The science of popularity

Davide Bartolucci from H-FARM Consultancy

Read the complete article here.

Four significant takeaways from this year’s MIPCOM, the global television industry market:

1. Understanding the new audience

What drives the entertainment market’s industrial choices are consumer habits. In this scenario, dominated by data, we can put the example of DemandRank™, an algorithm that measures the demands of viewers based on their ‘intensity’.

It is a way of measuring that reflects the trends that I think will be key in the IP entertainment business: the progressive integration of media consumption channels with transactional ones, all competing to create new monetization models.

2. Standing out from the competition

  • The first way is to be geographically relevant

For example, Viaplay, the Scandinavian streaming service has undertaken a huge strategy of original content production.

  • The second way is to combine local production with global ambition

The Movistar+ project is ambitious and promising: the launch of several TV series designed for the Spanish platform’s audience, but produced to meet the needs of a global market.

  • The third way is using social media to promote Over-the-Top platform content via special projects

Netflix, one of the biggest investors in this area, needs to connect its flagship content with audiences in each country. One company that has developed projects like this for the French market is Dare.Win: take a look at “Change for Frank”, released for the launch of House of Cards.

3. The Superstar as industry

MIPCOM is characterized by several Media Mastermind Keynote speeches, special moments when a particularly influential celebrity’s rapport with the media industry and the vision that pushed them to achieve such heights is clearly visible.

This year, the honor went to Gordon Ramsay. He set up Studio Ramsay, a NewCo that focuses on producing new TV formats and launching new talent in the food media universe.
Nowadays, only those personalities who can interpret the industrial dimension of the media, experimenting with its languages, technologies, and, above all, business models without fear of losing their acquired position, are able to grow and become real Brands.

4. New depth of content

Obviously, it is content and its ability to intercept the deepest needs of the viewer and gather communities who share interests that dictate a model’s success. Two interesting presentations managed to underline areas of development, seemingly distant, but highly relevant at this time:

  • NatGeo’s positioning is evolving

Courteney Monroe (CEO at National Geographic Global Networks) talked about the positioning evolution of one brand which, more than any, has managed to convert its incredible reputation even within the most highly evolved media scenarios. This positioning is no longer entrusted just to scientific and documentary content, but also to a ‘scripted’ thread, created to add a narrative and emotional dimension to mankind’s great themes.

  • The evolution of Snapchat Originals

The language of the content produced for Snapchat has new dynamics. From the stage at Cannes came the announcement of a new partnership between the American social network and NBC Universal to create a new mobile entertainment production studio, which will soon give rise to numerous shows, strictly in vertical format. The positioning is clear and, in a certain sense, radical, but does respond to an evolution that involves, beyond the audience itself, the deconstruction of content in complete redefinition.

What is clear is that the key elements, although in a complex competitive scenario of evolving business models and changes in paradigms and within social relationships, are more or less still:

Great content

Great protagonists and/or great themes

Suitable consumer (and interaction) touchpoints

An effective way to measure viewer satisfaction

…while the real competitive advantages are:

Control of the platform (and thus the relationship with the audience)

Control of production (the studio model)

It may not be an exact science, but let’s see how it evolves.

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