By Evan DeSimone
At the end of November, the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) announced ten new executive board members. Only one member of that group joined the board from enterprise that is primarily focused on digital: Jack Bamberger, SVP and global head of agency development for AOL.
VideoInk checked in with Jack to get a sense of where NATPE’s streaming priorities stand, and how his role as AOL’s agency whisperer might shape the board’s mission in 2016.
Which industry trends do you feel an organization like NATPE should be paying attention to in 2016?
NATPE has repositioned the organization to attract and represent every sector of the content business from their events in 2016 and beyond. They were prescient in forecasting that digital and linear silos would disappear because every sector of content creation — and ultimately monetization — would eventually be interdependent. As we all know, the industry is moving toward a model of convergence and all players of the ecosystem are talking and working together. NATPE is at the center of this movement.
You’re the only new board member who comes from a majority digital background. Ehere does streaming fall on NATPE’s list of priorities?
While I may be the newest NATPE Board Member coming from digital, I’m not the only one with digital roots — digital tech and media veteran Ross Levinsohn has been on the board for over two years. NATPE is incredibly nimble and completely embraces digital and streaming content, as the organization believed it would change the value chain of creation, production and content distribution across every platform. NATPE fully understands this move toward convergence, and I am delighted to be a part of their journey.
How does your role as head of agency development at AOL impact your NATPE membership? Could NATPE do more to work directly with agencies?
One of NATPE’s most important objectives is to become more relevant to both agencies and their clients — an area I know I can help. In fact, for the second year, NATPE will host a thought leadership summit and workshop for showrunners and brands at the Miami conference in January. NATPE will have many CMOs representing major brands during these tracks and sessions.
In the past you’ve been the point man for AOL’s NewFront presentations. With video becoming a bigger priority across the board, how has AOL’s perspective on the online video space shifted since then?
Last year, AOL shifted from a NewFront season to a NewFront year, doubling down on online video across our complete network of owned and operated properties. Since then, consumer appetite for compelling content on every screen and every device has continued to grow. That growth, combined with the ongoing convergence of online video and traditional television, indicates how important storytelling really is.
Consumers want content that will evoke an emotional response, and brands want to be aligned with that type of content to drive home their marketing and advertising goals. The key to success is to remember your audience, and serve them the creative that will truly have an impact.
Video programming, both original and live, has been a growth area for AOL. What should we be looking for from AOL in the online video sector in 2016?
For the industry at large, mobile video will be the trend to watch in 2016. Why? Because it allows for content creators and brand advertisers alike to make a personal connection with their audiences. Consumers are emotionally invested in their smartphones and tablets, and the rise of live-streaming apps and programming provides another path for deep engagement.
At AOL, we’ve further invested in the future of mobile and video with our acquisition of Millennial Media and our recent rollout of Go90, our social entertainment video platform in the U.S. We also recently announced the LIVE by AOL offering, along with Kanvas (which we acquired in the summer) — AOL’s fast-growing, live streaming platform with real-time editing capabilities — for a truly innovative approach to the mobile video space.
As these trends continue to pick up speed, there is an opportunity for brand advertisers to tap into the power of data and programmatic platforms to create truly compelling, creative advertising solutions that resonate with the right audiences at the right time. If mobile is the platform and live is the format, then programmatic will be the technology that empowers brands to make that emotional connection with consumers.