Larry Baach, VP of digital video operations at Condé Nast Entertainment, views video as publishers’ key to unlocking millennial audiences. Millennials love visuals and audio, says Baach, making it an ideal platform to gain their attention and a powerful medium through which advertisers can connect with this valuable demographic. And there’s no reason that all publishers can’t launch a video initiative, says Baach. The equipment, distribution platforms, and technology needed are more affordable and accessible than ever before. In the following interview, Baach explains why video is a worthwhile investment and how publishers can create their own video division.
At the Yale Publishing Course (YPC) in July, Baach will dig deeper into these topics, explaining how publishers can create great video for their audience and the strategies Condé Nast implemented in launching its video division Condé Nast Entertainment.
YPC is a week-long educational program that assembles a faculty of magazine industry leaders to share forward-looking strategies. Additional program details and registration information can be found here.
Why is video such an important content platform for publishers?
The millennial generation that is so significant to advertisers is a visual and aural generation. They want to lip sync at Dubsmash. They want to push their photos to Instagram. They want to have their own YouTube channel. They want to send audio blurbs on WhatsApp. And they want to link, connect, and favorite.
Any publisher just needs to pay attention to their teenage child, or watch young millennials during their morning commute, or pay attention to a gaggle of teenage girls at Sephora. Millennials live to create and share, but also, to discover and share. A great cool song is something to share. A weird, wild photo is something to share. An awesome video is something to share. Publishers should be thinking: does a millennial want my content? If I get it to them, or them to it, will they share it? DISCOVERY + IT’S COOL + EASY SHAREABILITY = SUCCESS.
Besides being a highly shareable, cool piece of content, video has another significance to publishers — it is replacing the written word. Video as contextual or a companion to text is morphing into something more. Now there are full stories being told in video.
Is video production in reach for most publishers?
Yes. With the low cost of 24P digital video cameras, with the acceptance of different qualities of videos from different smart devices, with the ability to leverage YouTube as your video platform if you can’t afford to create your own, the answer is yes, a resounding unequivocal yes. The smallest of publishers can launch video with a negligible cost of entry.
What kinds of investments might publishers need to make to develop a robust video offering?
By far the most challenging piece is finding the right stories and the right talent to tell them. And when it comes to talent, to people, you either have to buy them or you have to build them. What I mean is that either you discover talent before they have a following and work together with them to create that following, to create that unique audience, or else you do a deal with them once they’ve already been discovered, i.e. they have a significant following and you plug into that built-in audience.
Every publisher should look at her in-house staff as well. Who’s the funny person in your office? Who’s the most informative, knows a little bit about everything? Who’s the sexiest? Take any of these staffers, and start a video show with them around some concept or idea that fits your brand. Why not?
Ellen Harvey is a freelance writer and editor who covers the latest technologies and strategies reshaping the publishing landscape. She previously served as the Senior Editor at Publishing Executive and Book Business.