A Q&A blog series featuring publisher content studios presenting at the IAB Content Studio Showcase on October 16: CBSi Studio 61, CNN Courageous Studios, 23 Stories x Condé Nast, Disney Co/Op, Hearst Magazines Digital Media, NBC Content Studio, News Corp. Storyful, Pandora for Brands, Refinery29, RYOT, The New York Times T-Brand Studio, and Time Inc. The Foundry.
Publisher content studios have swelled in number in recent years because marketers have recognized publisher’s unique ability to craft marketing communications that allow for longer, deeper, and more narrative than traditional media advertising. Contemporary publisher content studios develop a range of branded content for marketers, designed for the publishers’ owned-and-operated sites, as well as for distribution across other digital and multimedia properties. Content can include a mix of traditional editorial, full-length video programming, short-form video, mobile apps, podcasts, and more. And the name of the game is storytelling vs. overt selling.
Chief Creative Officer
SVP of News Content Partnerships
We caught up with Otto Bell & Michal Shapira of CNN’s Courageous to provide some insights on their content studio offering before they present at the upcoming IAB Content Studio Showcase event titled “Brand New Ideas.”
Tell us about your content studio.
Courageous is a two-year-old brand studio with global, cross-platform opportunities for marketers across CNN, HLN and Great Big Story. Since launch, we’ve built a dedicated team from the ground-up, and developed a unique approach anchored in brand journalism. Backed by the global reach, access, resources and legacy of CNN and Turner, Courageous is fully self-sufficient and made up of award-winning brand journalists, videographers, developers and designers. This talented group is committed to producing authentic, relevant, and inspiring brand stories that create intimate, emotional connections with audiences, while delivering on the specific marketing challenges of our brand partners.
Why are publisher content studios so hot right now?
Audiences today are inundated with content. They have more content choices across traditional and emerging platforms than ever before, making it increasingly difficult for marketers to capture their attention in a way that’s genuine and native to the user experience. Additionally, brands today want to have a voice and stand for something…to showcase values that are meaningful to them and to their consumers. Storytelling has proven to be that powerful vehicle to reach and engage audiences in a way that traditional or disruptive ads cannot.
What are some of the key questions you consistently get from brands and agencies about your content studio offerings?
- How long does it take to make branded content?
- What kind of creative brief are you looking for?
- How do you work with agencies?
- How do you distribute content and ensure that it reaches the right audience?
- What is the cost for branded content?
- Do you use CNN talent and reporters in the creative?
- Can I buy your services outside of and separate from a media buy?
What makes for a great partnership for branded content success?
Clear common goal and constant 2-way flow of communication.
Why is the IAB Content Studio Showcase event important? What’s in it for the brand attendees?
This event is an important mark of the maturity of the branded content landscape. Branded content created by publishers has now become a line item on marketing budgets, and a force that cannot be ignored in the marketplace. Today is a testament to that. For the brands in the room, this premier showcase provides a way to distinguish the leaders in the branded content space from one another – in terms of approach, point of view, voice, etc. – as well as learn more about each of our “special sauces” and how we can serve brands based on their business objectives.
IAB’s Content Studio Showcase is a one-day event in New York City that is open to Brand and Retail marketers only. Limited space is available for this free to attend event that will feature the capabilities of one dozen of some of the most prominent content studios in digital and multimedia publishing including: CBSi Studio 61, CNN Courageous Studios, 23 Stories x Condé Nast, Disney Co/Op, Hearst Magazines Digital Media, NBC Content Studio, News Corp. Storyful, Pandora for Brands, Refinery29, RYOT, The New York Times T-Brand Studio, and Time Inc. The Foundry.
Attendees will walk away with actionable insights about publisher studio partnerships, answering questions such as:
- How does a brand get started with a publisher content studio partnership?
- What are the key questions a brand should ask upfront to ensure a content studio program provides maximum value and meets their objectives?
- What are some best practices to ensure success?
- How is ROI evaluated?
Only 100 seats are available exclusively for qualified brand and retail marketers. Reserve your seat today