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It seems like barely a week goes by these days without a new online-only original video series or new distribution agreement being announced. But even as content creators' enthusiasm for the new medium grows, there's one constant reality: if major advertising dollars don't flow into online video, these projects will not survive. Content creators, distributors and agencies need to make a coordinated, concerted effort to educate advertisers about these new opportunities in order to help drive spending.

That's why the recently announced "Digital Content NewFronts" (DCNF) are a step in the right direction. Recognizing that a rising tide lifts all boats, five of the top ten online video destinations have banded together with ad agency Digitas to host two weeks of targeted events. But as Mark Beeching, Chief Global Creative and Strategy Director for Digitas explains in the following interview, the DCNF isn't as much an event as it is part of an ongoing, inclusive dialogue between brands and content creators/distributors looking to tap into completely new customer engagement opportunities.

VideoNuze: What are the specific goals of DCNF?
Mark Beeching: First, we talk about the 'Digital Content NewFronts,' which is Digitas and the five founders and all the events the partners are holding, and then there's the "Digitas NewFront," which is one of the events. There are slightly different goals for the two, but they face the same general direction. We see the whole series of events as a combination of marketplace and workshop environment. It's all about getting clients to think differently. And of course the best "thinking differently" is when clients spend their dollars in new ways.

VN: How much emphasis will the marketplace component receive?
MB: What we're absolutely looking to do here is shift TV dollars into native digital video, but also looking to shift from just a "buy for interruptive advertising," to deeper partnerships and collaborations between brands and media - whether content creators or distributors. Sometimes we call it a "Marketspace" - a place for collaboration and also for deals to be done.

VN: How do you distinguish the DCNF from TV's Upfronts?
MB: The most important difference is about "scarcity." At the TV upfront, it's all about limited supply, whereas here it's about infinite opportunity. That's why we created an exciting dynamic environment for the DCNF. This is all about being a place where ideas happen.

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