Tech viewpoint on multichannel content
A view from Charlie Muirhead

Tech viewpoint on multichannel content

Video content is the undisputed jewel in the digital advertising crown. As an online engagement tool, it is in exponential growth, no doubt fuelling, at least in part, yet another revision upwards of online spend in the latest IPA Bellwether Report.

Informa suggests this investment is coming at the expense of TV – and, given the explosion in premium and original online programming from the likes of Netflix and  Amazon, advertisers would be mad to ignore audience shifts towards online viewing. However, the success of one channel needn’t come at the expense of another.

One of the growing pains in online video has often been its fragmented nature. The diversity of the web affords the broadest possible patchwork of media channels but, until recently, effectively planning and harnessing this media mustang while deriving value was a complex task. Multichannel networks could become the new online broadcasters, albeit dependent by and large on YouTube as their main content distributor. And, in the quest to drive greater relevance and results from online video, a new breed of multichannel network is emerging.

Our mission, as we face an exciting future together with Base79 and Viral Spiral, is to engage mass, TV-scale audiences through smart aggregation, using the entirety of the fragmented online video market as our starting point. It is possible to use online video to deliver the holy trinity of right audience, at the right time, with the right content. We believe the time is right to unify a channel that has until now been highly disparate; that it is possible to give clients a potent cocktail of greater opportunities and the scale necessary for engagement and monetisation.

Online video can deliver the holy trinity of right audience, at the right time, with the right content

What does this mean for the 30-second slot? Very little, aside from a simple and highly targeted way for it to be integrated and monetised across the internet. TV is not dead; nor are the other channels in the media mix. The issue at play here is one of relevance. TV is changing into something more than its previous incarnations – and the effort Sky is putting into its data and targeting will help the mass medium to become much more individualised.

Planners and creatives alike should take a more multichannel approach with their content. There is no reason why a TV ad should be TV-only, or why it shouldn’t run online along with outtakes, or with a digital version of its own "DVD special features" activated across channels – broadening and deepening the message as its audiences multiscreen. When brands think multidimensionally with their content, they can increase reach, awareness and propensity to purchase, and shift perceptions – all in a highly trackable way that can tangibly deliver value back to the brand while giving consumers what they demonstrably want.

Charlie Muirhead is the founder of Rightster