This is a great summary on StreamDaily about how digital communities and broadcasters can benefit from partnership programs.
Niche is just a starting point: Check out some life lessons from lifestyle MCNs that have formed strong partnerships with traditional broadcasters.
Let’s talk media and money: It should come as no shock that linear broadcasters have seen a decline in ad revenue. On the flip side, while digital advertising on video has increased exponentially, it still doesn’t command near the same premium as traditional broadcasts.
Is there a happy solution somewhere in the middle of these two seemingly different formats?
Traditional channels suffer from a decline in viewers, particularly in the millennial and Gen Z cohorts. The Canada Media Fund, in its Keytrends Report 2016: Entering the Age of Experience report that while TV consumption has been relatively stable, with Canadians typically viewing 27.4 hours of television per week in 2013-2014, while millennials, who represent more than 25% of the adult population, watched 20.6 hours per week. Nearly all of them (96%) say they watched YouTube in the past month.
Many linear players are turning to digital companies for help in navigating this new reality. The blending of traditional and digital players isn’t new: there have been a number of significant moves from traditional companies into the space over the past two years. Disney’s Maker 2014 announcement, Warner Bros’ investment in Machinima and CBC’s partnership with Fullscreen demonstrate this demand.
When it comes to finding success in these marriages, while these mass-reaching organizations have scale on their sides (Maker alone has more than 10 billion views across its network monthly), it’s worth seeing how niche players in the space make these partnerships work.
The partnership between Toronto’s Corus, a network of specialty channels geared at women and children, and San Francisco’s Kin Community, an MCN geared at women and lifestyle content, began as a way for Corus to deepen its presence in digital and respond to increasing advertiser demands, says John Macdonald, its EVP head of women and family at the broadcaster.
Corus isn’t new to digital, he adds. The media company has long created online series, but they were largely treated as a way of promoting linear content. It received a fair bit of success for its existing TV franchises (which include hit titles like Property Brothers and Love it or List it), but Macdonald admits it struggled to find success with digital-first content.
WHILE NOT STRICTLY BROADCASTER-RELATED, READ CMF’S FASCINATING STUDY ON WHY HONDA’S VENTURE INTO YOUTUBE CONTENT FAILED. ONE OF THE KEY TAKEAWAYS THAT’S VERY APPLICABLE TO ALL PLAYERS WHO ARE STEEPED IN TRADITIONAL MEDIA: “IT’S A YOUTUBER’S WORLD, SO LEARN TO COLLABORATE.
”Around the time these major mergers were happening with the biggest MCNs, Corus began looking for a partnership, he said. Kin and the network shared an audience and the content was complimentary. (While complex, scripted and unscripted content works on linear, shorter more task-oriented DIY works best on digital, he says. But the two fall neatly into the “lifestyle” category, targeting women, 25 to 45.)
The partnership works, first and foremost, because it helps assuage advertiser’s fears of digital video, Macdonald says. Though more brands than ever are working with YouTubers (finding the opportunity to grow reach and get closer to audiences appealing), advertisers have long been cautious when delving into the online video space – despite its popularity. It’s too new, too unproven for many advertisers, and metrics are still difficult to tie back into sales results.
“Advertisers are used to buying ads in a certain way – they know how to buy radio, television print,” Macdonald says.
What’s more, a targeted media buy can seem difficult to achieve: YouTuber popularity crosses borders – one of Canada’s top stars Lilly Singh, for example, is hugely popular in India. But why would a marketer want to use their limited media spend on a YouTuber when there isn’t a guarantee of how much of his/her audience will actually be in a position to purchase the goods?
“There’s a lot of spillage of ads that are served into video impressions that aren’t truly monetized, which means (there are people who are watching these ads that the brand isn’t paying for,” Macdonald says.
But, “the absolute scale of business is big enough to matter, if you will, to advertisers,” he adds.
For brands looking to dip their toes in, the traditional media buy is enticing – a safety net, so to speak, he says. For something like Corus and Kin, it offers an opportunity to narrow the target audience – women, interested in lifestyle content.What’s more, the tie in with the traditional media gives advertisers the assurance that its content will still be seen by the more familiar mass audiences linear can deliver.
Already the partnership is bearing fruit. A handful of new-to-Kin and -Corus advertisers have come on board, including Kumon and LG, which Macdonald believes is directly attributed to the partnership. The LG partnership …read more