This year’s IAB NewFronts has finally come to a close, capping off a week of new tech and video announcements, high-profile concerts and even Conan O’Brien.
Adweek was on the ground for all the biggest events throughout the week—with the exception of TikTok’s presentation, an event that was closed to the media. From the effect of the Writers Guild of America strike on presentations to concerts and FAST changes, here are the biggest moments. (And see all of our NewFronts coverage here.)
YouTube kicked off NewFronts week by establishing itself as a place where culture happens. The video platform featured a segment where people on the street were given side-by-side pictures of traditional celebrities and YouTubers, and often, the pedestrians identified the YouTubers and not household names that have typically been on the cover of magazines. Many of YouTube’s biggest creators populated the event itself, including Alan Chikin Chow, a top Shorts creator with over 23 million subscribers, who made a humorous short specifically for the NewFronts, playing with the idea of running late for the cross-country journey from Los Angeles to New York for the event. Attendees got cookies in the shape of Chow’s exasperated face, in addition to access to a host of new ad formats on the Shorts platform. — Catherine Perloff
Vizio’s second in-person NewFronts moved to a new venue—New York’s Penn 1. Despite having seating this year, it was still standing-room-only for the connected TV company’s presentation. Vizio debuted its Branded Content Studio and gave attendees a sneak peek at upcoming home screen enhancements. Followed by a reception with a full bar, guests left with their own Vizio soundbar. — Mollie Cahillane
Amazon’s nearly two-hour presentation went all in on AVOD, with the announcement that 100 Prime Video originals will be available to stream on Freevee by the end of the year. Speaking of Freevee, James Marsden of the hit series Jury Duty took to the stage and talked about the docu-comedy series before pointing out Ronald Gladden in the crowd. Plus, Marcus Mumford performed Look at Us Now (Honeycomb) from Daisy Jones & The Six live for the first time. — M.C.
Conan O’Brien earned the title of Adweek’s 2022 Media Visionary for his influence across late-night, broadcast, cable, podcasting and streaming. And at Samsung Ads’ NewFronts presentation, Cathy Oh, vp global head of marketing at Samsung Ads, announced that the comedian’s first FAST channel is coming to Samsung TV Plus. The comedian even sent in a video message highlighting his 24/7 curated programming. It’d be difficult for O’Brien to repeat as Adweek’s Media Visionary, but he’s coming up the rankings … FAST. —Bill Bradley
Hosting its NewFronts at Lincoln Center’s Rose, Snap continued its saga of touting its creator arsenal. This time, the platform brought mega personalities from the world of sports, including Sue Bird and Carli Lloyd. But Snap’s pitch to introduce sponsored links to its AI chatbot, My AI, was the most intriguing announcement. As more brands dip their toes into leveraging AI, how this tastefully develops and contributes to Snap’s revenue is worth tracking. Unlike the kale salad that was served, which was just bitter. Not a fan! — Trishla Ostwal
From the long line of protesters stationed outside Center415, there was no question where Peacock was holding its NewFronts event. With the Hollywood writers strike kicking off on Tuesday, the picketers semi-blocking the entrance to Peacock’s event sent a strong message. And with rumors that talent may have even skipped out of the event to avoid crossing the picket line, it seems that message was received. — B.B.
While Roku’s event was packed with celebrities including Jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara, Weird Al and more, the company brought out singer/songwriter Charlie Puth to close the presentation and announce his upcoming show Charlie Makes a Record (working title) to the surprise of attendees. After riffing for several minutes on the piano about what he should call his series, he finished by writing the “theme song”—which included telling buyers to spend on Roku and asking what ROI and CPM are. — M.C.
After a one-year break, Yahoo returned to NewFronts week with a Chance the Rapper concert. The event was more party than presentation. And Chance even revealed an early Yahoo connection: The Grammy-award-winning artist’s username was “2hot4u” on Yahoo’s now-defunct messenger service. — C.P.
During the Condé Nast NewFront event, the president of Condé Nast Entertainment, Agnes Chu, introduced a new series for GQ featuring the street stylist Mordechai Rubinstein by inviting “Mort,” who was seated in the audience, to conduct a spontaneous fit check. Mort turned to the man next to him and asked him to describe his outfit, which turned out to be a vintage Ralph Lauren suit, a collarless linen button-up thrifted in Japan and golden-orange brogues—by all accounts, an outstanding look. But alas, the moment was too good to be true: The man in question was a plant, a Condé Nast executive who knew of the stunt beforehand and dressed accordingly. But with Anna Wintour looking on from the front row, wouldn’t you do the same? — Mark Stenberg
Meta’s pitch this year was pretty straightforward. Albeit a little late in the game, the company announced AR ads with Reels and Facebook stories this year, positioning the company against Snap for marketers’ ad dollars. But what got the audience equally excited was the host of the event, Ashley Park, most recently seen in Beef and Emily in Paris. However, there was no mention of the company’s much-touted metaverse during the 2-hour presentation. — T.O.
Vevo, the music video-focused streamer owned by Universal Music Group and Sony Entertainment, wanted its ad buyers to see it as not just on part with more traditional linear and connected TV offerings, but better. Vevo said it was the top FAST network in the U.S. and noted that some of its music videos get more views than TV megahits like Bachelor in Paradise. The event, which was interspersed with music videos, ended with a J Balvin concert, where the musician performed a never-before-heard song with the chorus, “Click, click, flash.” — C.P.
Lastly, though Twitter was thought to be a NewFronts holdout for 2023, it still provided a memorable moment.
Adweek learned the company held an unofficial event on Wednesday evening. When asked about the event, the company gave a thoughtful and measured response:
This NewFronts recap was originally written by Deputy TV Editor, Bill Bradley and published on AdWeek.