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Lessons from NY Ad Club’s Vertical Series on Media & Entertainment

Last week, Olapic attended the Advertising Club of New York’s latest Vertical Series, which discussed the state of modern media and entertainment. With a number industry leaders present, including representatives from Vice, AwesomeTV, Bravo, & Oxygen Media, we learned about the future of this rapidly-changing space. Below are a few of our top takeaways from the event, which can be applied not only to the entertainment industry, but to other consumer brands as well!

Rise of the Cord-Cutting Era

With millennials accounting for nearly one-third of the U.S. population over age 13, and the buying power of this cohort growing by the day, it’s apparent that this generation is driving new trends in media and consumer spending – including the use of new content formats to improve engagement.

Additionally, given that 70% of 18-29 year olds use a streaming service, and only 64% of them have a pay-for-TV subscription, broadcast media and their advertisers need to drastically change their creative and targeting strategies to make a case to this growing audience.

Chad Stoller, Head of Innovation for IPG Mediabrands and Jon Wren, Director of Entertainment for Yahoo, both chatted about the rise of cord-cutting among younger audiences and what brands can do to combat this phenomenon. The two executives noted the only way for media brands to realize future success is to focus on creating not just more content, but quality content. Additionally, brands must consolidate their technology to find the most effective platforms through which they can create and disperse said content.

Acknowledging this trend, and adopting new programs and procedures through which to create consistent, high-quality, and personalized content, will be the path for brand success in a streaming future.

Social Media Is Driving Personalization

As stated at the conference, 66% of all ad views in 2015 were on mobile devices, which is no surprise when 86% of all U.S. consumers are simultaneously using other online devices (mobile, tablets, etc.) while watching TV. This knowledge has caused brands to focus on the other channels driving engagement for younger generations, mainly social media.

While there is an ongoing argument about the measurability and value of social media, entertainment brands and advertisers alike admitted that these social platforms are driving their inspiration and strategies for creating fresh content and reaching new audience segments. This idea falls directly in line with something that we know at Olapic to be true: consumers that care about your brand are often providing direct feedback and insights via social media posts, reviews, images, and videos – all of which are ripe to be leveraged in marketing efforts.

Specifically, when it comes to ads, the industry as a whole needs to make it an imperative to be more personalized in its approach. Implementing user-generated content is one of the simplest ways to customize ads and create meaningful marketing messages that are inherently customer-centric and resonate with target audiences.

We’ve seen with the use of consumer content in advertising, be it videos or images, audiences are more likely to engage because they recognize the content is authentic and organically created from the perspective of peers.

Quality & Creativity Over Quantity

“We want to be everywhere, but only where it makes sense,” said Sterling Proffer of VICE. This is a sentiment that should be echoed in the industry as quality becomes more of a mandate than quantity. Going along with that idea, Proffer expressed that brands should not be on all platforms just to check a box, but instead must be strategic in where they operate.

Additionally, as the EVP of Marketing at Bravo suggested, the idea of ‘quality over quantity’ not only applies to content, but also applies to the metrics of viewership and engagement. This is because over time the space has become more saturated with platforms, creating an overwhelming abundance of data that while useful can also be distracting. Brands need to identify which metrics are important to business results, and which might be less useful to decision-making.

With new technologies popping up every day, it is particularly important for brands to shift their focus to the purpose behind the creation of certain types of content – it’s the only way that they will be able to succeed into the future.

We know at Olapic that consumers have become more discerning, and they crave meaningful messages, relevant information, and most importantly, authentic content. Brands must open their eyes to the wealth of content being created by consumers, which can serve as a scalable focus group, and a lens into preferences and values. With this in mind, whether you’re a media brand or not, what will you do to create more meaningful experiences for your audience?