Twitter, YouTube Cancel Live NewFronts As Digital Media Heads To Streaming-Only Presentations

Updated with Twitter news:

Twitter joined YouTube in canceling live events for advertisers this year in favor of streaming-only as the coronavirus continues to hit the upfront season.

“Twitter will be producing a fully-streamed presentation for NewFronts this year. We’re excited to embrace this new level of flexibility that the IAB has so thoughtfully laid out for its presenters. We’ll share more in the coming weeks,” said a Twitter spokesperson in a statement Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, YouTube said  its annual Brandcast presentation won’t be live this year but a “digital-first event” to be streamed on the video platform owned by Alphabet’s Google.

The announcements came as the IAB, which organizes the NewFronts, strongly recommended that this year’s presentations slated to start in April be streaming productions only, not in-person, on coronavirus fears. The NewFronts were created eight years to complement the traditional broadcast and cable upfront presentations to advertisers.

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“With uncertainty over the COVID-19 virus growing, we at IAB are introducing new tools and channels to enable the digital marketing and media industry to interact and transact during the annual Digital Content NewFronts marketplace, which is currently scheduled for April 27 – May 6,” the organization said. “To be clear, based on feedback from longtime NewFronts participants, we at IAB strongly recommend streaming-only productions for all presenters.”

It outlined new streaming options to help companies design – or redesign – their presentations. And it said the IAB NewFronts team has already begun reaching out to presenters and agencies with the plans, taking in feedback, and helping get them launched ahead of NewFronts 2020.

“By adding a streaming option to the NewFronts, we’ll transform the NewFronts and Upfronts into the 21st Century media and brand marketplace they were meant to be – a benefit that will last long after COVID-19 is relegated to the history books,” IAB said.

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