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Video: How to Engage Users and Merchandise Your Content
Hulu CTO Tian Lim discusses the challenges of monetizing and merchandising content while working within the restrictions of current content licensing parameters and not inserting too many ads.

As an industry, we need new options for monetizing and merchandising content without burdening users with too many ads, according to Hulu CTO Tian Lim in his Streaming Media East 2017 keynote. In this clip, he explains how content providers and OTT services can innovate to connect better with users and make it easier to monetize content.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Tian Lim: I feel like there are opportunities to start building options and approaches to give to the industry to think about how they can more effectively monetize their content. And by that I mean something that doesn't require hammering our consumers with ads. We all know that too many adds just sucks. We need more rights to unlock more innovation and experimentation. I would love to be able to experiment with creating clips with content and seeing which clips people react to. We can't do that. You run into guild issues. But I understand why it's an issue; the internet is also a big, bad, scary place, and you don't want people going crazy with your content. I understand that. But we need some way to better merchandise content.

Because our goal is not to replicate broadcast TV, right? We really want to delight our viewers, and the way we delight them is by connecting them with the content they love or will love. Highly engaged users we can target more effectively will command higher CPMs for advertising. Higher CPMs means we can go with a lighter ad load, which is what we have done on Hulu SVOD, and as a consequence you get a better experience.

For all of that to work, we need to know more about the content. We should be trying to push towards a different way of thinking about innovation that is more aligned with where the internet has gotten to. Fundamentally, you may hate this analogy, but it's a lot like retail. You have a killer retail product, you want that being sold everywhere. It is relatively trivial to get distribution for a hot product. It is not so easy in this space right now, and we've gotta find ways to make it easier.

I'd like to think about a world where we present different options to the broadcast world. A world where, somehow, we can accomplish more dynamic, lighter ad loads. It might mean really deviating from what it means for streams to look like broadcast. You basically are going to have to think about completely different content value chain that allows us to do more innovative things on the internet, because right now it feels like we're pretty hamstrung by a lot of legacy in broadcast TV.

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