Magazine article ADWEEK

After Television: The 2014 Digital Content NewFronts Will Be an Important Inflection Point in the Transformation of Video Programming

Magazine article ADWEEK

After Television: The 2014 Digital Content NewFronts Will Be an Important Inflection Point in the Transformation of Video Programming

Article excerpt

As the third annual Digital Content NewFronts kicks off today in New York, we'll be awash in new programming that will range from the sublime to the silly, and marketers will be similarly inundated with hype and pitch. It still follows an upfront model, after all, and sales is sales.

But the evolution of Web video continues at a rapid pace and is as fascinating as it is nuanced. Supercharged by equally speedy advances in compression technology and smartphone adoption, the ability of digital video to reach consumers with content--information, entertainment and, yes, marketing--is undeniable and increasingly on display.

As we wade through the week's froth, we should make note of Simon Ostrovsky, an American reporter for Vice News who, until late last week, had been detained by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk. While his video dispatches aren't exactly high journalistic art, they arrive, powerful in their grittiness, from the very front of the Ukraine crises. It says something, and is central to digital video's potential, that his reports have drawn so much attention globally, and without the resources of a major news organization and distribution platform, that pro-Russian forces felt compelled to abduct him in order to muzzle him.

Adweek has long recognized that digital video will irrevocably transform the media space. We cover it aggressively, and we have enjoyed being the official media partner of DCNF with the Interactive Advertising Bureau for three years. As part of that relationship, this week's issue is dedicated to digital video.

In his Voice column (page 39), Randall Rothenberg, chairman and CEO of the IAB, keenly observes that we are standing between the television and the post-television worlds. Amazon's landmark deal last week to offer HBO's iconic original series is just the latest example of that transformation.

Our cover story by staff writer Sam Thielman (page 40) profiles Hulu's new CEO Mike Hopkins and the streaming video service's efforts, along with those of the competition, to create breakthrough originals that rival those on television, both broadcast and cable. …

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