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CES 2016 Panel: The Future of Digital Distribution

Posted 7 January 2016 11:00 AM by Ivy Chang @MoxieUSA, @ivyjchang

On-demand content is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity in the eyes of the consumer, particularly millennials (aka the largest consumer segment on the planet). People everywhere are demanding quality content that they can consume when, where and how they want to — and at their own price. This sentiment is fueling the staggering growth of the over-the-top (OTT) landscape, which is ripe with opportunity for brands and content creators alike. And it’s no doubt behind this morning’s announcement from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings that the company is expanding its services to 130 new countries. The OTT pioneer is planning to spend more than $6 billion in cash on programming in 2016.

So how do companies compete in a market where Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have led the way and continue to reign supreme? This very question was raised during today’s CES 2016 session, “The Future of Digital Distribution.” Here are three key takeaways from that discussion:

1. Focus on quality, not quantity
A lot of brands want their content to be distributed on every single platform out there. And while striving for optimal reach may seem like a great idea, this type of hyper-syndication actually causes several problems. First, it’s difficult to drive audiences anywhere and everywhere. Also, the more you distribute your content, the less control you have over it. And in some cases, the ubiquity of your content can devalue it; no matter how good it is, audiences can perceive it as less premium. The better option: take your content to where your audience is.

2. Leverage data to create compelling content
The OTT market is already oversaturated, so companies are offering more original content to keep up with the competition. Netflix’s original show “House of Cards” was a major hit because they sifted through data that showed them what their customers were most interested in. The lesson: Know your consumers and their interests and then leverage that data to create custom content that will resonate with them. Follow this rule and you can make great content however limited or extensive your budget.

3. Exclusivity can lead consumers to you
Exclusive programming is a window to drive people to your platform. Obtaining specific talent (actors, writers, directors, etc.) for programming adds immeasurable value to your content, which can encourage subscriptions. On the consumer side, however, exclusivity can be quite frustrating if they have to pay for (yet) another monthly subscription for a particular show.


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