Entertainment in the Age of Autonomous Marketing Platforms
More than ever before people are engaging with entertainment content on Autonomous Marketing Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Kik. Whether it’s tweeting about a favorite show or big play in the game, watching a movie trailer on YouTube, or discovering a new video game on Facebook, autonomous marketing platforms are increasingly where people go to discover, consume and share entertainment content.
Not too long ago there were very few options to watch TV shows, movies and sporting events airing at a time when everyone could watch them together and then talk about it with friends and coworkers the next day. It aired live and you saw it or you didn’t.
In an increasingly fragmented media environment, this behavior has changed. Today we use Autonomous Marketing Platforms to connect with fans, friends and audience members. Consequently, Autonomous Marketing Platforms wield an enormous amount of influence over audience perspective and consumer behavior.
A poll by The Hollywood Reporter shows that 56% of people surveyed believe that social networking sites are important for making entertainment related decisions. For films, specifically, the survey found that one in three social networkers decided to see a movie in a theater because of something they read on a social media site.
Autonomous Marketing Platforms are an integral part in the lifecycle of entertainment consumption. New shows and movies are discovered on these platforms thanks to peer recommendations, and this influence helps create buzz on them.
It is vital for entertainment brands to have a proactive presence in this space because we engage with entertainment in real time, and rehash our favorite content on these platforms.
It’s well established that Twitter has a strong link with TV programs; the same survey found that 41% of consumers tweet about a show while they are watching it on TV. But it’s not just Twitter; 79% of people surveyed said that they visit Facebook while watching television, and there’s a surprising 11% who use social networks while in a movie theater.
At Adaptly we define “entertainment” in terms of film studios (Weinstein Co), TV networks (IFC and Showtime), record labels (Universal Music Group), online, console and mobile gaming (Angry Bird, PlayStation, etc.) and sports and event organizers (NFL and NBA).
Although these industries within entertainment are diverse, with the possible exception of the NFL, they share a fundamental challenge: their traditional monetization base is collapsing and it’s a slow, difficult process to transition customers to new digital revenue models. At the same time, audiences are fragmenting across channels and devices, while constantly bombarded with a growing number of content choices.
Entertainment marketers also face their own specific challenges that make efficient reach and engagement difficult:
1. Entertainment marketers have small windows of promotion.
With so much content available to consumers, entertainment marketers have short periods of time to generate interest on their content before competition arrives. A typical network TV show has a 22-episode season and it is crucial to either get viewers hooked early in the season or institute an aggressive loyalty strategy to keep viewership. There are typically two big movie releases each weekend and the more time that elapses in a promotional push, the higher the chance the film’s marketing momentum will be drowned out by the competition. Even the most well-established movie franchises like The Hunger Games and The Avengers have only three or four weeks of promotion to get audiences into theaters.
2. Production and marketing costs are continuously rising.
Entertainment marketers are expected to reach a broad audience. Traditionally, entertainment companies have used providers like cable companies or theaters as middlemen, since they have a direct relationship with consumers. But, what happens when consumers go around the middlemen? We’re already seeing brands think differently about TV as the primary way to drive reach since TV audiences are so fragmented across digital and mobile media channels. There is an expectation that marketers will reach theses fragmented consumers, but this thinking is obsolete and execution is inefficient and expensive.
What will allow entertainment brands to reach those fragmented audiences and create a consistent presence?
Many entertainment brands are targeting their search by supplementing their organic social media efforts with paid ads. With Autonomous Marketing Platforms they are able to target a vast audience of fans who’ve already voiced their interest in shows, games and sports, by using high-impact video and mobile media.
The original article can be found on Broadcasting & Cable.