Variety Entertainment & Technology Summit Recap: Content is Still King

Content is still king…

At the #VARIETYENTTECH summit in NYC on May 4th, thought leaders from media agencies and networks alike joined a bevy of heavily credentialed folks from brands including HBO, Amazon, NBC, Target, Snapchat, Disney and Spotify to name a few.

Keynote speakers and panelists lauded the increasingly, insatiable appetite for new content, as it was widely acknowledged that the consumer is in control – and the industry follows demand.

The challenge for media buyers is real.  They haven’t caught up with the targeting capabilities we now have due to the availability of data.  Demographics are no longer enough.  To further complicate things, user-generated content isn’t making it into the living room; with content consumption at an all-time high in digital channels. 

5 key observations about the landscape:

  • Content is consumed across platforms and screens – with mobile becoming the official “second screen”
  • Despite near constant demand for video, podcasts were cited as an emerging platform
  • There is a growing desire for content prompted by Alexa
  • Original content is the key driver of subscription services
  • Smaller audiences that are more consistently involved with branded content are preferred

On the subject of monetization, one network president gave what he called “a cop-out” answer to the question of ROI, simply noting it’s very difficult. He suggested that the idea is to drive engagement which will ultimately yield revenue.

Digi-babble abounds at events like these where AR is the new VR, “Viral” is out and “Disruptive” was the most overused word of the day.  But in the “Attention Economy,” where storytellers vie for share of voice amongst a highly distracted audience; content is – and always will be – about creating a meaningful connection.