At the Future of Television conference at New York Media Festival last week, I had the pleasure of moderating a discussion entitled: The Melting Pot of OTT, Cable, and Linear Television. Here’s how my three panelists, from television and digital media, said they were leveraging new distribution channels to reach new audiences.
TV content finds new life online
Domenic DiMeglio, SVP of Distribution and Operations for the CBS Digital Media group at CBS Interactive, talked about how the company is leverage traditional broadcast content in the digital domain. Talking about CBSN, the company’s free-ad-supported online news channel, he said:
“It’s built on the backbone of CBS’ newsgathering operation. Great content coming from the broadcast shows is supplemented with much more. We’re blending those two things. We are finding it is working. The median age of CBSN <viewers> is 35 years’ old. It’s’ similar content as broadcast news where the audiences skew much older. It’s proving young people are interested in news. We just find a way to deliver to them on their terms.”
Viewers of CBS All Access, which also blends broadcast television with digital originals, have an average age of 43, far below the average for the broadcast stations.
Viral videos grow distribution on TV
Jonathan Skogmo is Founder and CEO of Jukin Media, a company specializing in viral videos. Jukin drives 4 billion views a month through platforms like YouTube. However, Mr. Skogmo says traditional television is also an important distribution medium for the content:
“Junkin is a digital-first media company, and we’re not only monetizing our content digitally, but we are also going in the reverse direction. We have a huge audience on the linear side. We have four (TV) shows in market, and we are in over 200 markets around the world with one of those TV shows.”
Jukin Media embraces another traditional television form: linear TV channels. Mr. Skogmo says his company takes the viral video content and produces linear TV channels from it delivered through services like Pluto TV.
CE devices: Where old and new media meet
Bernarda Duarte, Director, Content Acquisition at Roku says the company’s devices are the place where old and new media meet. The role devices like Roku play in delivering services to viewers gives them tremendous power in the distribution chain. I asked Ms. Duarte how Roku was using its power for good:
“Roku has always been a neutral platform. We have taken a very open approach, so we have all the major SVOD brands and TV Everywhere <from pay TV.> We have over 5000 channels. We help the audience create a more personalized viewing experience <from all the available channels.> For example, my mix of channels is different from everyone else. I have a mix of Spanish language and French as well as traditional stuff from Netflix. But that’s the beauty of OTT and a platform like Roku.”
Ms. Duarte says Roku also provides unified search capabilities for more 300 or the most popular channels on the platform.
Why it matters
TV is using the Internet to reach new audiences. Similarly, digital natives are using television to do the same.
CE platforms are the place where old and new media come together.
The nexus role of devices places tremendous power in the hands of CE manufacturers, which is why so many content providers rate them as their most important distribution partner