Jamie Friend Issue: EMEA 2015
Article no.: 3
Topic: Broadcast and IP can enjoy a complimentary existence
Author: Jamie Friend
Title: VP of Corporate Strategy & Insights, EMEA
Organisation: Turner Broadcasting
PDF size: 404KB

About author

Jamie Friend, Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Insights, Turner Broadcasting System, EMEA

As Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Insights at Turner Broadcasting System for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Jamie provides the strategic insight to identify and evaluate internal and external growth opportunities; as well as providing vital support for the resulting investment. His responsibilities include management of key regional strategic projects, partnering with local territories on business development activities and evaluation of M&A opportunities. He also has regional oversight for Turner’s research and insight function in EMEA, providing the qualitative and quantitative analytical support to help grow the company’s core business.

Prior to joining Turner in October 2013, he worked at Arqiva where he was Head of Strategy. He also previously held senior strategy and business development roles at The Walt Disney Company and at strategy consulting firm CSMG Adventis.

Article abstract

It’s clear that, as the world becomes more and more IP-centric, each and every area of the value chain is being impacted. To pick out a few trends that are front of mind: short-form content is now a medium in its own right, led by the overwhelming growth of YouTube with its billion+ users; in the distribution arena, SVOD has very much become a mainstream offering, with millennials living easily without a TV schedule and Netflix projecting double-digit growth in the next few years alongside a number of new competitors; with this, advertising is increasingly moving into the digital domain (which makes an improved measurement of usage an urgent need); and mobile is fast-becoming the first (and in many cases only) screen for the millennial and plural generations. 

Full Article

The pace of change in the media industry is currently at an unprecedented rate – so much so that the saying itself has become a cliché. There’s no longer any doubt that this is changing how audiences watch, engage and interact with their content, but more a question of how fast that transition will be. But, as we acknowledge this major shift and the challenges and wealth of opportunities it presents, so too are we reminded of the unique importance of broadcast and the way the “brand-new” and the “traditional” can very happily co-exist.

It’s clear that, as the world becomes more and more IP-centric, each and every area of the value chain is being impacted. To pick out a few trends that are front of mind: short-form content is now a medium in its own right, led by the overwhelming growth of YouTube with its billion+ users; in the distribution arena, SVOD has very much become a mainstream offering, with millennials living easily without a TV schedule and Netflix projecting double-digit growth in the next few years alongside a number of new competitors; with this, advertising is increasingly moving into the digital domain (which makes an improved measurement of usage an urgent need); and mobile is fast-becoming the first (and in many cases only) screen for the millennial and plural generations.

That said, the “scheduled experience”, which remains unique to traditional broadcast, continues to play an extremely important role – one that can sit entirely separately and comfortably alongside the evolving IP landscape. This is particularly true of news (despite claims that Twitter has become the incumbent competitor), sport and live events; those viewing moments that are enhanced by the synchronicity offered only by TV. The escalating rights costs across the globe is proof alone of how increasingly valuable that live experience is.

There are three broad themes that encapsulate the topic of Broadcast Vs IP. First, for some of the reasons mentioned earlier, linear viewing retains an important role in this ever-changing landscape in which we find ourselves. In fact, recent reports show that millennials – one of the core groups we focus on during these discussions – still spend around half of their viewing time in the linear space, and three-quarters of their viewing remains tied to the TV schedule when PVR and catch-up viewing are considered. Perhaps the schedule remains more significant than the credit it’s given? Secondly, the prevalence of IP offers so much opportunity and scope to reach our audiences in new ways and that makes it a very exciting time to work in this industry.

Last, is the question we’re all constantly putting to ourselves: what do we have that enables us to thrive in such a fast-changing marketplace?

Turner, as a creator and owner of content, is actually offering the greatest access to its shows and the best delivery of that experience, linear or otherwise. We want our audiences to continue to engage with and be surprised by our content – something that’s particularly prevalent in our kids business, where we’re dealing with the aforementioned plurals generation; those that, even as young as pre-school, are perfectly familiar with portable devices and content that goes way beyond that of passive viewing.

And what’s exciting is that this rise of IP allow us to continually innovate. It enables us to do more with our content than ever before and, in turn, deepen our connection with our audiences; building brand awareness and loyalty in a time when it’s also key to remember that there are a multitude of other activities and offerings around. I’m proud to say that we’re embracing and experimenting in that world, whilst also maintaining a great broadcast proposition.

It goes without saying that, as part of all this, the content itself has to be great and we’ve been significantly increasing our investments in this area across all genres – maintaining our leadership in news, broadening our general entertainment portfolio with the likes of TNT originals and expanding our ever-popular kids catalogue (our recent multi-property deal with sister-company Warner Bros. is one such example).

What’s more, we have channel brands that are both global and scalable. Those such as CNN, Cartoon Network and Boomerang that we’re confident can transcend the demand for how content is delivered.

We’re also looking at how we position more of our successful US channel brands in the international arena and, in May, we announced a landmark partnership with Spotify to bring full episodes of shows from the iconic Adult Swim portfolio to Spotify users in Europe. This marked an important move for Adult Swim – consistently the #1 basic cable channel among US millennials – as a digital-first offering in Europe; the perfect space for the brand and its target audience.

We’re currently engaged in a huge overhaul of our digital properties too, including the roll-out of fully-optimised and managed YouTube channels across all of our entertainment brands, upgrading our channel websites across some 18 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa alone to make them all mobile-friendly, and creating a series of apps and games right here in Europe, to drive further engagement with our most-loved brands and characters.

To adapt in these ways, and to do so fast, we have the talent – some of the best people in the business who bring with them the foresight, the know-how and the creativity we need to stay ahead of the curve.

So the story really is a fast-changing but positive one on all fronts. There is greater demand for new and innovative content than ever before – yet people also want to engage with their favourite brands in the most familiar ways as well as through new and multiple touch points. If we’re taking the pulse, the verdict is that it remains strong. And whilst there is certainly an attention shift from broadcast to IP, the two beings do appear to enjoy a complimentary and harmonious existence.