NewFronts

Mashable, Wrapping Up the NewFronts, Pitches Tech as Its Differentiator

The Digital Media Company Held The Final 2016 NewFront Presentation

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Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore.
Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore. Credit: Kim White/Bloomberg
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The advertisers and agency folks in attendance could see the finish line. Only Mashable's presentation, the last on the two-week-long NewFronts calendar, stood in their way.

Mashable probably also sensed that the audience was looking for something different, after sitting through dozens of digital video sizzle reels and hearing about VR-this and 360-that.

While the company had plenty of digital video to roll, and Facebook Live programming to announce (more on the later), the core of the company's pitch was this: art and science.

On the editorial side, Mashable employs data -- specifically the company's Velocity proprietary technology -- to inform decisions about what content should be made, based on what people are talking about now and what they will be talking about in the future.

On the branded content side, that data -- the science -- is married with the art of the company's creatives. That was the pitch, and it was a different one than pretty much every other digital media company that's in the same league as Mashable.

"Inside of what we do is a process, and a process we can repeat again and again and again," Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore told the crowd on a rainy Friday afternoon. "It's a combination of a creativity and data insights."

The word "process" popped up throughout the presentation, like when newly minted chief revenue officer Ed Wise said, "We want you guys to really invest in the Mashable process."

The NewFronts are all about digital video, and the same process informs the company's video-making operation. Distribution is also a big part of the ballgame, and Mr. Cashmore talked about how the company is becoming ubiquitous across the major over-the-top streaming platforms. "We're all trying to invent this future of television," he said of this effort.

Eric Korsh, director of Mashable's video operations, said the company is moving in the direction of longform, serialized content.

Now to the announcements: Mashable, going forward, will produce 35 hours of Facebook Live programming per month, including a Velocity-driven morning show and "El Pulso Live," a weekly show by way of a partnership with Telemundo. The company also introduced the "Velocity Technology Suite," which includes a dashboard, a CMS, and a headline-optimization feature.

When the presentation wrapped, and the overall NewFronts officially came to an end, two attendees in the row in front of this reporter high-fived, and one said, "Yay, it's over!"