The 2021 IAB Newfronts saw major players and networks from the digital media world presenting to media buyers just like any other year. But in this constantly evolving space, there’s a lot of change and some new additions to the mix. Here’s what you need to know from the four days of presentations and what it all means for brands.

BEN Takeaways

Everything is Streaming!
This year’s NewFronts emphasized this reality in nearly every presentation. Audiences are seeking out linear content via AVOD and SVOD platforms in record levels as Cord Cutters, Cord Nevers and Digital-first Consumers now comprise the majority of the 18-49 year old demographic. This shift has occurred as streaming platforms have created libraries of original premium content which was seen as the key to attracting these sought-after audiences.

Social Platforms Blaze a Trail
All eyes are on TikTok as social platforms expand their own slate of original content in new and authentic ways. The diversity of enthusiast communities on the platform, especially in the music space, means that the fan bases and demographics able to be reached at scale are growing at an impressive rate.

Shoppable Content Hits the Mainstream
Shoppable video capabilities are the latest benchmark for digital platforms and no longer a premium offering. With the increasing importance of direct attribution for marketers, those without it next year simply won’t see the big ad dollars.

Source: IAB Video Ad Spend 2020 Report

As audiences move to streaming platforms and the ad market becomes more fragmented, CTV digital video ads have been a big winner. In 2020 ad buyers shifted budgets from broadcast and cable television to digital video ads generating gains for the medium in a year when total ad budgets were down significantly.

Brand Implications

No matter where or how brands choose to run commercials, those messages are only reaching a fraction of a show’s total audience. But, by getting inside content with product placement, marketers are able to adapt to today’s streaming world and reach every viewer no matter where or how they choose to enjoy that content – even if it’s on an ad-free SVOD platform.