When Discovery announced that it was acquiring Scripps Networks Interactive earlier this week for $14.6 billion, a lot of the coverage naturally focused on how the combined companies will have more leverage in their pay-TV carriage negotiations and also how significant cost-savings and synergies will result.
While all of that is true, the inescapable reality is that because pay-TV subscriptions as a whole are shrinking, Discovery’s best case scenario is that it can get a larger piece of a smaller pie. A far more interesting angle, to me at least, is how the company can accelerate its online and social video initiatives. A prime place to start would be by looking at the success that Scripps’ Food Network is having in 2017, as it as slightly surpassed BuzzFeed’s well-publicized Tasty, in the hotly competitive social video food space.
Last week I attended AdExchanger's Industry Preview 2015 conference in NYC, a gathering of 500+ digital marketers. I attended mainly to gain insights about the larger digital marketing landscape, of which online video advertising is an increasingly important part for advertisers, content providers and technologists.
While there was only one video-specific session, video weaved its way into a lot of what happened on-stage. One session in particular that generated numerous valuable video-related insights was titled, "This is Digital Publishing in 2015" and included Zazie Lucke (Head of Global Media Marketing, Bloomberg), Dao Nguyen (Publisher, BuzzFeed), Troy Young (President, Hearst Digital), Jon Steinberg (CEO, Daily Mail, North America) and was moderated by Wenda Harris Millard (President and COO, Medialink).
Jerry Seinfeld gushes about the role the Internet has had on society and online video's potential for content creators in a "BuzzFeed Brews" interview with business editor Peter Lauria. It's pretty cool to see how deeply Seinfeld gets the power of online video and how it's reinventing entertainment.
Seinfeld himself has hit upon a successful formula in online video with his interview show, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," which just exceeded 25 million streams on Crackle and got great visibility during the half-time of the Super Bowl with the mini Seinfeld reunion episode.
Among Seinfeld's choice quotes in the interview:
CNN and BuzzFeed are partnering to create a new YouTube channel called "CNN BuzzFeed" to break original news online. The channel will feature current and archived CNN video and like all BuzzFeed content, is targeted to a younger, social media savvy audience.
CNN BuzzFeed will capitalize on two of the most important attributes of today's online video landscape: short-form and syndication. Last week, data from ad manager FreeWheel showed that "Digital Pure-Play" content providers grew their video views by 47% year-over-year (with 84% of their views coming via syndication to 3rd-party sites), while views from long-form "Linear + Digital" providers (e.g. broadcast and cable networks) decreased by 8%.