Every year, the major Hollywood studios and production companies go after advertising dollars at the annual Upfronts – the time and place where ad buyers get a sneak peek at planned programming for the coming season and decide whether to purchase ads “upfront.” With the advent of online media, advertising spending has exploded, and digital content creators are gunning for that money in their own Upfront forum called the Digital Newfronts. And like their Hollywood competitors, digital creators are being forced to find new ways to get their content viewed in order to gain access to those growing ad dollars.
The Ad Market
There has been a recent backlash against Facebook and Google regarding where ads get placed in online videos, but that hasn’t stopped the online advertising media market from going through the roof. In 2016, U.S. digital ad spending was predicted to surpass television advertising with a whopping $72.09 billion vs. $71.29 billion. Additionally, mobile advertising was predicted to grow by 45 percent to nearly $46 billion. The industry has blown past banner advertising and is now funneling its money into video – it makes sense when you think of the billions of views on YouTube alone.
Because of this explosion, dozens of companies – including major Hollywood studios and production companies – are entering the digital space to compete for advertising revenue.
The New Fronts
The Upfront market is typically reserved for major broadcasters like NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and the CW. And while all of these companies are dipping their toes into digital waters, the Newfronts are a wild west of content players staking their claim on endless ad dollars.
In the first two weeks of May, the Digital Newfronts in New York will feature a who’s who of online players – as well as their major Hollywood competitors. Screening content are the likes of the New York Times, VICE Media, Hulu, Disney/Maker Studios, and Google/YouTube. Even Twitter, which is getting into the content game, is presenting at this year’s ad event.
Getting Content Advertising-Ready
With a growing ad market comes growing competition. YouTube, Maker, Snap, Twitter, and Facebook are driving online video, which has resulted in billions of hours of content that most people will never see. This makes virality and quality of content that much more of a premium.
Even though spending is increasing year-over-year, advertisers are increasingly wary of subscription competitors like Netflix, Amazon, and HBO and the diversion of potential eyeballs for their ads.
The conundrum is ultimately falling on creators. Creators need to find new, innovative ways to get their content to resonate with viewers, create virality, and earn marketers’ trust. That’s where companies like Pilotly come in.
Pilotly is a digital platform that helps creators test their content to see how it resonates with any type of fan base. A versatile dashboard allows creators to break their content into segments and test how jokes work or how effective dramatic scenes play. Pilotly essentially gives creators access to an interactive focus group that can serve as hard data to convince advertisers that their content is worthy of their dollars.
Because of the need for premium digital content at low prices, Pilotly is one of the most cost-effective ways to ensure quality of product and can prove a success rate to attract ad money. Because of this growing need, more and more production companies are building Pilotly research into their budgets so their content will ultimately rise to the top.