Premium content, a multitude of new partnerships and how brands can create authentic resonance with consumers are the “common threads and themes” that Initiative’s Adam Gilbert takes away from the Digital Content NewFronts 2018.

He also traces the arc of a digital content ecosystem that is in a sort of “retrograde” phase as live content becomes more prevalent amid the decline of linear television viewing.

“The mantra of the week: premium content at scale. Original content being produced by publishers, really in response to cultural trends,” Gilbert, who is Head of Digital, Midwest, says in this interview with Beet.TV.

It’s premium not just in the various big-name publishers that are generating content but also in the “production values that is elevating this content to a premium level.”

While many content partnerships were announced at this year’s NewFronts, they were accompanied by other collaborations, for example publisher-to-publisher and publisher-to-platform.

“As well as even partners such as Hulu trying to hold themselves more accountable through the likes of measurement partnerships with Nielsen, IRI as well as others,” says Gilbert. “That to me as a marketer, as an advertiser, as an agency lead is critical to defining success for the future ahead of our clients and brands.”

He also heard “the loud and continued cry towards personalization and creating authentic resonance with consumers, ultimately helping to also ensure brand safety along the way.”

Gilbert’s perspective includes a view of the marketplace for live content that for him suggests a “retrograde” of how the digital marketplace has been built and where it’s going.

“Digital video has really been build off of traditional both long-form and short-form content that gets uploaded and then lives in perpetuity,” he says.

This stands in contrast to linear TV, which has largely been live and which still draws “a wealth” of live audiences.

“In order to draw more audiences away from linear and traditional channels to digital platforms, we are seeing the likes of ESPN, Twitter and Facebook live. We also heard it last night at YouTube’s Brandcast is they’re continuing to double down with YouTube TV. So I expect we’ll continue to see that grow in the years ahead.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Digital Content NewFronts 2018. The series a co-presentation of Beet.TV and the IAB. Please see additional videos from the series on this page.