The Rise of Branded Video Entertainment
It’s a marketing concept as old as the airwaves. A brand backing a particular form of media hopes to gain market share from the implied connection between their product/service and the entertaining or informative content. And, while many marketers have happily clung to this approach through the evolution of film and television, a new concept (and term) is rapidly rising in replacement: branded entertainment.
Rather than prattle on with a lengthy description of branded entertainment, let’s just agree as marketers that our audiences have learned to bypass irrelevant advertising messages, won’t be constricted to traditional video programming schedules and are actively looking for the headwaters of quality video content streams. Agreed? Enter branded entertainment.
“It’s not differentially important to me that anyone watches this show at any certain time. People will be discovering this show for the first time over the next several years, the same way they’re discovering Mad Men for the first time on Netflix today,” was the commentary from Ted Saranos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix, as he described the seemingly laconic launch of Netflix’s first original video series, Lilyhammer (a Sopranos type drama set in Norway), in a recent Fast Company interview.
Netflix developed the series completely on their own, didn’t license with any network or studio for a drawn-out release and chose to provide the entire first series for consumption online all at once. And close on their heels are original, branded video entertainment series from YouTube, Hulu and Yahoo.
So, well-known, established video distribution channels are starting to make the investment in branded entertainment, but what about brands like yours?
Recent research from McMurry’s own ContentWise and the Custom Content Council reveals brands’ investment in original video as a content strategy rose from 37% to 52% over the last two years. Last week, eMarketer.com picked up on the research in their report Video Is a Rising Star Among Content Marketers and helped bring the obvious conclusion into focus, pointing out it’s the “cost-efficiency of producing and distributing digital content” paired with consumer interest that is driving this growth. Look out cable TV!
In an upcoming post, I’ll share some of my favorite examples of brands embracing this trend but, until then, please join in sharing your own “branded entertainment” sightings and thoughts on the trend below.
As Marketing Manager, Luke Meyers handles all aspects of marketing, branding and market research for McMurry and writes on topics related to content marketing, branded media and emerging technology. Before McMurry, Luke worked in fundraising and development for the Visiting Nurse Service, one of the oldest non-profits in the country.