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How binge-viewing is shaping the future of content

Jennifer Marlo
How binge-viewing is shaping the future of content Jennifer Marlo

For entertainment marketers, following the evolution of viewing habits is vital. In this Q&A, Jack Myers of MyersBizNet shares his thoughts on branded content, wearable tech, the role of the CMO, and more.

Q: How is the evolving state of both digital and linear branded content affecting the industry as a whole?

A: Marketers recognize that the traditional models for distributing pervasive and invasive advertising messages are increasingly ineffective. Consumers, especially younger ones, have less loyalty to brands and are less likely to be impacted by advertising. Smart marketers are learning to connect with consumers through entertaining and informative content that engages them, in the same ways they actively connect with sports content and sports marketers. Along with the growing role of programmatic and automated media buying, content associations are shifting the focus and strategies of marketers, agencies, distributors, networks, and content producers. As more marketers include branded content and brand-associated content in their strategic plans, the shift from legacy to new business models will accelerate.

Q: A recent Gartner study predicts that in three years CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs. What are other ways in which the role of CMO is shifting?

A: CIOs, CFOs, and CEOs, as well as corporate sales executives, are all becoming more involved in marketing than ever before, as they focus on their digital connections to consumers and the direct return-on-investment from marketing investments. CMOs need to understand completely new dynamics for engaging, activating, and measuring consumer response, requiring a new understanding of the dynamics of communications. They need to stay far more alert than ever before to shifting consumer technology adoption rates, and they must navigate turbulent waters of fickle consumer behavior.

Q: How will wearable tech influence behaviors in the next 12 to 18 months?

A: Wearable mobile devices and new consumer products like Glyph, a wearable full-screen high definition home theater, will put the movement toward anywhere/everywhere viewing on steroids. Add much faster Wi-Fi connections and more sophisticated blue tooth technology, and we can envision a time when we'll be watching movies, TV, and digital video content on our headsets during flights, while commuting, in the park, and for rest and relaxation. The marketing challenge will be to motivate consumers to download and store content for future viewing, and to motivate them to watch. Partnerships between marketers and content producers and distributors will become more and more important as the battle for consumer time and attention becomes more complex and challenging.

Q: How will binge-viewing shape the future of content delivery?

A: Binge-viewing may be the single most important shift in consumer media-usage behavior since the advent of the cassette and DVD. With Netflix changing the distribution model, and consumers spending more time binge-viewing past seasons of hit TV shows, the challenges to new TV series to gain audiences will be greater than ever. Audiences are learning to wait until new series become hits, and then they binge-watch them to catch up. They're returning to series like "The Sopranos," "Breaking Bad," "The Wire," and "The Good Wife." Their time spent viewing advertiser supported content is declining, putting increased pressure on networks and studios to create compelling stories and to activate social media to encourage real-time viewing. We'll see more event TV and more social rewards for viewer engagement. We'll also see series with a strong and loyal fan base surviving as studios generate more revenues from long-tail viewing. Studios and content owners will also realize they can re-market original series long after their original airings as new audiences for programs become available.

Jennifer Marlo is content manager at iMedia.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

"Man eating junk food watching television" image via Shutterstock.

Jennifer Marlo

Jennifer received her BFA from UC Santa Barbara and MFA from CALARTS in 2006. Post graduation, Jennifer segued into freelance writing, focusing on various topics such as arts, entertainment, travel, and tourism. Jennifer is a native Los Angelean...

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