AIME attended the April 2015 Digital Content Summit (http://digitalcontentsummit.co.uk/), a conference organised over two days to look at digital content creation, delivery, optimisation and targeting. The purpose of AIMEs attendance was to gain insight for Members on emerging trends in the Digital Content publishing and monetisation arenas.
The organisers, Lyons Down, publishers of Business Technology, a specialist insert into Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph focussed on speaker and panel sponsorship, so there was a tendency for some of the speakers to push their companies brands and products rather than provide insightful future looking commentary. However,over the two days, a good deal of food for thought was presented from companies who are excelling in producing and promoting digital content to support their market presence with consumers.
The highest trending discussion was about brand positioning mixing with content creation. Large consumer brands, more commonly known for their products or services such as Halfords, Barclays etc. are generating and distributing content to their customers and potential customers, taking examples from the best of the broadcast world and adding the popularity of blogging and vlogging.
This is giving rise to a new term “broducers”. Large parts of the conference was dedicated to how to exploit / join this trend, professionalise the content and optimize the distribution channels.
The question of brand tone of voice was raised several times with content being produced by brands to feed into social media channels contrasting with social media channels being used to contact or comment on the brand.
The consumer expects “human” responses and not the usual “brand approved” style of communication. Examples of companies that had got this wrong (a global airline responding that the “offices are closed”) were given along with companies that got this right, including the very human touch given by O2 in response to the technical issues experienced by consumers in 2012 (for more on this story see http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-07/17/o2-outage-social-media-masterclass).
An interesting and very different presentation was given by Dan Fahy of UKTV (who are AIME members) showing how they have spread across free and pay tv platforms with both free channels as well as paid in the Pay TV sector, showing how strength of content (archive as well as fresh) can empower different channels to gain their own identity.
There was little talk about monetisation of digital content apart from the obvious paywall success implemented by the Times. Most of the audience did not need to monetise their content but to get consumers engaged with it. There was some conversation about the traditional advertising model not working for mobile consumers due to screen size. This would indicate that other forms of revenue are needed as mobile access starts to dominate over laptop.
Privacy: This gained an airing with one commentator stating that personal information is actually user generated content and therefore consumers should have rights over its usage and it’s monetisation. Some companies are purchasing data with the intent to create sophisticated profiling metrics to sell on. Although users are not identifiable by name, there are inherent dangers in being able to identify the users through the profile. This has a term “pseudonymisation”
(cartoon by Neil Kerber with his permission http://www.neilkerber.com/)
Finally to wrap up the two days, discussion groups were formed to look at various topics. (I chose “monetisation, mobile and metrics”, for obvious reasons). Discussion was lively on moving advertising revenue to direct charging for mobile consumption, soft and hard paywalls and improving metrics for broadcasters through “one clip, one person” measurements.
Rory Maguire 23rd April 2015