An Interview with Group Nine Media



Group Nine Media was named one of many high ten most-watched media firms on this planet by Tubular. The firm is house to digital manufacturers Thrillist, NowThis, Seeker, and The Dodo, which ranked #5 on Tubular throughout all U.S. media creators in 2018.

As a founding member of the Global Video Measurement Alliance, Group Nine is a real thought chief not solely in greatest practices for video success at this time, but in addition in how worth could be unlocked for advertisers and publishers globally through the institution of latest video measurement requirements.

Find extra Group Nine particulars right here!

In this interview with Group Nine, we sat down with Chief Insights Officer, Ashish Patel, and Senior Director of Research, Bobby LaCivita, to debate the corporate’s digital video success in 2018. Click the questions beneath to leap to every perception!

 

Tubular: What was Group Nine’s main purpose for 2018 when it got here to video?

Ashish Patel: We are a totally distributed media firm that primarily produces and distributes high-quality video IP. Our focus is at all times to grasp the completely different platforms the place individuals spend their time and why, so we are able to create tales which are contextually applicable for these video locations.

Being one of many largest distributed gamers on the market, our main purpose final yr was rising our attain to extra customers on beforehand unexplored channels. But we didn’t cease there. We additionally aimed to extend the time customers spent on our content material throughout the board.

In different phrases, extra individuals, extra locations, extra time– all of this stuff tied into the underlying purpose of making significant manufacturers and extra IP – extra authentic storytelling that has lifetime worth.

T: How did you outline success throughout these objectives?

AP: Audience response is on the forefront of our minds when figuring out what content material is profitable or not. For instance, if our tales attain a big viewers, that reveals we perceive the market alternatives. From a KPI perspective, success means attain coupled with engagement and time spent on content material, with nobody explicit metric taking priority.

That being mentioned, we additionally play the lengthy recreation and take into account how the lifetime worth of our content material could be changed into income. For us, that implies that we have to see our content material proceed to have interaction our viewers at related or rising ranges over time. At that time, we are able to take into account technique of monetizing our viewers’s consideration.

T: What does successful a Tubular VideoAces Award imply to you?

Bobby LaCivita: It’s market validation for our video efforts. We’re continually taking a look at rivals and new gamers on this area, so having the ability to see ourselves in the identical firm as a few of the most prolific, long-standing, legacy media manufacturers — in addition to different new gamers — is basically thrilling for us.

We hope to proceed to see this type of annual success accredited by a 3rd get together like Tubular. The VideoAces classes assist us contextualize the viewers alternative in every style or matter of curiosity, and never simply from a competitor perspective.

We’re additionally in a position to see the large quantity and engagement drivers in every area in each the U.S. and world markets (e.g. the demand for journey content material is completely different than for meals). Overall, this implies we are able to higher establish white areas in every class by way of content material technique.

 

T: To what do you attribute your 2018 accomplishments and your VideoAces Award win?

AP: Our content material optimization technique leverages large quantities of consumption knowledge (115Okay video views per minute) and has been key to our success. Our method is completely different from our rivals in that we’re centered on a bottom-up optimization course of as an alternative of making an attempt to duplicate viral hits.

We don’t imagine virality is replicable, so we don’t spend an excessive amount of time taking a look at our viral hits. We focus extra on what didn’t resonate with our audiences and making an attempt to check and get rid of that content material.

BL: This strategy of understanding the alerts round content material efficiency includes many transferring elements, together with flexibility and collaboration between our insights crew, content material creators and inside manufacturing crews, alongside with the power to check data-based assumptions shortly and get them to market.

We’ve turn into extra expert with leveraging knowledge factors to grasp the place the numbers are pointing to. That in flip helps us know when the creatives must take over. It’s actually all about being nimble and translating the information into suggestions that content material creators can really implement.

T: How does knowledge and video intelligence assist drive your success?

AP: Our obsession with understanding the consumption metrics on every of the completely different platforms the place we distribute our video content material has helped us perceive completely different use circumstances for various platforms.

For instance, we had been one of many first to understand that there have been dominant, however completely different, codecs for every platform. Last yr, nevertheless, we noticed platforms starting to duplicate related options. As such, we turned extra centered on creating content material that matches into 4 completely different buckets of codecs, that are common throughout all social video platforms and their options.

Stories is the primary, and most nascent, whereas in-feed video is usually autoplay with textual content on display. Each platform additionally has a spot for longer-form, episodic collection. Broadcasting or reside streaming is the ultimate format equally discovered throughout all platforms.

BL: Overall, our audience-first, platform-specific content material method helps us attain 80% of younger adults in America each month and clearly positions the tales we need to inform in one of the best method for every platform.

While this builds our manufacturers’ editorial output, Group Nine’s data-driven learnings into viewers preferences additionally profit our gross sales crew. Contextualizing our video efficiency towards rivals utilizing trade metrics and benchmarks (like Tubular’s) helps us illustrate Group Nine’s market-leading success to shoppers and patrons. Thanks to video knowledge, we are able to hone in on the metrics that matter to advertisers.

T: Where do you discover inspiration?

AP: We view Tubular’s curated sections and studies as an ideal indicator of whitespace traits. For instance, a pattern we had been seeing on Tubular was esports content material being uploaded and consumed at an rising price. It obtained us serious about analyzing the market area as to what present media firms had been doing, and the attainable angles we may begin pursuing to handle that matter.

Overall, if we see traits on our facet, we need to validate these concepts towards a bigger knowledge set and get a greater understanding of what tales we are able to inform within the trade.

This is the place Tubular is available in; the software program’s video knowledge has been key to contextualizing our success. We can then determine if these achievements stem from a specific property, platform, trade pattern, distinctive concepts on our finish, and so on.

 

T: What was your greatest lesson or take away from 2018? If you could possibly change one factor you probably did, what would that be?

AP: We had been conscious about how shortly the video market was evolving and is constant to evolve. We realized we needed to be versatile and disciplined as we tried to seek out a number of income streams to maneuver our younger firm ahead (Group Nine fashioned in December 2016).

You simply have to stay actually nimble. Having as a lot intelligence about what’s taking place throughout the board is as essential as ever, as a result of it’s pretty straightforward to make fast and rash selections that may change the character of your online business. That’s one thing we need to proceed to keep away from.

BL: It’s attention-grabbing to observe how, in some circumstances, media distributors will abandon actually rigorously thought-out ideas when one thing like a tech disruption or algorithm change occurs.

That’s the place our audience-first method has enabled us to proceed having a profitable yr in 2018 and going into 2019. Our technique is constructed upon a diversified editorial portfolio throughout completely different platforms and codecs, viewers consumption knowledge, and an emphasis on significant engagement and longer watch time (i.e. extra premium belongings).

We imagine this may drive higher resonance and have an effect on customers’ preferences down the street.

T: What are the distinctive challenges for video in 2019?

AP: The market has exploded and there are extra movies and extra locations to observe them than ever earlier than. This implies that media firms akin to ourselves have to chop by way of the noise and create distinctive experiences to face out. And we’re doing simply that — constructing manufacturers that basically matter to individuals.

We need our movies to have a real-world impression, and hope that they spark motion in our audiences. Additionally, our content material ought to assist drive enterprise objectives for advertisers. We’re making an attempt to remain on high of the pack from a top quality perspective, and quantify the truth that our movies are extra impactful than the subsequent particular person’s.

BL: The cause we’re working with Tubular on GVMA is that it validates how a lot of a problem measurement is for the trade proper now. With all of this alteration — and all the platform, viewers, and gadget fragmentation each single day — it makes consistency and contextualizing the metrics that we worth for fulfillment extraordinarily tough.

We’re engaged on consolidating the metrics that matter, maintaining them constant, deciding what’s a legitimate attain quantity or what’s a legitimate watch time qualifier.

We’re additionally pondering quite a bit concerning the ideas we’ve developed on the measurement facet and greatest apply them on this fragmented panorama.



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