Video Essentials

Even Cable TV Benefits From Creating Online Video, Says Starz

Brands of all types turn to online video and YouTube in particular to educate and entertain customers, but a premium movie channel? Why would Starz Entertainment, which obviously has its own platform for reaching viewers, need to use YouTube?

LlamaCopScreenAt the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City, David Katz, vice president of digital media for Starz, sat down for a sit-down interview to explain why a premium pay TV service is putting videos online. The Starz strategy is to use YouTube not just to promote its existing series, but to develop new ideas as well, such as “Llama Cop.”

Rather than taking a walled garden approach, Starz sees YouTube as an important way to reach viewers.

“This line is getting blurred,” Katz explains. “Shows that are premium on the network might use YouTube talent and vice-versa, so maybe we’ll have an opportunity to pull some talent from the shows and have them help the YouTube channel. I think what we’re trying to do as a digital group within the network is embrace all these different media, and be smart about the different ways that each one works and the advantages and disadvantages of all of them.”

When creating online video that supports a brand, remember that viewers have to want to watch it, and then want to share it with their friends. Online video needs to be just as compelling as TV content. Many of the biggest brands around are embracing their new role as production studio.

“Brands like Red Bull and Mercedes and American Express and BMW, these are brands that have really embraced content creation, and I think that’s key,” Katz says. “The YouTube audience wants to be entertained, and part of what [YouTube is] doing with TrueView is saying to the sponsors and the brands and the advertisers, ‘You have to make an ad that people are going to want to watch. They’re going to want to opt in to watch it. It has to be a piece of entertainment, it has to be engaging.’ I think that’s really a compelling message.”

For more on creating branded entertainment for YouTube, watch the full video below.


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