Takeaways from Found Remote’s Prediction Preview with MTV

Earlier this week, The Drum hosted a panel called ‘Prediction Preview with MTV: Social TV & Video in 2016’ where industry execs discussed what’s happening in the space and what they’re expecting to see next year.

MTV’s vice president of audience growth and engagement Tom Fishman, The Drum’s Found Remote executive editor Adam Flomenbaum, director of strategic accounts at Socialbakers Bob Gearing and community director at social media agency 1000heads Michael Cree discussed what they’ll be keeping their eyes peeled for in 2016.

They also talked about how OTT devices, social media influencers, and heaps of data are all changing the way the TV industry operates.

See a takeaway from each of the panelists below:

Go90’s social media strategy is helping the young platform grow at a quick pace

Verizon launched its mobile-only video service Go90 in October and even though it has only been around for a few months, the service’s social media strategy is helping it grow.

According to data from Socialbakers, about 45 per cent of Go90’s social content is video as opposed to photos or links, which Gearing said has helped the brand see high engagement rates despite its small audience.

He added that video posts about high profile, exclusive content like Kanye West’s 808’s and Heartbreak concert help drive high levels of engagement from the Go90 community.

Roku’s neutral approach gives it a leg up over competitors

With so many OTT devices on the market, including Amazon Fire, Roku and Apple TV, it can be difficult for consumers to choose which one is best.

Speaking about the flurry of streaming devices available, Flomenbaum said he thinks the Roku 4 is best because it doesn’t include the ‘walled gardens’ that some of its competitors have.

For example, he said he recently searched for the movie ‘Boogie Nights’ on Amazon Fire and was only presented with the option to rent the film for $2.99 despite being a Prime member. Yet when he searched on Roku, he found that he could actually watch the movie for free with his Netflix subscription.

“By remaining neutral, it’s just trying to make TV the best experience,” he said. “It has succeeded not despite its competition but because of it.”

Social influencers aren’t commodities

YouTube stars, vloggers, social media celebs – whatever you want to call them, it’s clear that these non-traditional celebrities can help brands connect with Gen X.

Yet even if these stars truly like the brand they are promoting and are excited about the opportunity, Cree stressed the importance of “treating them right and giving them decent initiatives to get involved with” instead of viewing them as commodities.

He used the example of GoPro, which he said often finds influencers that may not be huge stars or have the most followers but truly love the brand and want to talk about it on their social channels. By “giving them swag and a camera,” he said these fans often become advocates as opposed to influencers, which helps the brand better connect with the audience it is trying to reach.

The Share > The Like

While discussing the future of MTV News, Fishman said it’s imperative to “elevate the share over the like” in today’s journalism environment.

“A smile and a nod is not as important as someone advocating for you,” he said, adding that MTV News is currently working through figuring out how to measure the ‘like’ versus the ‘share’ and what exactly those numbers mean for advertisers.

In the meantime, he said the site is currently prioritizing quality and added that he thinks it is “critical to have a great core of talent.” Earlier this week, MTV News published a piece that debunked Donald Trump’s claim that he saw people cheering in New Jersey on Sept. 11, 2001 after the World Trade Center’s collapsed.

“That’s the type of thing that I think we’ll aspire to in terms of quality and cultural impact,” Fishman said of the article.

Read more about social TV at The Drum's Found Remote hub.

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