VidCon rolled into Melbourne for the third year in a row earlier in the month with some great sessions and a strong turnout for the Industry Track on the Thursday and Friday.
With data becoming such a critical part of building a successful video strategy, Stephan Jenn of Tubular’s presentation on the Australian market was insightful and well received. It was interesting to hear about the significant opportunities for content owners, broadcasters and rights holders that YouTube offers. Our team at Valleyarm also found the session on using the community tab on YouTube to grow your subscriber base helpful.
Thanks to the VC team, I moderated a session on emerging AVOD social video models that some of the leading international and Australian content companies are deploying. The graphic below was a key starting point for our discussion and shows the rapid transformation of the global video landscape over the last few years.
The discussion’s key take-outs were:
YouTube provides a significant global opportunity for broadcasters and rights holders.
Chris Ledlin, Head of Content Strategy and Commercialisation at Nine, highlighted how the 60 Minutes YouTube channel has gone past 1 million subscribers, 80 per cent of whom are from outside Australia.
Chris was incredibly positive about the opportunities to broaden their domestic and global audience through repurposing existing TV content but stressed that platforms need to do more to recognise quality Australian content and better understand there are significant costs in making it (in Nine’s case over $1 billion AUD every year).
For publishers to build a model on these platforms they need to increase CPMs and let publishers control the sale of the content. The opportunity present in repurposing long-tail content was supported by Jamie Searle, a leading social video consultant, who discussed examples of major broadcasters and movie companies beginning to generate significant revenue from older content formats by focusing on YouTube.
Put the fan first and revenue will follow.
Vanessa Brown, who has been instrumental in driving the Cartoon Network’s subscriber base past the five-million mark across the APAC region, discussed how their model had prioritised fan engagement, tailoring content to clearly identify what fans wanted.
With more than 20 channels to manage, Vanessa made the point that internal resource challenges make it important to consider regional partnerships to help deliver on strategy. There was the obvious question regarding YouTube’s changes around children’s content, and while Vanessa acknowledged that it would be a bumpy ride in the short term, things will potentially become smoother over time.
Sports broadcasters are thinking about creating new formats outside of game footage.
Locally we heard from Sarah Wyse, Head of AFL Media, who explained that the AFL social video model has to take into account complex rights agreements with local broadcasters and the fact that an overriding majority of their audience is in Australia.
Sarah made the point that the AFL caters to many different audiences – including AFL fans, AFLW fans and AFL kids – and they’re creating new content formats for social platforms. While monetisation was important, ensuring that the content complemented the overall ‘AFL Owned and Operated’ strategy was key, along with increasing fan engagement.
New digital video publishers embrace a 360-revenue model.
Jamie Searle discussed the fact that over the last 18 months, studio and broadcast companies had focused on developing their social video monetisation plans, and existing credibility with audiences was a key part of their growing success on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.
He commented on the fact that new digital media publishers such as Buzzfeed and Complex had begun to differentiate the type of programs being made for social platforms, also placing a strong focus on developing alternative revenue streams in areas such as touring and merchandising.
Facebook is working hard to catch up.
All of our panellists highlighted Facebook’s pursuit of relationships in the Australian market, mainly by commissioning content from large broadcasters. It was generally agreed that, from an Australian market perspective, it’s early days with regard to monetisation opportunities on Facebook.
Written by: Mark Ashbridge