This could be the year that digital ads prove they're a real alternative to that classic 30-second TV spot. Monday kicked off the two-week long event called "Digital Content NewFronts," when Internet content and ad companies showcase new shows, formats and technical tools to target and measure ads' impact.
The series of presentations and parties are Internet companies' answer to the "TV upfronts" period in May, when broadcasters sell about two-thirds of their ad dollars. The Internet giants presenting—including Google's YouTube, Hulu, Buzzfeed and AOL—aren't looking to sell that much of their annual inventory.
Rather they have their eyes on a larger prize: Showcasing everything they can do, and convincing Madison Avenue that their ads are more efficient and effective than traditional formats.