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Why Community-Building Matters for Niche OTT Services

Learn more about niche OTT services at Streaming Media East 2022.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Marc DiLorenzo: So many media trends were just accelerated by the pandemic, but I think in particular for us, the importance of community and the failure of social networks to really deliver on what their initial promise was, which was the idea of community. And they actually wound up fomenting quite the opposite of that. And so I think one of the biggest things that really got elevated in terms of level of importance during the pandemic was the importance of community. And so I really think that something that was a good tailwind for us was the ability to form together as a streaming network. We're really a social network of people who are united by this common passion that they have.

And the fact that they are able to also participate. They're actually part of the content. They can come on screen in between the songs and meet the artist and meet each other. And so now a year into this, these fans that we have on the service, they've all gotten to know each other by name and the artists know a lot of them by name. And so that has proven to be very sticky. They don't leave because they may have shown up for the content, but they actually stayed for the community. So I think that increased importance of community is something that really got highlighted and accelerated during the pandemic.

Chris Pfaff: Damian, I want you to talk about this and also what you see as the mix for niche content that you've referred in the past to a tri-brid model that you have. And I would think that you've seen even in the last year a tremendous growth in community.

Damian Pelliccione: COVID was an accelerant. I think for everyone that's on this panel, it shot our business into a whole new spotlight, and also everything going on socially in the last two years has created a big groundswell for the new need for this content to really be seen and highlighted. And with our leadership profile, we are co-founded by two women of color, Leah and LaShawn, and Chris who's Hispanic, and I'm non-binary. And LaShawn's also an army veteran. So we represent a ton of different communities, just respective of who the four co-founders and leadership are. That has really been a big accelerant. Last year, we won McDonald's as a client. And the project that we did was a longform, 90-minute variety show. We promised them something like 5 million views. We did 16 million in 60 days organically without anything purchased.

Chris Pfaff: Because you had a billboard in Times Square.

Damian Pelliccione: A billboard in times square, and McDonald's put the four co-founders on that billboard, which was a real treat for me. I've never seen my face so big before, but it was showing their commitment to diversity and inclusion and especially the LGBTQ community. I think that this is the big opportunity for brands to dive into niche markets, whether it's KweliTV, or Revry TV, we're seeing this grow very rapidly. And the big part of our service right now is the FAST channel market, because essentially they are the new cable operator of the future and the AVOD market that's about 90% of our revenue that we're seeing. And we're just focused on scaling that out as FAST grows into multiple territories.

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