Michelle Landy, FremantleMedia’s chief operating officer, described the content plan for the recently concluded reality show Asia’s Got Talent. The show’s multi-channel approach included a content website, a YouTube channel with behind-the-scenes action, branded content from partners and a YouTube star as digital host.
"It was an ambitious exercise for us," Landy said. "75 per cent of viewers in China were accessing the show via mobile, and this really proved to be a good example of a 360-degree concept.” Landy claimed the YouTube channel garnered 84 million views and received 4.7 million social posts.
Amy Finnerty, Maker Studios VP of talent, has noticed a change in the conversation between agencies and brands. Early on, agencies were simply looking at large distribution sources and thinking of placing content as ads. “Now they really engage with us on the best way to integrate. We’re getting much more granular, specific and tactical in piecing our deals.”
The trend is prompting Landy’s company to diversify and develop a strong multi-channel network presence. “We started as a TV company and had to diversify with the times,” she said. The company, which has had a strong relationship with YouTube, is now building partnerships with the Youkus and Lines of the world.
Upstart content company Vice Media was an early adopter in the space. It started as a magazine in Montreal and spread quite quickly thanks to its bold and brash content. Still, it took the company 10 years to get to a million copies.
However, it was the firm’s move into video and partnership with YouTube that really catapulted it to success. “We don’t see digital as a supporting medium—we see it as the medium,” said Alex Light, head of content with Vice Australia.
Vice's approach caught the attention of HBO, which signed Vice to produce a TV series that won an Emmy for best documentary. HBO has now extended the contract to include a daily news show. “For us, TV is just another platform for content," Light said. "We just want to make great content."