NEW YORK – A Scripps Networks executive at the Media Tech Summit 2013 conference said that although mobile applications give broadcasters a way to package content, they have not proved to be worthwhile from a business perspective.
During the “Cooperating for Cohorts: Media are Products, Products are Media” session, executives from Travelers, Time Warner Cable and Scripps Networks spoke about the opportunities and challenges involved in following consumers across multiple devices. The session was moderated by Alton Adams, national lead of customer strategy and growth group at KPMG.
“In terms of products that were creating, I don’t think we should necessarily be in the business of creating apps, we should be in the business of making business,” said Channing Dawson, senior vice president of new ventures at Scripps Networks, Knoxville, TN.
“Apps are a nice container for content, but we’ve yet to see the business side of that, and I think in the next year we’re going to see that,” he said.
“I think that’s the biggest challenge for us is to take this new environment that we’re in to be able to do this ubiquity of our content, but make it into a business that works.”
According to Mr. Dawson, cross-platform viewing has changed how Scripps Networks has traditionally developed content with only television in mind.
Now, being on every screen at all times is a given.
This means that Scripps has to shift its focus slightly from being an audience-focused company to a customer-driven company, which is not engrained in the company’s history.
For example, Scripps needs to become data-driven and a CRM company while still keeping a business going.
Scripps is beginning to tap into mass customization to tailor content to specific individuals based on which device a consumer is engaging with, whether it is a smartphone, tablet, TV set or desktop.
“We have to make sure that we are doing a mass scale so the business runs, but we’re actually trying to get to the point of individual mass customization to try and make our content relevant and contextually-relevant for anybody in the audience at any time,” Mr. Dawson said.
Although there are challenges around cross-platform streaming, the end goal of broadcast these days is to let consumers watch video across any device that they want to, according to Sean Coar, group vice president of strategy at Time Warner Cable, New York.
The key in doing so is by working with the networks directly since the average consumer watches 30 – 40 different networks per week and consumers want to watch tailored, customized content.
At the same time, advertisers want to have a presence across multiple screens at the same time.
For example, during the recent season premier of AMC’s “Walking Dead,” Microsoft, MillerCoors’ Blue Moon beer and Hyundai all ran commercials that incorporated the show’s content. Although these commercials are likely one-offs that cannot be reused during other programs, the ads point to advertisers increasingly interested in making the TV-watching experience more personal.
“We see a lot of convergence from a subscriber or a viewer point of view and an entertainment point of view,” Mr. Coar said.
“We also see and we’re trying to make a better experience for marketers, because we want to get the right message at the right time,” he said. “You don’t want to ‘act now’ message when you’re in the middle of watching a football game on TV, but when you’re looking at an email while you’re waiting in line at the bank, maybe it does make sense for you to have something that you can react to,” he said.
Connecting mobile and TV
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.