Think about what you watched last weekend? If you reside in the United States, there’s an 80% chance you watched something produced by A&E Networks. A&E Networks, a long time Tubular Labs customer, is a global entertainment media company with six original brands: A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime, LMN, FYI and VICELAND. They connect with over 330 million people globally, tout over 500 million digital users and as of November 2017, is the fastest growing cable network with adults aged between 25-54. To stay ahead of the competition, it is critical to have a deep understanding of your audience and the ability to prove to brands how they can maximize ROI from sponsorship investments.
Our CMO and Co-Founder, Allison Stern, sat down with A&E’s Lee Boykoff, SVP of Data Strategy, Cristina Bell, VP Digital Research & Analytics and Myra Gorostiaga, Director of Social Analytics to better understand how they use Tubular Labs to power their data and content strategy. You can watch the full video here, and catch the highlights below:
Allison Stern: What was life like before Tubular?
Lee Boykoff: Life before Tubular was painful. It was extremely manual. We had a team of interns that would often scrape the web manually with an Excel spreadsheet, looking at our competitors’ presence to see how many views and subscribers they were acquiring relative to us. And when we attempted to benchmark our performance against those competitors over time, we found that if we failed to take the temperature of the competitive landscape in any given day or month, it was essentially a blind spot in our intelligence. Pre-Tubular, there was no way to go back in time and no way to normalize our performance consistently across the competitive landscape.
Cristina Bell: Life before Tubular was definitely challenging to showcase to our agencies and clients the strength of our fans and audience on our social platforms. The V30 gives us the average views of a video within the first 30 days of it being uploaded. It is a great metric to get a quick snapshot and say, “This is successful,” or, maybe, “This is not as great,” and we show that information to sales team, so they can use that as ammo.
Myra Gorostiaga: Before Tubular, we didn’t get access to some of the competitive data, we were often benchmarking against ourselves, and so Tubular gives us the opportunity to benchmark against other brands and competitors. We use DealMaker for prospecting new potential clients. When sales goes in for pitches, we use Tubular DealMaker and Intelligence to gather as much intel about the client to help us win the deal.
Allison: Lee, how are you and your teams’ leveraging Tubular Intelligence and DealMaker today?
Lee: Tubular is our go-to source for intelligence about the online video space. Whether it’s YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, we use Tubular as the source of truth, to understand how our content is performing relative to our competitors and to understand which audiences we’re reaching in the online space. We’ve been able to use Tubular to mitigate risk with our content investments by identifying areas of opportunity and then confidently focusing content creation and audience development around those opportunities.
Allison: What does Tubular deliver that other products in the marketplace do not?
Cristina Bell: Tubular is able to provide us information down to the content level, whereas Nielsen and comScore can only really measure at the brand levels. With Tubular, we are really able to understand how well our content is performing at an individual piece of content level, versus all in aggregate, which is what comScore and Nielsen can provide. Tubular definitely adds that more granular value, and we can understand what’s working, what’s not, so we can improve the brand as a whole.
Allison: Can you give me an example of how Tubular has helped you identify trends and make better content recommendations?
Myra Gorostiaga: We’ve used Tubular to identify trends for the History brand. For the History brand, we serve a lot of content that is not necessarily related to our programming, we create content that is more topical in nature. We use Tubular to identify what are some of the top trends that people are watching these days. It can be related to current events, it can be related to historical figures or historical events. We use that data to determine what’s resonating with the audience and what will likely be engaging for our audience.
Allison: What is A&E thinking about for opportunities to drive more revenue from content in 2018?
Cristina: With Dealmaker, we can actually go in and see the brands that are actively investing in branded content, but, also, understand which brands fit best with our audience – because we don’t want to just pitch every single brand out there. We want to make sure that the branded content that we put together is actually successful for the brand and the client.
Lee: We are incredibly bullish about branded entertainment in the online video space in 2018 and beyond. We think that publishers that have a deep authentic connection with an audience at scale, will be able to bring advertisers along as true partners integrated their brands into our content. Publishers that understand their audience at a nuance level using tools like Tubular will close more deals and ultimately grow their branded entertainment video.