Building and retaining an audience is essential to the success of all broadcasters, video service providers and content creators. What are the best approaches for providers to attract new viewers, keep their existing followers engaged and grow a wider audience?
In this recorded IBC Digital session, Colin Dixon, Founder and Chief Analyst at nScreenMedia, explores the fundamental strategies to build and retain audiences.
Joined by three speakers from the direct-to-consumer sector, the discussion delves into the value of partnerships, why audience interaction is paramount in today’s live content production and successful aggregation examples from their OTT platforms.
Matthew Wilkinson CEO of Magine Pro, Ed Abis, Managing Director at Never.no, and Joe Foster, co-founder of Easel TV reveal and discuss innovative developments for discoverability, tools and strategies that smaller providers have successfully used.
- Watch on IBC Digital Ways to build, enage and retain online audiences
Dixon starts with discussing the importance of partnerships in the busy D2C market, “The market is maturing, people have more services than ever, partnerships seem to be the way to really get in front of new customers that you haven’t been able to reach.”
Matthew Wilkinson agrees, adding that, “Partnerships are absolute key to discovery, they allow you to tap into other aggravators, so you significantly acquire and increase users who are already using or looking for your particular content.” He adds that the right partnerships can also reduce the cost of acquisition.
“The market is maturing, people have more services than ever, partnerships seem to be the way to really get in front of new customers that you haven’t been able to reach,” Colin Dixon, nScreenMedia
Magine Pro, create end-to-end OTT services that feature integrated apps, video coding, playback, distribution and monetisation.
Wilkinson presents a whitepaper from MaginePro which assesses consumer purchasing from the decision drivers of an end consumer. It covers how tier two and three services break through the noise and get discovered amongst the bigger players. It then deep dives into all the mechanisms, techniques and technical integrations that Magine’s partners, OTT platforms and service providers can tap into.
Next, Ed Abis reveals how their data display platform NeverNo connects content producers with their audiences.
NeverNo allows OTT creators to source and moderate live content, produce dynamic graphics and visualisations, whilst audiences can engage through reactions, voting polls and competitions through integrating social media.
NeverNo’s clients range from fan-based content to the Martin Lewis Money Show, which has 3 million viewers. In each production, the audience are key to the live experience.
“Entertainment, factual shows, any genre where you have an audience that is likely to have an opinion, we can make it work,” Abis explains.
He adds that producers seek live content which allows viewers to interact. He says: “They are using audience content to drive the editorial narrative, allowing the script to be shaped by the audience live – which takes a lot of bravery – with massive success.”
Dixon points out that this makes the audience feel part of the production, “There’s nothing like live to drive engagement.”
On the topic of attracting audiences, Joe Foster from Easel TV, talks about StagePlayer+, their streaming service for the performing arts. It offers theatres a digital option, which over recent years has saved their businesses.
Many small contributors can aggregate their social media into the same place onto the open platform, leading to serendipitous discovery from one small theatre to another.
Dixon asks if something is resonating with arts organisations who can now access audiences through online presence and if this is likely to continue to generate revenue now that theatres have reopened. Will this virtual world sustain?
“Producers are using audience content to drive the editorial narrative, allowing the script to be shaped by the audience live – which takes a lot of bravery – with massive success,” Ed Abis, NeverNo
Foster explains that organisations have now increased exposure and need to address that we now live in a digital world. He says: “Entertainment needs to play a part in that.”
He elaborates by adding “the challenge for this industry will be producing very high-quality content with multi-angled cameras, for immersive experiences.”
In this virtual environment, theatres have now eradicated physical limitations, providing content that would otherwise only be accessible to a local market.
The panel continue to discuss predictions that bigger services will snap up small creator hubs and how they can retain their customers against the big global players. “These aggravated thematic hubs may not be making use of the social media followers they have, when they do it has an amazing amount of power,” notes Foster.
Abis refers to football panels where thousands watch the live streams. Many started in the pandemic but have continued because they now have huge global audiences that are engaged in the service. “When their audience interacts, they acknowledge and share it, it seems really simple but in traditional linear TV world it happens so little.”
He adds that the bonus is increased ad sales for the sponsors or products they’re sharing as a result of interactions, “We’ve created a broadcast graphic experience for them, with sponsorship and branded inventory that they would never have had originally.”
The panel continue to discuss user generator panels and niche platforms that tap into a community that already exists. They conclude the talk with future platform developments requested by clients, with a focus on data which can be used for marketing tools and analysis of content for creative purposes.
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