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After a two-month delay and a complete format overhaul, the 2020 Digital Content NewFronts have finally wrapped, capping a frenzied week of virtual presentations, insights panels and Q&As. In case you missed any of the events—and there were dozens of them—Adweek has rounded up the most memorable moments from the week. (And if you missed any of our NewFronts coverage, you can find it here.)Roku: Roku borrowed ideas from other streaming services, introducing its version of pause ads and Roku Reserve (similar to YouTube Select). The platform tried its hardest to make OneView look sexy during a virtual presentation, with panning b-roll shots of OneView sitting open in a web browser. And Roku’s Alison Levin said she taped her presentation from her backyard shed—she might have the nicest, least-grimy shed I’ve ever seen. Where are all of her tools? —Andrew BlusteinCrackle Plus: Almost every NewFronts presenter took a few moments to proclaim their support for Black Lives Matter amid the global protests over police brutality and social injustice. But Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment chairman and CEO Bill Rouhana put his money where his mouth is as he gave brands an additional incentive to fast-check their upfront negotiations: He said that for the first agency partner to commit to Crackle Plus in this upfront, the company will donate 5% of that commitment back to promote a charity of that agency’s choice. —Jason LynchTubi: The AVOD streamer tapped The Masked Singer judges Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger for its presentation, but some of their jokes worked better than others. At one point, Tubi chief content officer Adam Lewinson held a staged FaceTime call with Scherzinger, former member of the Pussycat Dolls, where Scherzinger joked that Lewinson had been begging for a spot to compete in the reality series and was a secret fan of her former girl group’s music. But the bit felt strained without a live audience, where NewFronts jokes like these are better suited to shine. —Kelsey SuttonHulu: It wouldn’t be a Hulu NewFront without lots of talent appearances, but the comedians the streamer tapped to appear onscreen didn’t disappoint this time around. Amy Schumer appeared in her home pool on a unicorn float to tout her upcoming series Love, Beth, and without a trailer to show off, she opted instead to read excerpts from her childhood diary. Martin Short and Steve Martin, who co-star in the upcoming comedy Only Murders in the Building, appeared in a joint video call to riff off each other. “This show is already one of the highlights of my career,” Short said, to which Martin responded, “And I am proud to say it’s a blip on the radar of mine.”—Kelsey SuttonSnap: Snap highlighted original content on its Discover platform at its NewFronts debut. The social platform, known for disappearing photos and messages, leaned into AR in recent years, and it’s starting to bleed into its original programming. While Snap is adding some star power behind its originals, there’s still a gap between the app’s 229 million daily active users and the relatively smaller audience for its originals. (One of its most popular shows, Will Smith’s Will From Home, has been watched by 35 million users.) —Scott NoverCondé Nast: The publisher decided to address the diversity issues that employees have accused the company’s video production team and food brand, Bon Appétit, of having, in its pitch to advertisers. Nearly every executive included in the presentation mentioned the issues in some capacity, including the company’s CEO Roger Lynch in an unusual live segment at the beginning of the event. Their comments came just a little over two weeks after Bon Appétit’s editor in chief stepped down (after a brownface photo surfaced and discrimination allegations mounted), and their inclusion in the event proved just how big they perceive the moment to be. —Sara JerdeContinue Reading



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