CANNES — “Digital platforms provide us a real opportunity to engage with our users,” says Christopher Barry, Managing Director of Strategy & Digital at A&E.  At the MIPTV Conference in Cannes, we had the opportunity to speak with Barry about A&E’s social and digital strategy, and the correlation between social buzz and tune-in.

A&E has a presence in 150 countries across 58 channels.  Recently, they’ve turned to social media as a means for pushing shows globally, in a localized way.  In the interview, Barry talks about a recent international social media campaign that the company ran for the 10-episode series, Mankind.  The campaign, which was executed across the globe with international teams on the ground to provide translated and localized content, resulted in a 40 percent growth in Facebook fans in eight weeks.

How does this social buzz tie in with viewers tuning in?  Barry says, “I’d say the data is sketchy, but we’ve done research internally and we see a correlation between social buzz and web activity and tune-in.”  He says, “I think it’s still early days, but it’s something we monitor and look at and will be focused on in the next few years.”

Megan O’Neill