Guardian Changing Media Summit 2013 – Day 2

By Keith Hale, Content Editor, Digital Media

 

Day 2 – 22 March 2013

 
‘Its all about outstanding content’, Darren Childs, CEO, UKTV
 
Darren Childs opened the day highlighting how UKTV has become the fastest growing TV company in the UK: through innovation, changing company culture to attract the best talent, and investing in quality content. Audience viewing figures continue to rise as do on- and off-line advertising revenue. UKTV now has an annual content budget of £100 million. Success.
 
Its about good content and context
 
Yes, success but as the mobile presentation demonstrated, it’s also about context. There is a ubiquity of screens in which people are now consuming content – nuanced digital consumer journeys in which the context is more important than the device.
 
Is the need then for different content iterations for every context in order to improve the efficiency of reach? This fragmentation and complexity inevitably creates problems for publishers and advertisers.
 
Data helps
 
Data analytics are becoming increasingly sophisticated in helping advertisers improve their reach. Stephan Shakespeare, chief executive officer and co-founder of YouGov, suggested that moving beyond treating consumers as demographics to generating behavioural and attitudinal data – what people think of brands – was a more effective and meaningful way of tracking and measuring media consumption. In support of this, Toby Southgate, CEO of The Brand Union, urged advertisers to ‘put themselves into the shoes of the consumers’, as brands are built from a user perspective – moments of interaction create experiences and ‘the experience of the brand defines the brand’.
 
Video helps
 
An agreement across presentations was a prediction in the increase of video consumption over text largely due to its superior responsiveness, recall and potential for creative engagement, and helped by a growth in 4G connectivity.
 
The blurring of content and advertising
 
Pierre Chappaz, co-founder and CEO of Ebuzzing, gave a bullish presentation outlining his five key trends for the future of video advertising:
 
1) Video adverts must go outside video streams
In the UK 52% of the online population can be reached through traditional video platforms leaving 48% that can only be accessed if you distribute through media or social media.
 
2) The power of choice
‘Users who choose to watch an advert give more value to the brand’.
One of Ebuzzing’s video tools, the ‘Ad-selector’, acts as an ‘Ad Wall’ whereby users can only access content if they agree to watch an advert. These adverts are full screen, hi-def, interactive experiences that he claimed gave a ‘290% more memorable experience than a traditional pre-roll ad’.
 
3) The power of social media
‘When they see brand content that is perfectly targeted they don’t see it as an ad, they see it as content’ – which in a social media world can be shared.
 
4) Advertising is going ‘native’
Ads will increasingly become more integrated in content – seamless, contextually targeted content.
 
5) Enriching the user experience
Videos will continue to develop in their interactive potential allowing increased levels of engagement and enriching the user experience.
 
Rory Cellan-Jones, technology correspondent of BBC News questioned Chappaz by asking whether he thought adverts that were too relevant were ‘creepy’.
 
[Agreed]
 
Quality is not all that matters
 
In an insightful and entertaining end to the day, Jonah Peretti, Founder and CEO of Buzzfeed gave us his views on how content is shared and why content goes viral.
 
The biggest misconception about viral, according to Peretti, is that quality is all that matters. Whilst quality, clever or unique content matters, ‘you should spend an equal amount of time thinking about how the idea is going to spread as you do about the idea itself’. 
 
Understanding what spreads depends on the platform. At Buzzfeed the popularity of a piece is measured in real-time and promoted or removed according both to its levels of traffic and the platform’s recognised period of relevance: Twitter, one hour; Facebook, one day, and Pinterest, one week. 
 
For Peretti, Facebook is not about content but emotion – the act of sharing and making contact. What is spreadable content? Humour is inherently social, as is nostalgia, whilst niche groups should be engaged because they are passionate. Either way, Peretti encourages us to ‘capture the moment and publish quickly and into the zeitgeist’. 
 
So, lots of things to think about and we have only touched the surface in our summary. For us, the big themes of the day were context, paywalls, adwalls, video, data, and the elusive hunt for ways to monetise great content.

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