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Could brands hold the key to the future of media?

A new report from the DPP raises important questions about whether the current content explosion could hit a funding crisis, unless new relationships are developed with advertisers.

DPP Debates: Do brands hold the key to the future of content? brings together the views, experiences and strategies of a range of experts who are focused on the supply, consumption and monetisation of content. Their contributions were presented at a special DPP event, in front of an audience drawn from a wide range of DPP member companies. The event and report were enabled by DPP member, Dropbox.

“TV was built on advertising. But with the recent explosion of content supply and consumption, funding models have been disrupted,” says DPP MD Mark Harrison. “Those models are now being reshaped before our eyes, and it’s unclear who’s calling the shots: creators, advertisers, consumers – or all three in different ways.”

The nine industry experts came from Facebook, Sky, Channel 4, BBC Studios, Jungle Creations, Zone, Beano Studios, Thinkbox and MTM – representing the true diversity of modern content creation and monetisation. 

Five of the key themes to emerge from the debate were:

  • Ad partnerships: new and innovative relationships are now being formed between consumer brands and content providers – to the benefit of both
  • The power of content brands: Content makers – new and old – continue to conceive stories that engage modern audiences, and remain a huge magnet to advertisers
  • Viewer as consumer: But equally, content creators are taking online content brands offline in ways that are turning viewers into consumers
  • Everything’s a brand: Consumers want great customer experiences – and they now evaluate all companies – including content providers – as consumer brands
  • Data is king: Data is the force that binds the content market. Demand for commonly used and understood tracking data is becoming huge

“It could be said that the answer to the question Do brands hold the key to the future of content? has to be yes, since everything is now a brand,” says Harrison. “But this observation is very mind-focusing for broadcasters, content platforms and content creators. What does it really mean to be a consumer brand? And are they equipped?”

Do brands hold the key to the future of content? is part of a continuing body of work from the DPP that explores the connected content supply chain. It follows last month’s Preparing for an IP future report, and paves the way for further work on in this area to be announced in the Autumn.