Below is a selection of commentary provided by MDM leaders around significant deals, players and activities in the OTT space.
- BuzzFeed Motion Picture's Winning Strategy. "It's not making decisions on the value of someone's 'gut' instincts, which was often the way to describe the way studio titles were green-lit," said Eunice Shin, who leads MDM's consulting arm. "With BuzzFeed and other savvy digital-first companies, it's making decisions based on data and science and applying that to an intimate understanding of its audience." (LA Times)
- "The Cult of Vice." "Vice has been very smart and strategic in how they position themselves and how they are reflected in the media," said Eunice Shin. Vice knows how to speak in a language that appeals to its audience. "It's just being able to tell stories in a voice that Millennials can hear," said Shin. (Columbia Journalism Review)
- Snapchat's Push Into Video. "Snapchat has certainly proven itself to be a major player in video distribution in a very short period of time," said MDM's CEO Peter Csathy. "The question now is how do they monetize it." (LA Times)
- Facebook's Advantages Over YouTube in Video Advertising. "It has much deeper and more precise information about its base (than YouTube), which in turn logically leads to higher CPMs," Csathy explained. "Also the DNA of the platforms is fundamentally different," he pointed out. "YouTube is primarily about personal entertainment and engagement, while Facebook is all about sharing, and that bodes well for the potential to build scale on the latter platform." (VideoInk)
- Vox and BuzzFeed's Billion-Dollar Valuations. Eunice Shin discusses the moves larger traditional media companies are making (such as NBCU's investment in Vox and BuzzFeed), as smart, strategic moves that reach the vast Millennial audience immediately, and in a meaningful, relevant way. It is about better understanding the end consumer behavior and digital distribution and positioning for the future. (MediaShift podcast)
- Apple Expanding Into Original Content. While Csathy recognizes that Apple has some challenges—the tech company is a bit late to the video game, and facing far more competition there than when it essentially took over the digital music industry—he also sees a major advantage in the fact that Apple owns a good majority of the hardware audiences use to consume content. "Netflix has to monetize and be a viable business just on content. But Apple makes its money on hardware," Csathy said. "The services themselves can ultimately be seen as a marketing expense." (Forbes)
- The Revamped Apple TV. "The most important thing about the Apple TV announcement is it becomes a broader utility box," said Csathy. "Then it can ultimately become the Trojan horse for all kinds of services in the home that, in turn, let Apple sell more hardware." (New York Times)