Next week over 500 brands, agencies, broadcasters, publishers and technology companies will gather in London for New Video Frontiers, Europe’s leading video & OTT advertising conference. Here Vincent Flood, VAN’s Editor-in-Chief, provides an overview of what to expect.
It’s now seven years since the first New Video Frontiers, when about 180 people gathered at the Institute of Contemporary Art for our first ever event (which I should add wouldn’t have been possible were it not for the support and advice of our friends at Exchangewire). Some people who attended had strange new job titles, some with the word ‘programmatic’ in them, and there were even a few that featured the word ‘video’. There were only two agency people solely responsible for online video in the whole of London at that time (one of them was Tom Fryett, now Head of Programmatic Development for OMG EMEA, who I’m delighted to say will be speaking on Day 2 of this year’s event).
It’s fair to say here wasn’t anything you could really call an online video ecosystem, or at least not with a straight face. The pipes simply hadn’t been laid and for all the fancy infographics and industry landscape charts, behind the scenes it was a disconnected mess (no bad thing for event organisers looking for panel topics).
But since then we’ve seen video go from a sideshow (regarded by many as a distraction from the display market which was enjoying far more scale and liquidity) soar to become the fastest growing part of digital advertising and to move on to our living room TVs. The technology isn’t quite perfect, but it has advanced to the point where it’s unrecognisable from where we started out from.
The growth of online video and OTT/connected TV advertising in large part attributable to many of the companies who gathered for that first event, and we’re extremely proud of the community of video specialists who have joined us at NVF over the years, many of whom are still attending each year since that first event.
This year’s event will be slightly different to those of the past, and it’s a sign of the times that some of the most eagerly awaited slots feature speakers from the political and regulatory world.
Theme 1: Politics, Regulation & How to Adapt
As an industry we face numerous challenges over the coming year, most notably on the political and regulatory fronts, which are shaping the future of our industry every bit as much as technology is. For some, these changes will pose an existential threat, and there will be huge opportunities for the privacy-savvy.
On Day 1 we’ll be having Former Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw (who served in government for 13 years under “Prime Minister Tony Blair”), who will be speaking about Brexit & the Media. Considering the heightened emotions around Brexit at this moment in time, we were slightly wary about introducing a political speaker to an advertising event, but Straw’s views are balanced and measured and he doesn’t pull his punches when it comes to the pros and cons for either side. Audience members will also be able to ask questions afterwards, so whether you’re a Remainer or a Brexiteer, you’ll have the chance to have your put your views forward should you choose to do so.
We’ll continue the conversation with our Town Hall Meeting with the ICO, where attendees will be able to put questions directly to Simon McDougall, Executive Director, Technology and Innovation at the ICO, who are currently reviewing how to regulate how ad tech is used. Regardless of where you sit in the industry, this session will be unmissable.
Following on from that session, we’ll have four leading experts on stage to discuss the implications of both regulation and the introduction of intelligent tracking prevention (ITP) at the browser level. Based on my prep calls so far, this is going to be a fantastic panel and will help identify the impliciations for the buy-side, the sell-side, and for everyone in between.
- Christian Dankl, Co-Founder & Chairman, Precise TV
- Paul Gubbins, Global Programmatic Lead, Unruly
- Stephanie Layser, Vice President, Advertising Technology & Operations, News Corp
- Mathieu Roche, Co-Founder & CEO, ID5
Theme 2: Industry Legends
There are people who you want on stage regardless of what’s going on in the industry. One speaker we’re honoured to have joining us from the US media mogul Tom Rogers (Chairman of Captify, and formerly the CEO of TiVo, President of NBC Cable, and founder of CNBC) will be taking to the stage on Day 2 for a fireside chat. There are few people who can say they genuinely changed the face of media, but Tom is undoubtedly one of them, even if he mightn’t say so himself.
Jamie West is a familiar face to anyone who has attended events like New Video Frontiers and NVF Connect, not least because he always has something interesting to say, but Jamie is also known around the global industry as a pioneer who has helped lead the charge on addressable TV during his tenure at Sky and at Sky Media. Recently Sky announced that he will soon be departing and he’ll be taking part in ‘Jamie West’s Exit Interview‘ on Day 2.
Theme 3: The Return of the Analysts
- Roddy Davidson, Media Analyst, Shore Capital
- Catherine O’Neill, Analyst, Citi
- Giasone Salati, Head of European Media Research, Macquarie Group
Theme 3: Technology & Innovation
Enhancing the industry through technology has always been at the heart of New Video Frontiers, and this year’s keynotes will be delivered by three of the most innovative and interesting companies in video today. We’re also delighted that two of the three keynotes will be delivered by female speakers this year:
Social is the New Reach: A Look at the Future of Digital Video Audience Measurement
Dennis Crushell, Managing Director International, Tubular Labs
- Moritz Wuttke, SVP Commercial, TV Solutions, IPONWEB
- Vinnie Khurana, Head of Sales UK, Admo.tv
Theme 4: The Buy-Side View
The first panel of Day 2 will set out what buyers actually want. Titled “In-Housing & Outcomes: Putting Video & OTT to Work for the Next Generation of Brands”, Exchangewire’s Lindsay Rowntree will be joined by a number of key players to look at how brands’ evolving marketing strategies and how some are bringing media buying in house and start to focus more on outcomes. How can OTT and video ensure they continue to be key components of these new media strategies?
- Bobi Carley, Head of TV & Video, ISBA
- Sam Taylor, Head of Group Commercial/Performance Marketing, Direct Line
- Steve Bignell, Director of Advanced Advertising, ITV
Theme 5: Sell-Side Challenges & Opportunities
So much of what happens in the industry is dependent on publishers, broadcasters, pay TV operators and technology companies joining the dots. This year we have three panels on Day 2 looking at what’s happening on the ground from various points of view:
As publishers find themselves increasingly squeezed for ad revenue, we’re seeing a number experiment with innovative new forms of monetising their properties. In this session, our panel will discuss how this trend applies to video, with publishers trialling new formats on their own properties while also testing the waters in areas like live streaming.
- Luke Barnes, CDO & CRO, EMEA, VICE Media
- Frances Hudson, Head of Programmatic Optimisation, The Guardian
- Benny Bonsu, Head of Women’s Sport, GiveMeSport
- Moderator: Lucinda Southern, Senior Writer, Digiday
- Dave Castell, GM of Inventory & Partnerships for EMEA, The Trade Desk
- Leon Siotis, GM Revenue Europe, SpotX
- Liz Duff, Head of Media & Investment, Total Media
- Moderator: Jon Watts, Managing Director, MTM Research14:10Unifying Cross-Platform Audiences: Are We There Yet?Walled gardens, privacy regulations and technical limitations all make life difficult for advertisers who want to both target and measure audiences across multiple platforms. Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?Panel: Moritz Wuttke, SVP Commercial, TV Solutions, IPONWEBVinnie Khurana, Head of Sales UK, Admo.tvModerator: Tim Cross, Senior Reporter, Video Ad News
OTT’s Great Disruption: What’s the Future for AVOD?
- Tariq Mahmoud, Director of International Sales & Strategy, Roku
- Vincent Soucaret, Principal Consultant, Xandr
- Victoria Chappell, VP Marketing International, IAS
- Stéphane Coruble, CEO, RTL AdConnect
- Moderator: Tim Cross, Senior Reporter, Video Ad News
Kate Tancred, Co-Founder & CEO, The Smalls
Brian Danzis, Global Head of Video Monetization, Spotify
Theme 7: Meet New Friends & Old
We’re convinced that video is the friendliest part of digital advertising, quite possibly because the threshold to enter the market was quite high before outstream solutions came along, so a community of online video specialists have slowly merged with the leading innovators from the TV side. We’ve always been proud of the warm atmosphere at our events and people often comment on it, and we look forward to sharing a drink with you all both on Day 1 and at the end of the day on Day 2.