On the first day of the Digital Content NewFronts (now entering the fourth year as a national marketplace focused on premium digital video), NY Times opened its brief program with its President and CEO, Mark Thompson. The presentation was focused on two properties: NY Times Video and their brand content studio, T Brand Studios.
NY Times has made strategic, long-term investments to bulk up and promote its premium video inventory and content. NY Times Video suite offers a vast range of themes and content across dozens of programs, including “Our Man in Tehran”, “Sciencecake”, “36 Hours”, “Intersection”, and “Modern Love”.
– Andrew Ross Sorkin announced an animated video guide that will be a companion to DealB%k (a financial news service published by NY Times).
– The “hugely” popular 36 Hours (“a traveler’s guide to a city’s most delicious, adventurous and fascinating must-see destinations) will make its broadcast debut this fall on the Travel Channel.
– NY Times will partner (in a first) with Sundance Institute’s New Frontier. New Frontier is a “dynamic initiative created to identify and foster independent artists working at the convergence of film, art, media, live performance, music and technology.”
– T Brand Studios announced the five film directors, out of the 1,000s submitted, who will be part of their “Selects” program. In this program, the NYT will connect brands with award winning film directors to make branded content as part of a media buy with the NYT.
Opportunity for brands: T Brand Studios
Via T Brand Studios, NY Times cites that they have created 65 “bodies of work” in the last year or so, for and with brands including Volvo, Hewlett-Packard, Cole Haan, and Shell, to name a few. 35 people are employed at the Studio, and the talent ranges from writers to creative technologists.
For brands, this can take the form of brand originals (directly features what the brand embodies, (i.e., Volvo and safety) or a story that isn’t necessarily directly tethered to a brand (i.e. Shell told the story of the rapid growth of megacities, and Cole Haan– in a behind the scenes format—shared the stories of three New York City Ballet dancers). There appears to be a healthy variety of possibilities, however all anchored by the mission of T Brand Studios:
“With a mix of fresh, authentic and the beautiful, we help brands tell their story deserving of the Gothic T.”
Date: April 27 @ 9am
Location: Skylight Modern
Host(s): Meredith Kopit Levien (CRO), Rebecca Howard (General Manager, NY Times Video)
Special guests (highlights): Caroline Shaw (musician), Andrew Ross Sorkin (journalist/author), Chris Milk (Founder, VRSE)
DIGITAS GLOBAL BRAND PRESIDENT