV programming (including premium long-form content) just with the added benefits of choice, mobility, interactivity, shareability, etc. So, in that sense, I don’t think the NewFronts are like the Upfronts at all–the NewFronts are far more varied, exciting, and innovative! On the other hand, in past years, we probably have not seen the same level of actual deal-making happening at the NewFronts that happens in TV; in that sense, I understand the complaint that the NewFronts are not enough like the TV upfronts. But some of the comments we are hearing from major buyers–both publicly and privately–suggest that 2015 may be the year that changes. There are a lot of advertising dollars coming to the NewFronts this year, looking for premium content and innovative deals, and we anticipate those dollars will easily find a home.