IBC2019: Senior figures from some of the world’s leading digital content brands have outlined some of the key features of media brands that will make them successful in the future. 

Dominique Delport, President International, VICE Media

Dominique Delport, President International, VICE Media

Speaking in a conference session Global Business Gamechangers: Where’s the money coming from?, focussing on business models in a digital age, Vice Media President International Dominique Delport said that the key to building viable business models was to stay fluid.

‘You can’t dictate to people how they are going to consume their content in a fast-changing media world. You just have to be there, on all platforms, ready for them.”

Delport stressed the importance of understanding audiences and tailoring content accordingly.

Delport has made a career out of understanding what makes 18-35 year olds tick, and at VICE aims to create a global brand producing content aimed at a generation that reject the top down news agendas of established media and seek out their own content based on their own social media feeds.

“We are very connected to our target audience,” said Delport. ‘VICE has built a digital channel business targeting a 18-35 years audience which is radically different to other generations, a generation which is focussed on values such as self-expression and that wants to fix a world that is broken.”

“Our viewers trust our content – in a world of fake news the new generation wants to be active and wants independent news. It’s important because democracy is at stake. They also reject heritage brands and don’t want to be told what to think or how to feel.

Delport said that VICE would be producing 100s of hours of content covering next week’s Climate Week from the perspective of youth activism and the channel would tackle the issues from the perspective of activists such as Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.

The panel agreed that the creative agency business was going through huge disruption, caused in no small part by the challenge of making advertising compatible with viewers expectations. Advertising would need to become more targeted, they concluded.

Olivier Jollet PLUTO TV EUROPE

Olivier Jollet, Pluto TV

Olivier Jollet, European MD of Pluto TV, outlined his company’s ambition to become the world’s leading free TV streaming service and the next big global streaming player.

Pluto TV’s acquisition by Viacom in January showed the continued importance of quickly achieving scale through partnerships and mergers, said Jollet, who added that Pluto’s free streaming ad funded business model was well timed.

“People’s willingness to pay is not unlimited – they won’t want ten subscriptions and being free in the US is the perfect offer in an era of cord cutting. And we think that even in Europe, with its strong tradition of free to air broadcasting, there’s lots of potential.”