Like its marketing cousin, the entertainment industry remains in a state of nearly perpetual disruption. Given entertainment’s increased role in the marketing ecosystem, marketers can only gain by staying abreast of the changing tide in entertainment culture and technology. Of course, this is easier said then done.
“Entertainment is a little wild West right now. These services and technologies are creating all kinds of opportunities for marketers,” notes Michael Kohn, VP of platforms and marketing at streaming platform ViewLift.
Here are some areas of opportunity in entertainment marketing, as well as things marketers should consider when delving into the proverbial limelight.
The entertainment technology space is nearly as fragmented as the marketing technology industry. For marketers aiming to reach today’s consumers at home, the transient world of entertainment technology may prove just as essential as understanding the ever-evolving world of marketing tech.
“[Entertainment technology] is going to get more fragmented before it consolidates. Consolidation may happen. You see manufacturers baking in Roku functionality in devices, for example. But [marketers] need to be able to reach the audiences they want to talk to,” Kohn explains. “Each of these audiences is looking for a different thing. You’re not going to be able to market to the folks on [Playstation 4] the same as you would a mother of two.”
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The growth of streaming
Video Streaming: Given entertainment’s proximity to social virality, it’s tempting to view social media as a major driver in the current growth of entertainment-related marketing. While social undoubtedly plays a large part in the spread of pop culture, marketers should consider the profound role streaming has had on the entertainment industry, and the catalyst that continues to drive streaming to forefront.
“Price and access to good quality broadband has been a major catalyst in the growth of entertainment,” Kohn says. “Everyone’s bandwidth is increasing, and so are their cable bills. People are looking for more affordable prices, so they’re turning to streaming more and more.”
Audio Streaming: Audio streaming is becoming a more diverse playing field for marketers and advertisers. Services like Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube connect millions of listeners to a more robust collection of music, podcasts, and video content. The podcast industry, given its growth and affinity for niche influencers, also offer opportunities to market to really targeted audiences that show a true interest in a specific vertical.
As voice becomes a more popular channel, there could be new strategies for optimization there. Voice users can trigger streaming services (like requesting Alexa to play a favorite song) on their Amazon Echo or Google Home device.
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Ad-supported video on demand
Demand for connected TV (CTV) advertising has surged. Vendors are still working to expand their data collection and ad targeting footprint across households, and through individual viewing habits.
Though subscription-based services such as Netflix have grown synonymous with online video streaming, marketers may want to keep an eye on the growing advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) model. Services like Hulu, are actively bridging the gap between traditional TV and streaming. With time, the AVOD market could grow into a boon for marketers; not least of all for the trove of data inherent in online video streaming.
“[AVOD] is an ever-expanding industry, and the inventory is growing rapidly. In many cases you know where the viewer is, what piece of content they are viewing, time of day, device, all kinds of things,” Kohn explains. “Traditionally, marketers had a general idea about this stuff, but no specifics. Now they do [have them].”
Interactive video, VR, and AR
Interactive online video and augmented reality could prove a viable option for marketers in the coming years.
“Unlike traditional TV, you can now buy video ads that are somewhat interactive. Being able to click into an ad on your TV is a different world,” Kohn says. “Whether an interactive video ad is more effective than a display ad on a homepage is something every individual marketer is going to need to determine.”
AR and VR, though still relatively new emerging trends, are just beginning to be adopted by the mainstream public, brands, and marketing agencies. In retail, brands are using AR to create new in-store experiences. On social media, AR is being applied to make messages pop, and create more cohesive customer service interactions. AR and VR allow marketers to inject entertainment to elevate the campaigns and create new experiences for customers.