UpFronts and NewFronts in Review: Google, Snapchat, Paramount and More

Tim Cross 08 May, 2024 

The UpFronts and NewFronts are now well underway, bringing a vast number of announcements from broadcasters, publishers, social platforms, and tech companies. The NewFronts took place last week, and the UpFronts are set to kick off soon, though several broadcasters have already started teasing new products ahead of their presentations. There’s a lot to sift through, so for the next few weeks, VideoWeek will bring you the highlights around TV and video advertising.

Read on to hear announcements from Google, Snapchat, Paramount, Amazon, A+E Networks, Samsung Ads, Meta, Roku, Vizio, TikTok, Telly, Teads, Fubo TV, Samba TV, and Raptive.

Broadcasters at the UpFronts

Paramount: Attribution Data from EDO and Mastercard 

Paramount Global will start offering attribution data from Mastercard and EDO, a TV measurement startup, as part of its ad trading. The US broadcaster said the data will be bundled into deals “at no additional cost”, allowing marketers to see the impact of ads on outcomes, such as site visits or product searches. “Our goal here is to provide full transparency across outcome metrics not typically associated with premium video so that advertisers can better understand the value of our products,” said John Halley, president of Paramount Advertising.

Amazon: Shoppable Ad Units in Prime Video

Making its UpFronts debut, Amazon is introducing three new shoppable ad units for Prime Video. Currently available to select advertisers before a wider launch later this year, the new formats are:

  • Shoppable carousel ads: 15- and 30-second spots with a shoppable overlay, allowing viewers to browse a brand’s products using their remote
  • Brand trivia ads: 15- and 30-second spots with a shoppable overlay, prompting viewers to interact with an instream video ad by answering questions to unlock rewards or product discounts
  • Pause ads: when their stream is paused, a creative overlay will prompt viewers to interact with products by clicking “learn more” or “add to cart”

A+E Networks: Cross-Platform Measurement

A+E Networks, owner of A&E, History and Lifetime, has unveiled a new measurement tool called InterAction. The offering combines attention data from TVision, recall measurement from Brand Effect, and search results from EDO. A+E said combining these metrics allows the company to measure the reach and efficacy of its advertising across different platforms.

FuboTV: Marquee, Pause and Interactive Ad Formats

FuboTV, a sports streaming company, has announced a suite of new CTV ad units for its streaming service. The four new ad formats are:

  • The Marquee: content carousels located on Fubo’s home screen, incorporating branded and themed backgrounds, custom titles, subheads, logo placements and content
  • Interactive Ads: video ad units enhanced with calls to action that audiences can interact with directly using their remote control
  • Pause Ads: units appearing a few seconds after a viewer presses pause during the content stream, which can also be outfitted with a QR code for additional engagement opportunities
  • Enhanced Banner Ads: targeted banner ads giving advertisers more precision in reaching their desired audiences

Social Platforms at the NewFronts

Snap: Augmented Reality Ads and ‘Try On Experiences’

Snap announced “AR Extensions” for ads on Snapchat, allowing advertisers to integrate AR Lenses and Filters directly into all ad formats, including Dynamic Product Ads, Snap Ads, Collection Ads, Commercials, and Spotlight Ads. The image-sharing platform has also upgraded its AR asset creation capabilities, enabling users to virtually try on a brand’s products. Snap said its investment in Machine Learning and automation speeds up the process of converting 2D product catalogues into AR assets.

TikTok: New Measurement and Publisher Partnerships

TikTok used its NewFronts presentation to announce new measurement partnerships, enabling advertisers to measure the impact of TikTok campaigns. This includes cross-media measurement from iSpot.tv, allowing advertisers to measure the incremental reach of TikTok campaigns compared to the linear TV portion of their campaign. Meanwhile a partnership with Nielsen ONE Ads helps marketers measure their TikTok campaigns across mobile, desktop, linear TV and CTV.

The short-form video platform has also expanded its ad products within the TikTok Pulse Suite for advertisers, including:

  • Pulse Custom Lineups: marketers can align their ads with trending topics on TikTok
  • Pulse Premiere Tentpole Moments: advertisers can buy against tentpole events and cultural moments from TikTok’s publisher partners, including the Paris Olympics from NBCUniversal and The Met Gala from Vogue
  • Pulse Premiere IP Lineups: advertisers can buy against specific networks and IP from NBCU (including Saturday Night Live and America’s Got Talent) and Paramount Global (including MTV, CBS Sports and The Daily Show)

Meta: AI Ad Tools for Instagram Reels

Meta is launching multi-destination product ads for Instagram Reels, providing users with a swipeable display of product images based on their interests. The company will also extend its AI “Image Expansion” tool to Instagram Reels, enabling marketers to adapt creative assets to fit the short-form video format. The social media giant is further using Machine Learning to power creator recommendations on Instagram, helping brands find creators to partner on campaigns. Recommendations are based on a range of signals, including audience similarity and topic relativity.

Tech Companies at the NewFronts

Google: Instant Campaigns, AI-Powered Personas, and PAIR Expansion

Google announced several new tools within DV360, focussed on its connected TV offering. Firstly, the company announced ‘instant deals’, a new tool which it says lets advertisers configure customised deals with publishers within DV360, skipping negotiations. Instant deals are already available for certain YouTube formats, and Google says they will be expanded to major publishers including Disney, and will also be available for non-guaranteed deals.

The tech giant also revealed new generative AI capabilities within DV360. ‘Audience persona’ enables advertisers to describe the audience they want to reach, and creates a combination of audience segments which match this description. This will launch this summer, starting with Google audience and demographic segments.

Finally Google announced that it is contributing PAIR, its data collaboration tool, to IAB Tech Lab, making it an open industry standard.

Roku: Partnerships with iSpot and The Trade Desk

Smart TV software and hardware maker Roku announced two major deals at its presentation, with demand-side platform The Trade Desk and measurement provider iSpot. The deal with The Trade Desk will make Roku’s media, audience, and behavioural data available within The Trade Desk’s platform for campaign targeting and optimisation, via private marketplaces. The iSpot deal meanwhile will make iSpot a preferred third-party measurement partner for Roku, measuring reach, frequency, verified ad exposures, and outcomes on Roku ads. Roku will also share its authenticated audience data with iSpot, which it says will strengthen iSpot’s ability to connect audiences deterministically across linear TV and streaming on Roku.

Telly: T-Commerce and Synchronised Ad Formats

Telly, the US startup launched last year which offers free TVs funded by ads run on a secondary screen (which sits beneath the main screen), announced a new synchronised format called ‘Dual Screen Take Over’. This extends an ad on the primary screen to cover the secondary screen as well. Telly also announced a T-Commerce ad format which brings one-click purchasing on to the Telly interface, which also synchronises with an ad on the main screen. For example, if a Pizza Hut ad airs during an NBA game on the main screen, viewers can click the remote and bring a shoppable ad onto the lower screen, which they can click to order a pizza.

Vizio: Shoppable Ads, Recommendations, and Pause Ads

Smart TV maker Vizio, set to be acquired by Walmart pending regulatory approval, revealed a number of new products based on its home screen, search function, and its WatchFree+ streaming services:

  • WatchFree+, which is embedded in Vizio smart TVs, will now run pause ads which appear when the user pauses content, which may be shoppable via QR codes.
  • ‘Recommends’ ads will appear when the screen goes idle, offering paid content recommendations which Vizio says will be powered by its automatic content recognition data.
  • Three new content hubs on Vizio’s home screen – Vizio Gaming, Sports Hub, and Always On Newsroom – will offer QR-code based shoppable ads.

Vizio also said it has agreed deals with food delivery apps, using their data to power some of these shoppable ads.

Teads: Attention Measurement Partnerships

French ad tech business Teads announced two new partnerships based around attention metrics. The first, with TVISION, will enable real-time adjustments in CTV campaigns using TVision’s attention data. The second, with Adelaide, will make Adelaide’s attention data available to inform omnichannel planning. Initially, advertisers will be able to plan towards attention targets to maximise upper-funnel outcomes. Later in the year Teads will roll out lower funnel conversion metrics, while also expanding the capability to CTV.

Samba TV: New Contextual Capabilities for Samba AI

TV data and measurement business announced new capabilities for Samba AI, its suite of generative AI technologies, which it says will provide “actionable context to video”. Samba says the new tool provides real-time, second-by-second understanding of what appears on a TV screen, covering facial recognition of actors and athletes; logo, object, and product detection; sentiment and behavioural analysis; and brand safety detection.

Samsung Ads: Smart Audiences and Optimal Reach

Samsung’s advertising division Samsung Ads announced two new additions to its ‘Smart Outcomes’ AI-powered performance-driven product set. ‘Smart Acquisition’ is targeted to content companies looking for user acquisition, using Samsung’s data and AI to deliver ads when audiences are most likely to convert. ‘CTV to Mobile’ meanwhile is targeted to mobile apps, delivering performance campaigns on Samsung’s CTV inventory, with measurement provided by independent mobile measurement companies.

Samsung Ads also announced ‘Optimal Reach’, which it says uses a range of data sources to identify gaps in reach and target ‘missed audiences’ at scale using machine learning. This product can be used both for reporting and for targeting.

Raptive: Partnerships for Diverse-Owned Media

Raptive, a business which pairs up advertisers with creators, announced ‘Raptive Represents’, a turnkey solution which it says will make it connect advertisers specifically with diverse content creators represented by Raptive. Raptive also announced a partnership with Media Framework’s Media Advertising Vendor Encoding & Nomenclature (MAVEN) which helps buyers understand which media are majority owned and controlled by diverse owners, and supplies certificates so that the agencies can report to corporate and government advertisers on supplier diversity. This partnership will feed into Raptive Represents, verifying that creators included within the offering are majority owned and controlled by diverse owners.

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About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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