From "Out-of-the-Box" to "Off-the-Shelf"
The competitive landscape of the video industry is barely recognizable from what was ten years ago; but the partnership landscape has undergone its own radical transformation. “Partner” implies a deeper B2B connection than a mere “vendor,” which now feels more like a purely transactional, less invested relationship label. Today’s partnerships are more than just a matter of two companies looking to use each other for mutual gain. The best ones aspire to something more: the creation of an organic extension of an organization, where creativity is nurtured and time to market accelerated.
So, why this transformation? Did media companies just wake up one morning and decide to fall in love with each other? In a word, no. This new partnership paradigm is all about self-awareness and healthy, mutual growth. Companies can concentrate their talents, resources, and attention on what they do best by aligning with the complementary skills of like-minded organizations. Both can then achieve what neither can do alone, building a “collaborative comfort zone” where out-of-the box ideas can be nurtured into innovation.
Here are some ways in which we have seen this deeper definition of “partner” result in advancements that solve for the complexities of modern video delivery:
From casual conversation to a more profitable C3 window
One of our clients, a premier name-brand for award winning, binge-worthy programming, has evolved their video delivery to delight a global fanbase through a complex footprint of broadcast and OTT destinations. Our partnership has expanded as well, as we’ve collaborated to find new ways to maximize revenue and audience engagement. From one of these explorations arose a better way to maximize the availability of new video assets during the crucial C3 viewing period.
More viewers watch a show within the first three days (“C3”) than they do during the actual premiere. For this client, which has a multitude of highly successful serial programs, every hour of on-demand availability improves the Nielsen C3 ratings – and in turn, advertising revenue. Between a show’s premiere and its availability to on-demand destinations can be a huge production effort, as platform-specific versions are created for playback across devices and providers. “How can we open up the C3 window more quickly?” is a question that initially started an informal brainstorming session. The question has snowballed into an initiative to find meaningful process improvements that can open up this crucial revenue window more quickly.
Advertising agency meets drama-free delivery
This agency is one of the last great independent ad agencies. For them, a persistent challenge is that every brand they represent comes with unique requirements and contractual needs, making it difficult to “partner up” with one ad delivery partner. Decoupled workflows are commonplace in advertising, so the agency may not own the entire process for its client: for example, one company might be handling production and versioning services, while another is managing the ad delivery process. This partner knows how to craft messaging that elevates the brand for each client, and did not want to think about the complexities of keeping messages current across a multitude of living rooms and mobile devices. The depth of our partnership helps us to take a more creative tack to each campaign, resulting in a trusted delivery model that overcomes process disparity and makes quality ad delivery a virtual non-issue.
One example of this kind of collaboration began with a casual conversation about a large regional grocery chain under this agency’s care. Substantial ongoing work is needed in order to deliver fresh, up-to-date ads that showcased constantly changing discounts and special weekly offers. The answer was for the agency to work its magic, producing half of a 30-second day spot; from there, we put a process place where we could receive video, audio and static photo files of each week’s new offers, which our team would then compile into a new weekly spot. The new program streamlines the entire production and in allows the client’s own creativity to shine, unencumbered by any quality or timing issues.
Same-year success for a new OTT brand
For practically a century, this partner has had an indelible impact on global dialogue through a stable of brands that include some of the most recognizable, lasting names in media. Their goal was not just to build a new video app, but to create a long-form, “lean back” experience that would greet viewers with an always-on smorgasbord of revolving entertainment content. The challenge: take the project from ideation to execution in three quarters.
This is where self-awareness as an organization elevates a partnership to the next level: this media giant is a king of content creation, but it didn’t want to get into the media delivery business – their focus had to remain on creating and investing in great content. Building, maintaining, and constantly upgrading a complex multi-platform delivery architecture is a monumental undertaking in both time and capital. The success of our partnership rests in the trust that both parties are truly playing to their strengths. We launched this groundbreaking, ad-supported service on time, providing the client with a streamlined way to manage content assets and deliver the long-form TV experience it was aiming for. It’s been a huge hit right out of the gate; proving so popular with advertisers and viewers that a planned migration into a subscription service was abandoned. The new app was downloaded more than a million times in mere months, and the average viewing time across platforms is more than 30 minutes. With concept proven, together we’ve designed a rapid deployment, turnkey OTT approach that this partner can apply to other brands in its catalog.
What are some examples of your great collaborative partnerships? Tweet us @ComcastTechSoln