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Media Future of TV Cannes Lions

Streaming with intention - connecting with the next generation of viewers

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By Max Simpson | Journalist

August 17, 2023 | 6 min read

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Leaders from Braze, Roku, and McCann Worldgroup dissect the updated media landscape and how it’s consistently evolving.

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Braze sat down with strategists from Roku and McCann Worldgroup to help paint the picture of how the world is consuming media

With more forms of media than ever before, marketers have to reimagine how they are connecting with younger audiences that have ever-evolving preferences.

Astha Malik, chief business officer of Braze, sat down with strategists from Roku and McCann Worldgroup to help paint the picture of how the world is consuming media and entertainment.

Setting the scene

In today’s realm, there are a vast myriad of options when it comes to streaming and digital consumption. Even with more options than ever before, there’s still ample room to further reimagine how to streamline content to emerging audiences.

“Storytelling is always going to be the thing that connects all of us,” says Sweta Patel, vice-president of growth marketing and merchandising, Roku. “We’ve got hundreds of apps that are on our platform right now that allow everyone to watch the content that they want. We’re able to make it easier for them to get to it. I don’t think [the market] is saturated, streaming still has way more growth left in it. And there’s always going to be more and more content coming out and people want it. It’s just about making it easy to get them there.”

“So these gen Z ethnographers that we work with around the world, we’ve done a lot of work with them on imagining their ecosystem or the universe of themselves externalized through products and brands,”said Rodney Collins, executive vice-president, global head of human sciences, McCann Worldgroup. “One of the things we’ve taken away from this is there’s a lot of plasticity in the ways in which they’re interacting and engaging with products and brands. And so the material that they’re taking is sort of infinite. I think this universe, the ecosystem, is really massive. There’s this readiness to take on and absorb. The places, the content, the inspiration. I think there’s so much space for even further growth.”

Going backwards to move forward

Sometimes innovation doesn’t come from merely creating something from scratch. Alternatively, it can come from truly understanding how your audience is digesting content and engaging in where their interests lie.

“This whole retro movement is happening where you’ve got my niece and she’s watching Friends again,” remarks Patel. “When I was watching it, it was new. That’s why I was watching. But there are so many young people that come onto our platform to find the old content. We’ve seen it with our advertisers, too. If you think of Toyota, GE, Ford, they’re all coming out with retro looking cars. When we’re working with them, they’re trying to find the advertising components of that. We’ve got the content and you’ve got a young audience starting to watch this retro, old content. And it’s a great partnership in bringing the younger viewers in.”

“I think the technology [of the past] didn't let me in,” recalls Collins. “It was not adaptive or responsive. And so it was much less interesting. That’s what all these platforms and technologies are enabling, letting you find your voice. And young people are very interested and enthusiastic about that.”

Gaming with a purpose

As younger generations are seeking to understand the “why” behind what life has to offer, gaming provides an outlet to combine education and entertainment.

“I have this fantastic case with Xbox right now which is so amazing what they’re doing with me in the gaming space,” says Collins. “We live in this age of misinformation and disinformation. There’s quite a fringe voice that denies the Holocaust. In the gaming universe, Xbox has taken on this challenge and created a game where they layered in actual historical content into that universe. It’s called “Fighting to Remember”. And it’s bringing in the voices of actual Holocaust survivors. The gaming space is becoming much more responsible and playing a really purposeful role. It’s not just merely entertainment. There’s a deeper level to it that some of these forward thinking brands are moving into.”

“There’s this unique thing that Twitch is doing where you can actually be streaming and watching games,” says Patel. “The way we work with these partners is there’s something for the gaming companies to be able to come to us with content or content creators creating the content about how to do this. There’s this nice relationship where it’s not the fight for attention where we think it is. There’s a way these two industries can actually work together and we see that play out on our platform all the time.”

Catch up on the full ‘Beyond the binge and bow out’ panel discussion from Braze in Cannes here.

Media Future of TV Cannes Lions

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