Why New Video Frontiers 2018 Will Be the Best Ever (Really)


Vincent Flood

This year’s New Video Frontiers conference will be attended by over 400 of the leading players in video and TV advertising, with attendees coming from across Europe and the US. We’ll be kicking things off with a leadership event on day one, but here VAN Editor Vincent Flood discusses why the main conference on day two will be our best ever.

Each year when the dust has settled and we have finished another conference, we scratch our heads and wonder what we’ll do at the next New Video Frontiers. Fortunately for us, video and TV continues to evolve and expand and if anything it becomes more interesting as each year passes. This year’s conference agenda reflects that, and we have blended a mix of world class speakers, industry giants and disruptors, alongside more educational sessions aimed at equipping attendees with the information they need to succeed in video and TV. Regardless of which part of the industry you’re working in, there really isn’t a single session you should miss.

The OTT Revolution & the Future of TV

It has been coming for years now, but OTT is finally starting to gain meaningful scale. The first panel of the day, moderated by Jon Watts, Managing Partner and co-founder of MTM, will feature four of the people who are working at the OTT coalface. They include Lizz Duff, Head Of Media and Investment at Total Media, Thomas Bremond, GM, International at Freewheel, Leon Siotis, GM, Supply at SpotX Europe and Jonathan Lewis, Head of Digital & Partnership Innovation at Channel 4.

Following that, VAN Editor-in-Chief Vincent Flood (yes, I am writing about myself in the third person) will be joined by industry legend Dave Morgan, CEO at Simulmedia. Morgan’s list of achievements are an embarrassment of riches. Morgan is currently the CEO and founder of Simulmedia, a company that is simplifying and streamlining data-driven TV advertising in the US. He previously founded and ran both TACODA, an online advertising company that pioneered behavioural online marketing and was acquired by AOL in 2007 for $275 million, and Real Media, one of the world’s first ad serving and online ad network companies and a predecessor to 24/7 Real Media, which was later sold to WPP for $649 million. Morgan is also renowned for being one of the industry’s finest and most entertaining commentators, perhaps best known through his regular contributions to Ad Age and MediaPost. Do not miss this session.

In the late afternoon it’ll be squeaky bum time for at least half of the room as one of the industry’s finest presenters, Simon Thomas, Global Director, Audiences, at GroupM, will compare the effectiveness of TV and online video advertising. We want you to know we love you all equally regardless of what Simon Says.

Brands & Agencies

The question of how agencies should evolve is a question that doesn’t seem to go away. On the one hand it seems clear now that agencies are going nowhere, but what exactly they’re required for is still something that’s up for debate. Adobe’s Head of Product Marketing, Toccara Baker, who is justifiably touted as one of the industry’s rising stars, who will be looking at the reality of in-housing and how agencies are adapting.

We always like to end the day on a high and preferably with a bit of controversy, and we’re glad to say we have three of the industry’s most interesting characters on stage for our ‘Hacking the Agency Model’ panel.  Lindsay Rowntree, Head of Content at ExchangeWire, and our agency speakers are Mary Keane-Dawson, CEO at Truth, Liam Brennan, Global Digital Director at Mediacom and Hossein Houssaini, Global Head of Programmatic Solutions at Havas.

There’s still time to buy a ticket and you can do so here.

Publisher-Focused Sessions

In social platform terms, Facebook Watch is perhaps the number one threat to YouTube’s dominance. We’re delighted to have Karla Geci, Head of Media Partner Programs, EMEA at Facebook, who will be explaining what the new service — launched in Europe just weeks ago – will be offering both creators and advertisers.

Whilst much of the content throughout the event relates to publishers, there are two sessions you really shouldn’t miss. Kevin, McGurn, CSO at Vevo, the global leader in the music video world, will be joining Vincent Flood, Editor-in-Chief at Video Ad News to talk about Vevo has achieved 30 percent year-on-year growth. Very few people – if anyone – has as much experience of selling premium video at scale more than McGurn has.

Starting out at Unicast, one of the earliest rich media companies, McGurn also worked with DoubleClick and Audience Science, before becoming VP of Sales for NBC Universal, SVP of Sales at Hulu, Global Chief Revenue for Shazam,  and Head of Sales for Fullscreen and Otter Media Companies. Vevo has seen spectacular growth during his tenure at Vevo and Kevin will be sharing insights into how they’ve achieved it.

Later in the day, Jessica Davies, UK Editor at Digiday, will be moderating a panel that is deliberately open-ended in order to flesh out what is and isn’t working for publishers, spannign everything from co-operatives to header bidding. Davies will be joined by Shane Shevlin, SVP Strategic Development at IPONWEB, a stalwart of the European ad tech scene, and David Fisher, who is VP, Digital at Discovery, one of the global broadcasting giants.

Industry Challenges & Opportunities

In the morning we’re kicking things off with Antti Mäki, Digital Director for Betfair. Formerly the COO of GroupM Finland, Maki will set the scene for the day, explaining where smaller players can not just survive – but thrive – in the midst of the giants.

We’ve spent years at conferences focusing on the problems encountered during the Wild West days of online video, but are we finally starting to make meaningful progress?  If we are, the more honest players at the premium and of the market might be about to finally get their just rewards. This panel will feature Christian Dankl, Co-Founder & Chairman at Precise TV, who recently left his role as CEO of AdVOD at ProSiebenSat.1 to help make buying YouTube inventory safer and more effective. Also on stage will be one of the most familiar faces of the European ad tech scene, Nigel Gilbert who is VP for Strategic Development EMEA at AppNexus, who were of course recently acquired by AT&T, and Roli Okoro, Head of Precision Strategy EMEA, at Publicis Media. Roli is a Publicis veteran who has just returned to Europe after a stint in Dubai.

Later in the afternoon, The Guardian’s CRO Hamish Nicklin will join Digiday’s UK Editor Jess Davies to look at “Why digital media’s ethical renaissance is about more than just advertising?”. Whilst Macklin will be providing a sell-side perspective, the conversation will focus on how our industry is in fact a lot more important than simply selling widgets to consumers and when we get it wrong, the impact is felt by wider society.

One of the most perplexing things about our industry today is how the stock market values media and ad tech companies, all of which becomes more interesting at a time of widespread consolidation. After the morning coffee, Jon Watts, Managing Partner and co-founder, MTM, will be joined by Will Milner, Senior Analyst at Arete Research, and former city analyst of the year, Ian Whittaker, Head of European Media  and Digital Equity Research at Liberum for a session titled ‘Scale at any Cost? A Stock Market View’.

Again, we’ll be returning to the measurement issue to try and establish “which metrics matter?”.  We’re incredibly proud of our measurement panel – just managing to arrange to have these three jet-setting measurement gurus in the same city at the same time is a feat in itself – and VAN Editor-in-Chief Vincent Flood will be joined by Toni Petra, EVP, Watch at Nielsen, Simon Thomas, Global Director, Audiences at GroupM and Armel Bursaux, Global Director of Operations for Analytics & Insights at Publicis Media. It doesn’t get more all-start for measurement and there won’t be anyone in the room who won’t learn a lot during this session.

Just when you thought it was safe to stop worrying about GDPR, up comes the looming ePrivacy Directive, which will be the next mission-critical hurdle for the industry to jump over. We’re delighted to have IAB Europe’s Chris Hartsuiker, who manages privacy public policy, coming over from Brussels to tell us where we’re at today and what we should expect in the future.

Innovation is always at the heart of New Video Frontiers and we’re delighted to have one of the companies who spotted one of the most interesting – and challenging – areas for automation – in-transit media. Which is the media consumed on trains and planes for example. As Inadvia’s Tim Lethern will explain, this is an area set for spectacular growth and expect to find yourself kicking yourself for not thinking of it first. Our prediction: Inadvia will be acquired before Tim finishes his presentation.

Don’t miss you – you can buy a pass here.

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