YouTube’s 7th New Front Brandcast at Radio City Music Hall

Taken from the article ‘YouTube’s 7th New Front Brandcast’ by Mike Wharton, first published on Friday 13 July 2018

All images by Andrew Federman

YouTube has become enough of a living-room mainstay that 150 million hours of its content are viewed every day on TVs. Seven in ten YouTube subscribers say they now watch on TV screens thanks to connected devices and gaming consoles.


The platform, created in 2005 by former PayPal staffers and bought by Google a year and a half later for a tidy $1.65 billion, currently has 1.8 billion monthly logged in users in 90 countries according to CEO Susan Wojcicki.


Like the New Era of Upfronts, digital has come into its own and is now competing with the major networks for advertising dollars. Of all the digital platforms, YouTube has continued to push the boundaries of the Upfront format. They have christened their annual New Front as “Brandcast.”

For the seventh annual Brandcast event at the New Fronts, YouTube stepped up its message and filled a bigger venue, 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall.


The production also made use of 34 7thSense Infinity media servers, which output two channels each of single mode fiber 12G-SDI at 4096 x 2160 60fps 10-bit 4:2:2 resolution, into an Evertz EQX 12G fiber router and EMX multi-viewer system, offering A-B source redundancy with clean switching and monitoring before heading out to facility fiber distribution.


An expanded 36-channel bank of double-stacked Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors received the server feeds for projection mapping across all eight of Radio City Music Hall’s arches, and four channels reached a new 8K x 4K LED wall with ROE tiles and VER Revolution M8 processors, spanning an area measuring 94 by 43 feet, which served as a critical digital backdrop for the production.


Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which owns the iconic venue, acquired Obscura Digital, one of the two content creators for the Brandcast. Obscura Digital provide all the projected content for the arches in the room, working in tandem with LA Made Creative, the event’s other video content provider.


Performances included Arianna Grande, Camila Cabello, an original dance number; and a variety number illustrating some time clicking around on YouTube; which included a percussionist host, Spiderman dancing to Bruno Mars, a vocalist, a drummer with flaming sticks, and the bands Post Modern Jukebox and OK GO; all revealed in a fast-paced sequence of moving lifts and scenery.


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In house projectors illuminate the ceiling coves

Ariana Grande in Radio City Music Hall during the event.