Pre-rolls are not delivering enough income themselves, but brand integration is making money | radioinfo

Pre-rolls are not delivering enough income themselves, but brand integration is making money

Tuesday 16 May, 2017

In a session about change at the ACMA Content Conversation conference today, innovative screen writer and multi media producer Mike Jones told delegates, “when a new medium comes along we don’t lose the old ones, so producers have to serve the old mediums, but also have to know about the new media.”

While radio is already well along the path to reinventing itself for the new millennium, television and film are still struggling with the challenges. A panel of innovative producers tackled the challenges facing the film and tv industries, with cross platform ideas that are also useful to radio producers.

Multiplatform producer Jennifer Wilson discussed television as a legacy system. “When I talk to my colleagues about television they think of a series that is able to be watched via episodes, not necessaruily on a television set. When I say film, they think of a single product to be watched in one go, again, maybe not in a traditional cinema,” she said. “I think people are holding onto the idea of free to air tv but it is a legacy form of consumption.”

Moderator Mark Fennell, the host of SBS TV show The Feed, triple j film reviewer and host of RN’s Download this Podcast show, talked about his experience in new media delivery on SBS TV: “We make an ok tv show, but we make an excellent facebook feed,” he said, observing that the primary platform to build communities is social media.

Cross platform film maker Rosie Lourde talked about reaching young audiences: “The current generation of film makers really reaching their audience are teenagers. They are reaching massive numbers and building an audience at a very young age. The people making the content know how to reach the audience, because they are the audience. The audience need is community not just content.”

Youtube’s Andrew Peterson gave examples of producers on Youtube who are making good money from their Youtube content because they are gathering large audiences that advertisers will pay to access. He said some of the biggest Youtube producers do not have a profile on traditional media, but they have gathered a worldwide audience because their content connects with a community.

He revealed that the biggest Australian Youtube producers actually get about 80% of their audience from outside Australia: “With new technology comes new audiences, new forms of storytelling and new digital languages.”

Does the small screen change the visual language that is needed? Yes, said the panel. “It affects the speed of storytelling and the pace of show, everything must be faster.”

A key point from all panelists is the importance of building communities around your content. Helping the audience to find you, like finding a desert island in a vast ocean, is most important. There are several strategies to achieve this, online promotion, personal recommendations from your core fan base and constant engagement with your online audience. “Social media is a hungry beast, it is hard work, but we have been able to build audience and engagement,” said Rosie Lourde, producer of Starting from Now a lesbian love quadrangle film first published online.

Starting from Now got 50,000 vews in its first week and has continued to grow views and its social media audience ever since, an example of the success of building a community around your online content.

“Films are still focused on a trailer and film posters for promotion to get people into the cinemas in the first week, then the promotion disappears. This is an old film industry marketing model. Promotion now revolves around reaching out to your online by having various short, different versions of your trailer, and then engaging with the conversation when the film or tv show hits the screens. They say that a good recommendation from a friend sends more people to the cinema than a good review, so we have to leverage personal recommendations on social media far more actively as part of our marketing efforts."

In terms of making money, the secret for Youtube content is brand integration (product placement), according to Youtube’s Andrew Peterson. “Pre-rolls are not delivering enough income themselves, but brand integration is making a lot of money for producers,” he said.

In the following sessioin, ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie spoke about the importance of Australian content.

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