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BBC.com Joins New York’s NewFronts After BuzzFeed, Fullscreen and Yahoo Bail Out

Variety logo Variety 3/29/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

A month ahead of the 2017 Digital Content NewFronts in New York, the lineup of presenting companies keeps getting rejiggered — as several big players have pulled out of the two-week ad-pitch series in favor of spending their marketing bucks differently.

BuzzFeed and Fullscreen Media have canceled their planned dog-and-pony sessions at the NewFronts this year, after Yahoo earlier this month backed out of the event in favor of a targeted multi-city tour for advertisers. Twitter took over Yahoo’s May 1 slot from 6-9 p.m.

The moves have opened up space for other entrants. That includes BBC.com, the British broadcaster’s international news website, which will be hosting a breakfast and ad-sales presentation for the first time ever at the sixth annual NewFronts on Monday, May 8, from 9-11 a.m. in New York. The BBC’s slot was previously occupied by AwesomenessTV, which has moved to the prime first-day spot previously reserved for BuzzFeed (May 1 from 12-2 p.m.)

BuzzFeed, which has participated in the NewFronts for the past three years, says the decision to exit the NewFronts was not motivated by cost. Rather, the company wants to provide a more in-depth, hands-on look at its marketing tools and content for brand execs and ad buyers — instead of putting on a two-hour stage show. “We are planning something different this year,” said a BuzzFeed rep, adding that details of its marketing event will be forthcoming.

Fullscreen GM Pete Stein says the company will share recently completed original audience research with brand partners “in a series of productive, intimate dinner events.”

“NewFronts has been a success for us in the past,” Stein wrote in a blog post explaining the move. “But as social video continues its relentless growth in demand from both consumers and advertisers, brands are moving away from leading with interruptive advertising, to adding value to the story – and Fullscreen wants to talk about it with them.”

Meanwhile, other recent additions to the 2017 NewFronts schedule include MediaLink, which is hosting a 7:30-9 a.m. breakfast May 1; Astronauts Wanted, the joint venture of Judy McGrath and Sony Music Entertainment (May 10); and Uproxx Media (May 11).

Currently, at the 2017 NewFronts, which run May 1-12, a total of 35 companies and organizations are scheduled to present. Those include Hulu, YouTube, AOL, AwesomenessTV, Bloomberg Media, Defy Media, Disney Media-Maker Studios, Group Nine Media, Hearst Digital Media, the New York Times, Popsugar, Time Inc., Turner, Vice Media, and Warner Bros.

The NewFronts, founded in 2012, are managed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau digital-advertising trade group.

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