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The X Factor and Idols production powerhouse FremantleMedia hires former Publicis Entertainment chief Sam Glynne to drive original branded content deals

FremantleMedia has appointed former Publicis Entertainment’s managing partner Samantha Glynne to the newly created role of vice-president of branded entertainment as it looks to widen branded content tie-ups with advertisers for shows including The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and Idols.

Glynne, who was head of commercial content at All3Media prior to her time at Publicis, will also focus on driving new commercial and digital opportunities for advertisers with new branded content formats and experiences, globally.

Speaking to The Drum, Glynne predicted a resurgence in dedicated programme websites and properties, as companies increasingly look beyond YouTube to monetise their video strategies.

“YouTube is massively important as it reaches global audience, but people are going back to creating their own websites now. Yes YouTube is great but let’s go back to websites and controlling that environment – it’s much easier to take customers on a journey once you’re in that.

“And Google takes a big chunk of revenue. These channels are being used as revenue generators as well as for branding – and an awful lot gets sidelined into the Google machine, which doesn’t always work. YouTube will always work but I do think there will be a resurgence of those owned channels,” she said.

However, she added that YouTube will always be an important partner and that its launch of Preferred channels marks the video platform’s acknowledgement of its need to evolve its offering.

Brands are “increasingly savvy” of what they want to take out of their relationships with content partners such as FremantleMedia, which in itself opens up major opportunities, according to Glynne.

“We are no longer hampered by the 30-minute show format… Brands want more than a short-loved campaign that lives on TV for 12 weeks – they want something longer lasting, that gives them a stronger, more emotional relationship with their consumers. And that’s no small task,” she said.

Opportunities lie in collaborative partnerships, and Glynne will work with the production house’s commercial and digital teams to help lead the conversations with brands and help manage those relationships.

“We want to move it up a level and look at some really creative solutions for brands. It’s got to be a collaboration – there’s no point the brand handing over a load of money and booking in a bit of product placement, there is now the scope for brands and content owners to work collaboratively on branded content solutions, so that will be a lovely challenge,” she added.

Branded entertainment ventures Glynne will look to widen could include anything from the ad-funded programming, to micro channels which run online, social media, and she will darw on FremantleMedia’s international resources to help brands achieve global footprints.

“In the US where compliance laws are more generous they [FremantleMedia] have done some very emotional branded entertainment segments in their big formats, and I’ll be pushing the boundaries compliance-wise to see what we can do and make original branded entertainment globally,” she added.

Glynne will be based in London, and will report to chief executive Keith Hindle.

FremantleMedia, part of RTL Group, has operations in 28 countries and creates over 8,500 hours of programming a year; rolling out more than 60 formats and airing 400 programmes a year worldwide.

Its show brands have generated more than 20 million Twitter followers and 90 million Facebook fans. It operates 160 YouTube channels globally, both for existing brand channels such as Britain’s Got Talent and original content channels such as Vice Media’s food vertical Munchies.

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