Are brands paying attention to the streaming media market at all? We know there’s a war going on between big streamers like Netflix, Amazon, Disney, HBO, local streamers, and many, many more. What does that mean for brands? A lot of quality minutes from the audiences are being taken by these streamers. And without advertising space, where does that leave brands? But what if we’d look at this emerging market from a different perspective and learn what it is they’re doing, to adapt it ourselves?
This year, I went to Copenhagen for an interview. I always try to add an extra day for some new inspiration. For this trip I scrolled down my ‘2nd’ LinkedIn connections in Denmark and I found Nina Nørgaard Jacobsen. She is co-founder of Biites.com, a streaming platform for brands. And that got my attention immediately. A Netflix for brands to publish their great, audience based, quality content.
But, probably just like many of you are doing right now, even I, as a great fan of bingeable brand content, stepped into the traditional marketing pitfall by asking: “How is Biites going to get an audience? Who wants to watch branded content? Or commercials?”
A new mindset
This is precisely what’s wrong in our current mindset. If you don’t believe your content is interesting enough for your audience, you should rethink it in the first place. If you ask Biites, just like I did: “How are you going to get an audience for our (crappy) content?” You are thinking of Biites as a media service where you just pay for the eyeballs. Would you also say that to Apple Podcasts? “I’ve uploaded my podcast, so you can start collecting my audience now.” No, that’s not how it works. And in our hearts, we all know that by now. Brands should focus on a new goal: creating content that audiences want to consume.
Once brands have managed to do that, I believe that you’ll see the need for a platform like Biites. Why? I have been thinking about this for a while now. If your brand has created this great (serial), long-form video content, where will you publish it? Of course, you’ll add it to your own platform, your website. And people may watch it there if it fits the reason, they went to your website in the first place. If you’ve built your own media player, you might have the perfect experience for your audience.
However, many brands use YouTube to embed their videos and then another issue occurs. YouTube will collect data through your website, about your audience. That means you are asking your audience to accept marketing and advertising cookies. When you think of it, it is quite odd that YouTube (and a lot of others) are collecting data through your content and from your audiences. Also, because you are paying for the campaign to attract audiences to your content.
Don’t sell your soul
Yes, sure, we all want to sell our brand stories to Netflix or Amazon Prime, but maybe that’s a bridge too far for the most of us. Especially when your audience is not a global one. The other option is, if you have the story and the budget, to partner up with a broadcaster like, for example, RTL Group or National Geographic (Disney). But the counterpart of such a deal is that you sell your soul to them. Brands do not have ownership of the content that is created in partnership with broadcasters, nor access to, or ownership of the data. So, after their eyeball period is over, your content goes AWOL.
Differentiate fast tv from slow tv
That leaves you YouTube. Which is a great platform with a user base every brand wants. And a great place to interrupt in the content your potential audiences are watching, to advertise yours and build an audience while doing so. But if you can interrupt in other content, other content can interrupt in yours as well. So, I believe we must define the difference between two kinds of video platforms.
I got that from arguing with my daughters. I see them scrolling and clicking from one video to another without real focus. That ended up into some weird new rule where we split fast tv, like YouTube and TikTok, and slow tv, like linear tv and the streaming services. Or maybe it’s better to differentiate long form from short form content. Although it’s still hard for my daughters to accept that, marketers should adapt that too.
That there is a difference between fast tv and slow tv. Brands can create great brand content for slow tv and advertise via fast tv and other (social) media. This is exactly what they do in Hollywood and at Netflix, to promote movies and series.
It’s not a higher level of creating content, it’s another level
I’m aware that this asks for a big shift in brand content. It’s not just a higher level of creating content, it’s another level. For the ones who know me already, this is where I connect the knowledge and learnings from Hollywood and Netflix to marketing. Because why would you invest in single-used, disposable content if you can create evergreens? Content that can stand the test of time, maybe even for several years?
I already know what some of you are thinking right now: “my brand doesn’t have the story to create a Stranger Things or a Queen’s Gambit.” But don’t worry, I believe the Copenhagen-Oslo ferry thought the same thing when they looked for new ideas for their brand. But they’ve created one of my favorite binge-worthy video series on Biites. The Copenhagen ferry asks a Michelin chef for help reaching a Michelin star in the future. Seven episodes of ‘The journey towards the star‘ in high quality. Another favorite of mine is Rental Cars with The Gran Tour. Rental Cars sent three English grandmothers on a road trip to Spain. Really brilliant and full of humour. These are series I want to watch.
The next big thing: Hollywood meets tech
Another promising database of video content comes from Booking.com. I believe it needs some work with the format, but I’m already a fan of the streaming experience and the binging opportunity. One of the stops for my holiday is Milan and so I’ve binged 5 episodes of Milan like a local. And yes, you can directly book a hotel in Milan from the Biites page. But what I believe is even more interesting, is based on a quote from a podcast I’m working on.
I’ve interviewed Ennèl van Eeden, partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers Amsterdam. She says that the next big thing is ‘Hollywood meets tech’: What if you could book the restaurant right from the content, within the video? Or buy the dress the main character is wearing? You can already see this add-on on Amazon Prime. If you push the pause-button while watching a series, the X-Ray database with the characters in that scene appear at the bottom of your screen. And how often do you ask yourself what song they’re using in that series? From here it’s just a small step to add other data to it.
Maybe this reads like something that can only be done by the big brands, but what if the new brand streamers like Biites give you the option to do this with your great video content? Even if you’re just a small brand, or a local coffeeshop, a freelancer with an online course etc. Embrace this new mindset and you’ll be ready for the future.
I know we’re not there yet, but this could be a good time to start practicing with creating great, episodic, evergreen content. Or, as I call it: Binge Marketing.
Want to learn more about the latest content marketing trends? Join us at WeContent Festival 2022, where we Biites.com will take the spotlight on the Cinema Stage to teach you about how to create the best branded content.