If there’s ever a time to build strong program brands that people trust, it would be before technology makes the concept of traditional television channels irrelevant. Keith Richman is already thinking ahead to a time when “the notion of channels” will go away.
The prognostications of the President of Defy Media will come as no surprise to the company’s target audiences, Gen Z and Millennials, who aren’t accustomed to consuming video content based on predetermined time slots. That’s because they’re among Defy’s more than 70 million YouTube subscribers and 100 million social media followers.
In this interview with Beet.TV, Richman sees the Digital Content NewFronts as an effective venue for presenting new programming. And while he doesn’t expect to actually transact business “the day after the New Fronts,” it eventually follows.
“Just the fact that we can introduce people to the programming, make them aware of it and then have subsequent conversations has always led to everything that we’ve talked about at the NewFronts basically leading to partnerships,” he says.
Defy’s big news this season includes many new and returning shows, foremost among them three titles from its Smosh comedy brand on YouTube: Not Quite Canceled, One Hour Song Machine and Operation: Open World, as reported by Tubefilter.
Asked which budgets advertisers should tap to integrate themselves into Defy’s world, Richman is pretty agnostic.
“We’re not trying to change the macro trends. People are shifting dollars already. We’re just saying once it’s already here, how do we get our hands on the most of it.”
He foresees the time when modern day semantics about TV choices will go the way of the rooftop antenna, pushed there by Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and cable set-top boxes that let people surf for programming choices instead of hopping across channels.
“What there’s going to be are brands that people care about, programming that’s meaningful to them and a set of people they trust to provide that to them,” Richman says. “And that’s what we’re trying to build here is that set of brands that people truly care about and will go to for their programming needs.”
This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB’s Digital Content NewFronts 2017. The series is sponsored by the IAB. For more videos from the #NewFronts, please visit this page.