Matt Labate is the SVP Digital at Fine Brothers Entertainment, a next-gen media company and leader in digital programming. Matt started his career in independent film, then joined the Sony Pictures digital team. After a brief entrepreneurial stint, he joined Revision3 prior to its acquisition by Discovery, and then served as VP Creative at Reach Agency before making the move to FBE.
In the latest episode of All Things Video, we discuss the “platform wars” and social media sites’ increasing feature homogenization as they compete for user attention. As Matt points out, “Everyone has stories. Everyone has live video. Everyone has hashtags.” This lack of differentiation leads to bloated applications and dilutes the user experience, removing the unique purpose with which we once visited our favorite social platforms (Twitter for real-time updates, Instagram for photos, Snapchat for ephemeral content). You can listen to this podcast on Apple or right here.
This also makes digital programming more difficult, as it becomes less clear what content to share on a given social platform. Matt explains FBE’s approach to incorporating platform intentionality in its production process, and we touch specifically on FBE’s experience monetizing content on Facebook.
Next, we turn our attention to the issue of creator burnout. Digital influencers are faced with enormous pressure to continually produce content in order to stay relevant and maintain favorable treatment from social algorithms. Creators’ stress levels are further fueled by the vast competition for their audience’s attention. There’s a virtually “unlimited content well that’s out there for fans and viewers” – a constant reminder keeping creators on the treadmill of regular uploads.
Finally, Matt and I debate the outcome of the battle between traditional media incumbents and new technology titans seeking to build entertainment empires. “In some ways, the game is exactly the same,” according to Matt. “Create great content for people that they want to watch and continue coming back to. That doesn’t matter what platform or what player. It’s still a hits-based business.”