At its first-ever newfront presentation, Viacom went all-in with original online video by announcing Viacom Digital Studios, a new engine to crank out hundreds of hours of original video featuring stars from Viacom channels Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and BET. Highlights from the many new shows announced include “You Up? With Nikki Glaser” (a morning celebrity news show for Facebook Watch), “The Majah Hype Show” (a sketch comedy show for BET), and “Road to VidCon” (a partnership with MTV that highlights a young video creator’s journey).
Speaking of VidCon, Viacom acquired VidCon in February and today announced that VidCon will debut in London February 14 through 17, 2019. VidCon co-creator Hank Green took the stage to make the announcement.
Viacom announced a deal to provide daily news for Twitter: It’s launching branded shows for Comedy Central, MTV, MTV News International and BET that will offer daily updates over the short-messaging platform. Viacom also announced it renewed its partnership with Snap to produce shows and live events for the Snapchat Discover area.
The New York Times
At this morning’s New York Times NewFront, the paper of record predicted that 2018 will be a breakout year for smart speakers, and wants to work with brands on creating audio answers that respond to users’ questions. Modeled after the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, this is an opportunity for brands to demonstrate themselves as authorities by providing useful advice. The paper encouraged active experimentation and pitched itself as a smart speaker partner.
The Times also hinted that a big announcement involving a TV show modeled after The Daily podcast is almost ready, but didn’t offer any details.
The BBC News NewFront teased multiple upcoming platforms for video marketers, including a new BBC Reels area of the site that will offer a curated selection of the best BBC News video. The area will include existing and commissioned content, with selections grouped into playlists. BBC Reels is open to branded and sponsored content. BBC News didn’t give an exact date for its launch, just that it will debut soon.
BBC StoryWorks announced three features coming later this year: a 360° virtual reality experience called World of Wonder that takes viewers around the globe, an augmented reality app called World’s Kitchen that puts great chefs right in the viewer’s own home, and the international commercial launch of BBC Music, a multi-platform music service that brands can use to reach and engage with music fans. BBC Music will stream across TV, online, social, and live channels, and will include music journalism, playlists, music festival coverage, and upcoming artists to watch.