Digital Marketing
5 min

Google NewFront 2024: Insights on the Future of NewFronts

Jenna Wigman Director, Communications

NewFronts is an important predictor of industry trends every year, and 2024 is no different. This week’s Google NewFront presentation kicked off NewFronts with an introduction by Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) CEO David Cohen, who dove into some of the biggest challenges facing agencies and advertisers today. 

The usual suspects, like AI and first-party data, were part of the conversation, but the event also brought up the question that’s been hanging over NewFronts in recent years: do the NewFronts still need to be a separate event?

We’ve zeroed in on the most important trends from this year’s Google NewFront presentation to help you understand the major topics coming up this week and in the future, from the release of new ad tech tools on Display & Video 360 (DV360) to an integration with Disney’s Real-Time Ad Exchange (DRAX).

David Cohen onstage at Google NewFront

YouTube goes Hollywood: new entertainment partnerships

While creators are still the lifeblood of the YouTube platform and an integral part of Google’s ad offering in the video space, relationships with other entertainment platforms are crucial for Google in 2024. 

Google pitched its advertisers on unifying their media with DV360 with a touch of Hollywood flair through new partnerships with entertainment giants including Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Discovery, and Warner Bros. Many cord-cutters have complained that today’s endless streaming options have evolved to mimic the cable package formats of the past. It now looks like the convergence of streamers could take this to a whole new level. Google touted that Display & Video 360 can reach 92% of all CTV-viewing households in the US, according to research commissioned by Comscore OTT Intelligence.

The most developed of these partnerships is Google’s collaboration with Disney through DRAX. This new integration will allow advertisers to tap into Disney’s deep inventory of premium content at scale and provide instant deals that extend beyond YouTube to major publishers. 

Paramount VP of Programmatic Advertising Sales Pete Chelala and Warner Bros. Discovery SVP of Ad Sales Revenue Operations Jill Steinhauser joined Google VP of Agency Solutions and Client Services Kristen O’Hara on stage to discuss the future of integrated content solutions through Google’s new premium publisher integrations. They discussed the benefits the streamers are excited to tap into with this new partnership, including programmatic audience reach and a dynamic unified media approach.

Paramount VP of Programmatic Advertising Sales Pete Chelala and Warner Bros. Discovery SVP of Ad Sales Revenue Operations Jill Steinhauser joined Google VP of Agency Solutions and Client Services Kristen O’Hara on stage

Audience persona: reaching new customers with AI

It wouldn’t be a marketing event in 2024 if AI wasn’t part of the conversation. While Google’s AI offerings aren’t news to marketers, NewFronts gave advertisers a new–and first-party data-compliant–way to reach audiences through a feature called audience persona. 

With this tool, advertisers can use AI to translate their ideal audience descriptions into streamlined audience segments to match their goals. This gives them instant access to an optimized list of suggested audience lists from thousands of options, uncovering high-potential audiences to improve reach and deliver better results. Custom bidding also means brands can indicate their highest priorities in DV360, tailoring Google AI to focus on impressions that drive specific brand results, without requiring new code.

The newly launched experiment center allows marketers to take this AI feature to the next level with audience segment testing, providing top-line insights and visibility into how AI-generated audiences stand to perform across the whole funnel. 

Google PAIR: first-party data goes open-source

Google launched its Publisher Advertiser Identity Reconciliation, or PAIR, solution in 2022 to give publishers and advertisers the option to securely and privately reconcile their first-party data for audiences who have visited an advertiser’s and publisher’s site, ensuring no user-level data is shared between parties. Publishers like NBCUniversal and Disney, as well as clean room providers such as LiveRamp and Infosum, are already leveraging PAIR.

This year, Google announced a new partnership with the IAB Tech Lab to open-source PAIR, enabling ad tech companies and agencies to adopt privacy-forward audience solutions to benefit advertisers, publishers, and audiences. This will allow a broader industry adoption of this first-party data solution ahead of Google’s third-party cookie deprecation (although it will be some time before the cookie fully crumbles since the platform recently announced that deprecation will be delayed until 2025).

Google NewFront 2024

Media convergence: the future of NewFronts

Media convergence was also a central theme at Google’s NewFront–and it’s one we’ll likely see across many of the platform and publisher presentations in New York City this week. These DV360 features signal a demand from streamers for more opportunities to move down the funnel and more integrations like audience persona to allow performance marketers to move up the funnel. 

With the continuing collapse of the marketing funnel alongside increased entertainment value of content on the digital platform front, we may see more players shift from a NewFront to an Upfront presentation next year, as Hulu has previously done. While that probably won’t mean an end to the NewFronts as a whole, we’ll likely be seeing more cross-pollination of offerings for advertisers as the lines between digital and traditional media continue to blur. 

Looking to get your strategy ready for the future of media? Check out our white paper, Forecast: 10 Predictions About the Future of Media & Marketing, for insights on what comes next.

Data Privacy Digital Marketing Google Paid Media YouTube


Write a response…

Related Posts

Think Like A Challenger

Subscribe to keep up to date on the latest innovations in digital marketing and strategies our Challenger Brands leverage for success.