As more brands and publications rearrange their proposition to “pivot to video” (usually at the detriment of their editorial print teams), it’s worth looking at how video-first multi-channel networks like Brave Bison, Channel Flip, Diagonal View and The Yogascast have created the blueprint more traditional media are now trying to emulate—arguably, with limited success. This begs the question: looking at the scale in which MCNs operate, is it a realistic ambition as a brand or a more conventional publisher to have?
Amsterdam-based Zoomin. TV boasts over 5 billion views a month across their 2000 publishers. That’s about 400 videos a day across various markets, in various languages. The topics range from offbeat human-interest stories to current events to cat videos. In some instances, this content has the power to inspire broader change. Catopia (spoiler alert: it’s a channel about cats), has recently launched a “Tinder for cats.” Instead of finding the purr-fect partner, the ambition is to re-home cats in need with happy homes. Likewise, several crowd-funding campaigns have been launched to help bring much-needed infrastructure to remote areas. This reconfigures how we measure influence and how we define ‘influencers’. Democratisation of creating content via better tech has allowed video journalism to not only be possible but to thrive. Telling intimate stories at scale has never been easier.
Video trends will come and go, but what’s admirable about online content networks is their ability to forecast emerging audience trends and play them back to their audiences in a format, speed and relevance most other brands are unable to match. While brands are chasing millennials, online networks are looking at social media formats and content behaviours to speak to a more viable force: Generation Z, the cohort after millennials. Zoomin. TV, and those like them, are already moving towards speaking to a young generation whom are environmentally-minded, active in social justice issues and truly will never know a world without a smart phone. Re-focusing to Generation Z is future-proofing a model which we know works, but doesn’t require a pivot because they’ve never been static to begin with.