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IAB’s Rothenberg Says Digital Video Via OTT, Mobile Now A ‘Mainstream Consumer Medium’

One big takeaway from the 2017 Digital Content NewFronts on which both buyers and sellers can agree is that “What we’ve been calling digital video has now become a completely mainstream consumer medium,” notes Randy Rothenberg. “The industry is at a complete inflection point. We know that this is big not in the future but right now.”

The President and CEO of the Internet Advertising Bureau sees that inflection point supported by two main tent poles, he explains in this interview with Beet.TV. The first is that over-the-top video viewing in the living room is attracting all demographics, and that “everybody wants to be in” on the mobile video craze.

Among Rothenberg’s observations is the gratifying number of marketers at this year’s NewFronts events. He cites a Chicago contingent from Conagra and Starcom along with “what appear to be hundreds of primary buyers in this room now.”

Asked about the scope of the NewFronts, given its inexorable expansion year after year, Rothenberg dismisses headlines about companies dropping out of the festivities. The only year companies did not drop out was the very first year.

“We’ve said from day one this is a marketplace. It’s not for everyone. It’s going to be right for some, right for others and they should deal with it in different ways,” he says.

Scale is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to the choice of activities from May 1 through May 12 in New York City.

“If you’re a big monstrous player like Hulu, you can fill Madison Square Garden, which Hulu did just this morning,” says Rothenberg. “If you’re a newcomer or if you’re a repositioning incumbent, you may want to do a small dinner for your best clients, which by the way is exactly what AOL did last night, a dinner for 60 top clients.”

If there’s one conclusion to be drawn from questions about the breadth, scope and necessity of the NewFronts, according to Rothenberg, it would be “People who write stories for the trade press are not buyers and not sellers so they really don’t know what they’re talking about.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB’s Digital Content NewFronts 2017. The series is sponsored by the IAB. For more videos from the #NewFronts, please visit this page.