To close out 2015, VideoInk is calling on some of the top execs in the online video business to give us their take on the industry’s most significant developments in the past year, and where it might be going in 2016.
Today, it’s Joy Marcus, EVP and GM of digital video for Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE).
A division of publishing giant Condé Nast, CNE has an online video network includes 19 individual brand channels with full programming lineups, as well as the digital video hub The Scene, featuring nearly 40 channels of programming from Condé Nast brands ranging from Allure and Architectural Digest to Vanity Fair and Vogue, as well as content partners including AOL, Billboard, BuzzFeed, College Humor, Major League Soccer, PBS Digital Studios, Red Bull, SoulPancake, The Onion, The Weather Channel, Variety and Warner Music. To date, CNÉ has produced more than 4,000 videos, which, according to the company, have delivered more than 2.7 billion views annually since the channels launched in 2013.’
An industry vet who established Paris-based video hosting giant Dailymotion’s North American operations, Marcus joined CNE in May. In the months since, she’s reshaped its executive team, adding former Samsung and Dailymotion vet Nathan Guetta to lead product Will Misselbrook as head of branded entertainment, Eden Gorcey as head of branded content, digital sales and strategy, Mode Media’s Jennifer Salant as vp of business development, and former ABC and NBC exec Jonathan Koa as SVP of scripted programming.
What was the most important trend in the online video industry in 2015?
Consumption of video via social channels, most notably Facebook. Condé Nast brands have massive reach on Facebook and are perfectly positioned to take advantage of this growth.
What single deal, launch or failure in 2015 was the biggest game-changer for the industry?
The game changer is that mobile video is now the reality. Over 50% of viewing happens in a mobile environment. We think mobile first as we create content and product.
What surprised you the most in terms of hits or misses?
Live streaming took off in a way I did not anticipate. Periscope was Apple’s choice for best app in 2015. Facebook is about to get into the space. There are a number of smaller players, as well. A hit as well as one to watch.
What’s the most common mistake you saw this year in the biz, whether it was made by studios or individuals?
A common mistake is that one video format works for all distribution channels (Facebook, YouTube, etc.). Audience and consumption habits vary wildly by platform. We work very hard to produce with consumption channels in mind and are seeing great success.
Is there a sector of the streaming industry that you feel is chronically undervalued or ignored?
Consumers regularly access content or “watch TV” across multiple devices. We still don’t have a clear tool for measurement of this activity. Not necessarily undervaIued or ignored, but not solved either.
Virtual reality/360-degree video — fad or future? Why?
Future. Technology and content improvements are making VR more accessible to consumers. Condé Nast Entertainment will be releasing a VR series in 2016. We could not be more excited.
Mobile-first distribution — overhyped or undervalued? Why?
Undervalued. I’ll say it again. Mobile viewing is here.
What do you think will be the big story for the streaming space in 2016?
Even more investment in original content for streaming. These dollars still pale in comparison to investment in TV-first content, even as viewers flood to streamed content. The lines will begin to get closer in 2016.