A couple of weeks ago Warner Music Group and MTV Networks announced a digital content and ad sales partnership that allows MTV Music Group to sell ads against WMG’s premium video content on both MTV’s and WMG’s sites.
This deal brings together complementary skills/assets, and is indicative of the relationships the media industry can (and should) foster to better monetize their online, digital content.
Think about it:
WMG has great content. More importantly, fans of that content are passionate about their favorite artist/band/song (just take a look at some of the comments on www.paramore.net). Passionate fans tend to stick around the WMG sites longer, consume more content, and come back more frequently. This type of highly engaged audience is ideal in terms of a media property since all that interaction creates more, higher-value advertising inventory that media buyers are interested in.
Many media companies have pursued the promise of monetizing online content. What’s different in this situation?
- Social technologies embedded in the entertainment experience; some of which WMG now controls from end-to-end. While WMG is engaging audiences on other social and content destinations, they’re also building their own sites with social platforms like Cisco Eos to deliver the immersive experiences fans want. This gives fans a more rich, ongoing relationship with an artist, and it gives WMG artists a differentiated experience, and a platform for learning more about their audience as they interact over time.
- Media companies can maintain control of their audience data. Attracting and engaging fans on its own social entertainment sites allows WMG to have a direct relationship, and make sure that they own some of the high-value data (rather than having it be controlled by a 3rd party). That data can be used to deliver more personalized experiences that fans might be willing to pay for via some mix of advertising, subscriptions, ecommerce, etc.
- A data strategy is a ticket to the future of monetization. As a media company, if you don’t have direct data about your audience, you’re at risk of being commoditized by intermediaries. In addition to commodization, without owning data you probably can’t realize the full economic potential that can result from the relationship between fans and your brands. By establishing the direct relationship with fans, WMG has a better foundation to explore monetization options.
- Combination of complementary skills / assets. Finally, it would seem that WMG and MTV are bringing together complementary strategic assets. WMG brings great content, passionate fans, inventory and data. MTV brings ad sales, additional distribution channels and possibilities for content integrations
These continue to be interesting times and it’s exciting to see two global media brands working together to develop new paths to monetization.
What do you think this partnership means for content monetization and the entertainment industry?