Written By: Zachary Farrell, Naomi Kauffman and Elena Legg
Technology innovation is what drives changes in new media consumption; simply creating premium content is not enough to ensure its consumption. Mode’s Newfront 2015 presentation addressed these principles and how their new website/mobile app Mode.com will marry the two.
Mode Media launched their web app in order to bring together its existing web properties (Glam.com, Brash.com, Foodie.com, Tend.com and Bliss.com) to form a premium social network—a platform where content distribution is designed by the user (you). Mode.com is a place to follow experts, tastemakers, and friends to stay current on the things that matter to the user most.
Rather than starting from scratch, by combining its existing properties and relationships, Mode.com is launching with 100,000 premium content videos with over 10,000 creators and editors. Expanding out from their previous smaller set of lifestyle categories, the site will now cover 20 categories, from fashion to automotive.
Among the common themes with many Newfronts this year was the execution and distribution of premium content, and reaching Millennials. Mode’s underlying argument was no different. “Our significant reach — particularly amongst Millennials, existing relationships with top creators and video producers, and the innovative new solutions for brands — allows us to immediately command a leadership position in the platform market,” said Samir Arora, founder and CEO of Mode Media.
One interesting part of the Mode presentation was its live beta test of the platform in front of the audience. Meghan Rienks, a fashion blogger with 1.4 million followers across YouTube, explained that while she had many followers, actually hitting an extensive number of video views (more than a million) took several months. Unbeknownst to her, to demonstrate their distribution scale, Mode launched one of her videos across their new platform that morning, and reached 1.7 million video completes in a matter of hours. The future of this platform will offer not only an outlet for advertisers to natively integrate their brands’ messaging alongside premium content, but will also create a hierarchy for content creators to aspire to become premium creators with their content delivered at scale to the masses.
Conde Nast Entertainment Group’s Newfront presentation also focused on distributing premium quality video at scale. They focused around this theme with ‘The Scene,’ their video distribution platform. CNE has partnered with companies like AOL and College Humor to expand their video channels, in addition to creating original video series such as The Tyler Zone featuring notable comedians with Danny Pudi in the lead role.
Conde Nast conducted first-party research to get to the bottom of why consumers watch online video, and pinpointed four main pillars within this idea of distributing premium video at scale: Creative, Connected, Inspired, and Escape. People are consuming video to fill an emotional need in one of these four ‘mood states,’ according to their findings.
Year after year, content is always the big focus at the Newfronts (yes, content is king!). The CNE presentation opened up stating that “There was more content created yesterday than we would be able to consume in our lifetime.” According to CNE, to deliver performance, the goal is to break through the clutter by fulfilling consumers’ needs in these four mood states. CNE’s mission is based around the tradition of great storytelling, which is demonstrated on their platform. CNE offers premium (as opposed to user-generated) videos, including branded videos. We saw examples of how large brands like Lexus worked with CNE to create branded videos, using this notion of storytelling as a way to get their brand message to consumers. It goes beyond just a digital ad.
A lot of what we saw was similar to the other Newfront presentations, but it was interesting to see the amount of premium content Conde Nast churns out. Agencies can work with vendors like CNE to create a branded experience to fill an emotional need. Custom video series are an interesting option for a more native and integrated brand experience, reaching engaged consumers in a community atmosphere that they trust.