Top Creator Economy & Video Ads Insights From IAB NewFronts

The latest IAB NewFronts took place in San Francisco this week, showcasing a variety of the industry’s top-performing offerings. The event saw over 700 attendees with attendance up 20% on last year and nearly double that of 2015. What do these stats tell us?

The “creator economy trends 2022” is the idea that creators will be the main drivers of revenue in the future. This presentation from IAB NewFronts 2018 gives a great overview of what to expect.

The “world’s biggest digital content marketplace,” IAB NewFronts, began on Monday with in-person events in New York City and virtual events on IAB.com.

“Stream On” is the unifying theme of this year’s series of media buyer events, which underscores the industry’s twin trends: both consumers and brands are leaning towards streaming video.

The top three takeaways from Day 1 of the 2022 IAB NewFronts are shown below.

Stream OnMay 2022, image via YouTube

1. Setting the Stage: Taking Advantage of the Creator Economy

The agenda for the 2022 IAB NewFronts was determined by Tara Walpert Levy, Vice President of Americas at YouTube, and Michael Kassan, Chief Executive Officer of MediaLink, who discussed “Harnessing the Creator Economy.”

Walpert Levy said during the conversation at Google’s Pier 57 that beauty icon Jackie Aina and makeup artist Pat McGrath will be hosting a live shopping event on May 3 including goods inspired by the Netflix series Bridgerton.

Then, on May 4, YouTube will link up with Paramount to live broadcast the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick, the next cinematic sequel.

Now, here’s the elephant in the room, which few in the industry trade press have mentioned:

  • YouTube is boosting the economy, bringing in $20.5 billion to the US economy by 2020.
  • In the United States, YouTube will generate 394,000 full-time equivalent jobs by 2020.
  • YouTube is helping small companies develop their client base, with 80 percent of SMBs having a YouTube channel agreeing that YouTube helped them grow their customer base.

A Creator Coffee Talk with Colin Rosenblum and Samir Chaudry, two Los Angeles-based filmmakers; Cassey Ho, a certified Pilates and fitness instructor whose YouTube channel “blogilates” has 6.4 million subscribers; and Collins Key, who has a YouTube channel with 23.7 million subscribers and posts funny comedy videos.

NewFronts StreamOn eventMay 2022, image via YouTube

They discussed how they went from being “YouTubers” and influencers to being creators and businesspeople. The council praised YouTube for paying artists more than $30 billion between 2017 and 2020 — an average of $7.5 billion each year.

YouTube earned $28.8 billion in advertising revenue in 2021.

With about 55% of revenue going to artists, YouTube paid out more than $15 billion to creators last year, a significant portion of the entire financing for the creative economy.

Other social video platforms have only put hundreds of millions of dollars into “supporting” artists and influencers.

Alternatively, as Key put it,

“YouTube’s revenue split is what enables us to establish these companies.” And it’s upsetting for me as a creator because I hear every platform say, “Oh yes, we support our artists.” We support our artists.’ Except for YouTube, no one is putting their money where their mouth is.”

YouTube’s annual Brandcast is usually held at the IAB NewFronts, but this year the firm defied convention by scheduling it to coincide with the Upfronts, the yearly marketplace for TV ad sales.

We’ll have to wait until May 17 to find out what YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has to say.

However, VidCon’s GM, Jim Louderback, expects her talk to stress that “Big Red is as much a TV corporation as it is an online video platform.”

2. IAB Insights: Video Ad Spend Forecast 2022

Vice President of the IAB Media Center Eric John presented the results of this year’s “Video Ad Spend and 2022 Outlook” research on Monday.

Spending on digital video advertising surged by 49% in 2021, and is anticipated to rise another 26% to $49.2 billion in 2022.

Ad expenditure on Connected TV (CTV) increased by 57 percent to $15.2 billion in 2021, and is predicted to increase by another 39 percent to $21.2 billion in 2022.

Despite the fact that 76 percent of video buyers now consider CTV to be a “must buy” in their media planning budgets, CTV receives only 18 percent of total video ad dollars, falling short of the 36 percent of total time spent with linear TV and CTV combined in 2022.

“The moment has come for companies and purchasers to pay heed to customer attention,” John added.

NewFronts StreamOn Annual Ad Spend Share reportMay 2022, image from NewFront

According to the study,

  • CTV allows purchasers to use data such as first-party brand data, location data, and shopping data that aren’t accessible with linear TV purchases.
  • CTV was more successful than linear TV for 57 percent of video buyers who used sales boost as their KPI. Even still, 46% of video purchasers who indicated their KPI was increasing brand image believed CTV was more successful.
  • Only 50% of video buyers claimed their CTV commercials were “very obvious” where they played, while only 43% said the same for social video and 43% for other digital video.

Video customers, on the other hand, claim they still confront difficulties:

  • Measurement of additional reach across platforms/publishers was cited as a problem by 48% of respondents.
  • Managing frequency between platforms/publishers was cited by 43% as a challenge.
  • Fragmentation, according to 35% of respondents, is still the Achilles heel of programmatic supply chains.

To meet CTV’s potential and difficulties, video buyers are preparing for a merged linear TV/CTV marketplace by using a variety of creative and targeting approaches.

“To use a baseball analogy,” John pointed out, “we’re still in the first inning.”

3. Amazon’s New Virtual Product Placement Service

Amy Poehler, an Emmy-winning actress who is also the director of Lucy and Desi on Prime Video and an executive producer on Harlem, presented Amazon’s event at the Lincoln Center on Monday evening.

She was joined by eight executives from Freevee, Amazon Ads, Twitch, Prime Video, Amazon Music, and Amazon Studios to reveal new programs, ad packages, and methods to connect consumers.

Amy Poehler hosting Amazon's 2022 NewFrontMay 2022, image from NewFront

The most notable announcement from Amazon was a new virtual product placement service that inserts brands into Prime Video and Freevee original content in post-production, as well as during Thursday Night Football, which will be streamed exclusively on Prime Video this autumn.

Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of Freevee. It was known as IMDb TV until last week.

In other developments, Amazon unveiled the Streaming TV Media Planner, which allows marketers to compare their incremental streaming TV reach to linear reach via Amazon Ads.

These were only three of the most important lessons from Day 1 of the IAB NewFronts in 2022.

Media buyers will also hear from Meta, TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter over the next three days.

Later this week, I’ll share some highlights from those events.

Additional materials are available at:


AlessandroBiascioli/Shutterstock/Featured Image

The “creator economy statistics” is a statistic that shows the amount of money YouTube creators make. The creator economy has grown exponentially over the last few years and this NewFronts event was where it was all discussed.

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