« Back to Posts


2020 NewFronts: Quick Highlights from Days 1 & 2

After a challenging spring for the TV and entertainment industry given the coronavirus pandemic, this week’s NewFronts is giving us some semblance of normalcy — or, at least, our “new normal” for the time being, since it’s all virtual. 

Though many productions are still halted, some are starting to emerge from lockdown. While questions remain about when fresh programming will be ready, one of the big NewFronts trends so far this year has been an emphasis on data and the advertising side of the business

There’s no shortage of long-form analysis of the NewFront presentations, so we’ve opted to give a quick recap of the first two days with advertising and programming highlights from some key platforms and services that have been taking the virtual stage. A general note: Due to production shutdowns, there’s been a lack of teasers and trailers for upcoming content, so we’ve provided social stats for what is available, such as returning programming, with data from digital video measurement company Tubular Labs.  

Crackle Plus

Key business/advertising highlights: 

  • Crackle is emphasizing a “viewer first” approach, offering a relatively minimal ad load of 10 minutes of ads per hour (7.5 mins for logged-in users) 
  • Two new ad formats: Freeview, with interactive units running at the start of originals or exclusive series with the rest of the program being ad-free. Jumbotron has autoplaying programming on the homepage, for marketers to share trailers, branded content, etc. 
  • Dive deeper with this overview from Adweek.

Key programming highlights: 

  • Going From Broke, executive produced by Ashton Kutcher, racked up 16 million views during its first season and season two is in the works for 2021. According to Tubular, the official trailer for season one of Going From Broke was Crackle’s third most-watched social video in the last year with 215K views on Facebook.
  • Crackle has also been promoting Cleanin’ Up The Town, a documentary about the making of Ghostbusters, available to watch now. A Facebook teaser for it has generated over 4,700 views since it was posted on June 18.
  • New original series will include Spides, Safehaven and Flagrant.

Tubi

Key business/advertising highlights: 

  • Chief revenue office Mark Rotblat has said family-centric programming is of particular interest to Tubi advertisers, so it’s leaning into that heavily this year. 
  • A new advanced frequency management tool uses artificial intelligence to help prevent “double spotting at the campaign level” and it “works if marketers upload at least some of their creative through direct buys; the feature will then make determinations about delivering those advertisements by comparing that creative to those coming in through other supply sources like aggregators and ad networks,” writes Adweek’s Kelsey Sutton.

Key programming highlights: 

  • Since being acquired by Fox, Tubi has access to a deep library including hits such as The Masked Singer, which began airing on the service in April, and LEGO Masters, coming this fall. 
  • Tubi’s Facebook promo for The Masked Singer has generated 12.3K views on Facebook, making it Tubi’s ninth most-watched Facebook video in the last year per Tubular. 
  • In addition to kids programming, Spanish-language is another area Tubi’s expanding into, and some titles, such as The Magic Brush, set to become available in Spanish. 

Hulu

Key business/advertising highlights: 

  • Hulu introduced GatewayGo, an interactive ad format that uses QR codes and push notifications to let viewers take action on a second screen, such as buy a product or get a special offer. Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi breaks it down here. Launch partners include SmileDirectClub, SweetGreen and The RealReal.
  • As Hulu is now a part of Disney, the previously announced Disney Hulu XP lets marketers make single buys at one price to run ads anywhere across the entire portfolio; it’s slated to come out in October. 

Key programming highlights: 

  • Season four of The Handmaid’s Tale will debut in 2021; star Elisabeth Moss participated in the NewFronts presentation remotely. 
  • A new original, Love, Victor, premiered June 19 and the first-look trailer, posted to Facebook on April 27, has racked up 129K views, according to Tubular. Unsurprisingly, Hulu has a lot more originals planned — check out this Adweek overview to get the details
  • Hulu has renewed several of its original animated series, including Solar Opposites and Crossing Swords. Per Tubular, Facebook teasers for those have generated 89.7K views (seventh most-watched Hulu Facebook video in last 90 days) and 81K views (10th most-watched Facebook video in last 90 days), respectively.

Snap

Key business/advertising highlights: 

  • VP of sales Peter Naylor touted the size and engagement of Snap’s audience (229 million daily active users, reaching 90% of 13-24-year-olds and 75% of 13-34-year-olds in the U.S.), and stressed the need for marketers to think about what will resonate with Gen Z, a group far more likely to consume entertainment on mobile devices than traditional TV. 
  • Naylor said over half of the U.S. Gen Z population has checked out at least one Snap Original, and 45 Snap Discover channels have reached 15 million monthly unique viewers in Q1 2020. 
  • Snap is moving into news and said 125 million people have checked out news-related content this year, including 80 million people who consumed coronavirus coverage. 

Key programming highlights: 

  • Custom car-focused series Driven has been renewed for a second season. 
  • New unscripted show The Drop, which will share “exclusive streetwear collabs” from celebrities and designers, will let users shop the looks while watching. Two other new shows are the Verizon-sponsored Fake Up and dance show Move It
  • Variety has a deeper dive into the shows here.

Barstool Sports

Key business/advertising highlights: 

  • CEO Erika Nardini talked up the scale of Barstool’s video operation, saying they’ve launched 30 new shows in the last two months. According to Tubular, Barstool was No. 33 in the ranking of most-viewed media and entertainment properties across social channels in May — beating out Netflix, which was No. 35 (i.e., this doesn’t count video content that Netflix streams across its own platform) — and has 388 creators under its umbrella. 
  • Nardini made a point of dispelling possible unease around brand-safety questions given a past that has included controversial content. 
  • The company announced “Barstool Creative,” a studio set to launch this fall that will produce content for brands, to help them reach the 18-34 audience. 

Key programming highlights: 

  • After COVID-19 shut down much of media production this spring, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy started Davey Day Trader, a collection of blogs and videos in which he offers updates on investments. The company said its content is receiving more than 950K views per day across platforms. One Facebook video from April, posted in partnership with High Noon Sun Sips, generated 27.3K views, according to Tubular. 
  • Returning programs this fall will include Barstool Outdoors, College Football Show, Barstool Sports Advisors, The Barstool Rundown, Chicks in the Office, Million Dollaz’ Worth of Game, Spittin’ Chiclets, and The Group Chat.
  • The lineup of new shows for the fall includes Battle Rap Tournament, Barstool Hooliganz and Foreman Scramble