Event Recap: District Dialogues – The Future of Media

On August 27th, the IPG Media Lab attended a District Dialogue Meet Up on the future of media. The panel included Chelsea Emery, Deputy Editor of BBC Capital at BBC Worldwide; Jessica Manis, Digital Associate Director at Optimedia and; Alicianne Rand, VP of Marketing at Newscred.

There was a lively discussion about where the ad industry is headed and the best ways to reach audiences in the future. All the panelists (and most of the audience) agreed that it is becoming increasingly important to add value to consumers and create content that users will choose to engage in. Audiences are already less responsive to and tolerant of traditional banner advertisements and this trend will continue going forward. The panelists believe that banner ads will never go away entirely although they agree that they are becoming less effective, especially with most browsers ending support for flash and enabling ad blockers.

Another topic that was discussed at length was the fact that the lines between editorial and advertorial are getting increasingly blurred. It was interesting to hear the panelists discuss this separation between church and state. Those on the editorial side were adamant that the line must be drawn and that journalistic integrity must be preserved. Those on the marketing side believed that although the distinction is important, it was not quite as essential. They argued that great content could be created even when paid for by a marketer. Interestingly, one member of the editorial side of the discussion did acknowledge that her salary is funded entirely by ad revenues.

The final trend discussed was the fact that the power to create content is shifting from big publishers to consumers. Social media is allowing anyone with access to the internet to become a source of information and thought-leader. The distribution channels allow individuals to be heard on a much wider scale than ever before and these avenues are only going to become magnified as technology brings people closer together. A member of the audience summed it up perfectly: “Content is king but distribution is queen and she wears the pants in the relationship.” The advertising landscape is certainly shifting in many ways and marketers must adapt to provide value to consumers and take advantage of rising distribution models.


Samsung Teams Up With Jay-Z For Album Release

Jay-Z announced the July 4th release of a new album “Magna Carta Holy Grail” via a Samsung commercial that aired Sunday during the NBA finals.  The album will be free for a million Galaxy users, who can access the album 72 hours before its official release by downloading the Magna Carta app.  Samsung reportedly bought a million copies of the record at $5 a piece, meaning the album is already platinum.  In a music industry that’s seen album sales cut in half in the last decade, letting brands pick up the tab as a gift to consumers makes perfect sense and could be a model we’ll start seeing more often. 

Sports Illustrated Plans New Web Video Series

Over the past year, we’ve seen the entire video distribution model flipped on it’s head, from YouTube paid channels to live network TV streamed through a dedicated Apple TV app and even a Spielberg-produced “Halo” series for Xbox. So considering all the recent shifts, we can’t say we were all that surprised to see Sports Illustrated come out with their own live web video series…but it still is a first for a Time Inc company. The live half-hour show will be a bit more laid back then Sportcenter and is aimed at engaging sports in need of a midday fix. So far, Ford is the premier sponsor so we will stay tuned to see if SI’s video push gains some traction.