This month’s virtual IAB NewFronts will help to heighten interest in streaming video platforms that are ramping up their sales efforts and touting premium content to draw bigger audiences, Jon Stimmel, chief investment officer at advertising agency UM Worldwide, said in an interview with Beet.TV.

The coronavirus pandemic spurred a massive jump in media consumption among people who were stuck indoors during lockdowns. That sudden shift in behavior is likely to have lasting effects for streaming platforms, especially advertising-based video on demand (AVOD) services that will remain popular with viewers.

“The free ad-supported model — which is truly free — is going to resonate,” Stimmel said.

Viewers not only like the flexibility to watch programming whenever they want, but they also want to avoid spending too much on more video subscriptions. In addition, those viewers don’t consider “pods” of advertising time too intrusive, which is positive for brands seeking to reach target audiences, Stimmel said.

The AVOD market has grown more crowded in recent years as traditional media companies look to compete with services like Roku that was an early entrant into video streaming. Viacom this year bought Pluto TV for $340 million, Fox acquired Tubi for $440 million and Comcast snapped up Xumo for an undisclosed sum.

Stimmel also discussed the opportunities for advertisers as they develop their media plans during this year’s belated upfront season, and the importance of finding premium content that appeals to viewers.

This video is a preview in a series leading up to the 2020 IAB NewFronts.   Please visit this page for additional segments from the Road to the NewFronts 2020.  This Beet.TV series is presented by the IAB.