Netflix, HBO, Amazon Trends + How Digital Publishers Can Benefit

Has anyone else noticed the increase in high-profile actors and actresses starring in shows these days?

Reese Witherspoon, Robert De Niro, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law… Two or three years ago, we would never have seen these faces outside of a theater, a blu-ray disc, or the tabloids (I’m lookin’ at you, Jude).

It’s a no-brainer the streaming giants like Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and Amazon can afford to fling dolla bills at the highest-paids in the acting biz to produce quality content. But what got them there in the first place? What can we learn from their success?

From where I’m standing, their secret sauce is time.

Exhibit A

1. How long does it take to stream on Amazon?

~46.86 seconds, which included logging in and searching for my favorite show.

2. How often do you have to find your place mid-show?

Mmm never. Unless you clear your browsing data, which is the worrrsttt.

3. Plus, no set tune-in times, zero ads to grow old in front of…

I rest my case.

The second order of business: What can we take away here? Well, think about the streaming giants as the lead car in a race. If you scoot yourself into the right spot behind-and-beside them, you’ll be whisked into the slipstream of success. You might not finish in first place (or you just might), but you can bet you’ll have a faster, smoother ride — wherever you’re going.

The trick is knowing where to be and being there.

Let’s look at the digital publishing space.

The Problem: Our digital publishing clients produce interesting and relevant content, but the “skim-and-leave” phenomenon keeps people flitting in and out of articles like hummingbirds.

The Solution: Meshing together the ideas of slipstreaming and saving their readers’ time.

If an article unveils the premiere date of the next season of The Americans, this is slipstreaming. The question then becomes: how can the publisher take this group of people — whom they know are interested in the show — and save their time in the present and down the line?

  • How about an auto-playing trailer so they don’t have to search for it?
  • How about delivering these folks more of the publisher’s related articles as they come out?
  • How about giving them a reminder and links to the show itself 30 minutes prior to airing?

Our clients are doing all of the above. Through digital calendar.

Don’t laugh…

Okay, you can laugh.

Calendars, renowned for their historic unsexiness, being used to engage and target fans? Hard to believe — but before you get laugh cramps in your ribs, here’s why it’s viable:

Slipstreaming. When publishers add our relevant calendar widgets (StanzaCals) to their webpages, chalk full of events like “The Young Pope Premiere” and “Coming to Theaters: Live By Night,” they’re capitalizing on the slipstream.

Better yet, 10% of readers are engaging with the event content, with over 30% of that engagement coming from playing video tiles. (Plus, it’s not bad-looking, eh?)

Saving Their Users’ Time. When readers sync these events to their calendars a live connection is forged between the individual and the publisher that hosts the StanzaCal. Individuals get events, links to more of the publisher’s content, as well as video trailers, ticket sales, and pre-event watch links that surface as mobile notifications.

It is not a subscription to a mailing list. It’s at-their-fingertips relevant content, closing the feedback loop that keeps the publisher top-of-mind, time savvy, and downright helpful.

So in this style, start by asking these questions of your product and see where they take you:

  • How can I capitalize on industry trends to give my users what they want, when they want it?
  • How can I save my users’ time? Look at every angle, the obvious and the obscure.

Good luck to all!

Check out StanzaCal Live on St. Louis Today

Author: Jaquilyn Edwards, Director of Business Development

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