Content Distribution: Secrets For Driving Reach + Monetization
Dan Hill, Senior Director, Digital Programming, CBC English gave an in depth presentation on how CBC views the new online video distribution platforms.
Here are the three salient points they are focusing on:
- Drive audiences to broadcast and digital.
- Use new methods of attracting audiences (e.g social).
- Use of digital content to form deeper bonds between audiences and CBC.
- Increased loyalty, participation, community, public value, brand awareness and advertising value.
- Opportunity to “monetize” the brand
- Enable audiences to access core Radio & TV content wherever and whenever across multiple platforms.
- Maintain or grow audience / relevance against fragmenting market.
- Content Development - They need to create content that can be re-formatted, re-purposed and re-packaged to exist on a myriad of platforms.
- Focus on Core Business - Success depends heavily on the network’s ability to match audiences to content (targeting) and to adopt new methods of promoting the content (viral etc.)
- Windowing - There’s a need to manage the content release across a complex portfolio of platforms.
- New Gatekeepers - Work with the new gatekeepers of distribution – that include traditional and narrowcasting to on-demand.
- Diversification - Revenue opportunities come from many sources including advertising, syndication, purchase, rent, affiliate, partnerships etc. Diversification strategies are data intensive (data mining, revenue sharing, royalties etc.)
Hill ended his presentation with some powerful questions that are challenging the network:
- How do platforms cannibalize each other?
- When is it important for content to be only available within our environment?
- Is there a market for professional video content that is not tethered to TV or motion pictures?
Stephan Argent, Vice President, Digital Media, CTV Inc. talked about how “video online and television create an unparalleled opportunity.”.
Argent pointed out that CTV’s (or any traditional television network’s) key differentiator isn’t just online video but that it is “television on the internet”. He cited that the internet has provided television with a highly responsive medium that encourages active participation from their audiences.
Over 1 million Canadians engaged with us to watch TV on ctv.ca last month. CTV served over 300 million videos in 2008 and they anticipate that this number will double in 2009.
Using the 10 X multiple, Argent cited that CTV ranks at similar levels to the size of hulu in the US.
CTV gives a lot of credit to its proprietary platform technology as it allows the network to “respond nimbly and customize solutions”.
CTV recently partnered with Akamai and Microsoft to launch the first ever, Canadian network HD trial online.
Argent discussed the online environment as a conduit to a “meaningful interaction between shows, audiences, and marketers” and shared several nice case studies:
So You Think You Can Dance Canada & Clover Leaf Energy Zone
- Fully branded engagement opportunity
- User generated content upload
- And views display
- Over 400,000 views
- 434 submissions
- And an average time spent of more than 12 minutes
- Over 1.3 Million streams in one week
- 52% increase over previous season
- Multiple Sponsors
- Close to 1 Million unique visitors for this 1-day event
- Over 500,000 streams
- A peak of 35,000 concurrent live streams
- Average view time of 24 minutes
The Rise Of Long-form Video: Project Runway's Advertiser Integration + Custom Content Builds For L'Oreal
Paul Burns, Vice-President Digital, Canwest Broadcasting presented an impressive case study showing the value of full-length content online.
Burns took us through some points on what Canwest knows about their online visitors:
- 44% go straight to video
- 16+ videos per user/per month
- 40 min + monthly time spent/user viewing videos
- 80% of streams are full-length TV shows
- 4x growth with the video centre
Project Runway is an award winning American reality television series presented on Canwest which focuses on fashion design and is hosted by supermodel Heidi Klum. The contestants compete with each other to create the best clothes and are usually restricted in time, materials, and theme. Their designs are judged and one or more designers are eliminated each week.
Canwest had three objectives for the Project Runway series:
- Grow video streams using both long and short form content
- Drive brand integration using both long and short form content
- Maintain the quality – regardless of length
Here are some findings:
- Video Centres work – increased streams by 10x
- 82% of streams were full length episodes
- Avg. time spent increased from 40 min/user/month to 60+ min
- Short form works well when it extends full length episodes
- 53% of users watched short form content BUT…
- 94% came to the site specifically for full-length episodes
My questions/observations on these sessions...
- This idea of platforms cannibalizing content is interesting...I'm waiting (or seriously pipe-dreaming) for a solution that lets broadcasters optimize pricing based on channel usage.
- Are sponsorships being appraised and sold at levels that are supporting the fragmentation of traditional television?
- What is the growth of the affiliate model within the bigger networks - clickable content = a lot of opportunities here.
- I've seen a lot of interesting approaches to driving traffic online from CBC. Rick Mercer is a good example of a persona that has stepped out of the television set and wandered the social networks creating real community building opportunities to tie into the production.
- I think that Canwest's approach to merchandising their TV content is quite slick - reminiscent of the itunes store experience.