What is “premium,” anyway? That’s the topic of the morning’s final panel at OMMA Premium Display conference. Not surprisingly, it turns out premium is in the eye of the beholder. While the term is often associated with established, respected publishers, panelists from agencies including iCrossing, Neo@Ogilvy and DigitasLBi suggested some variations on that theme. One idea is that premium is determined not just by a particular set of publishers or content per se, but by the audience it attracts. For that reason, Digitas’ Adam Schlachter considers Buzzfeed to be premium because of the level of engagement it drives, though no one would confuse it with GQ, The Atlantic or AmEx content.
Similarly, Harvin Furman of Starcom USA ventured that YouTube videos could be considered premium for 14-year-old viewers because of their hold on that demographic. Moderator Kathryn Koegel of Steampunkt Collaborative called YouTube the fifth TV network. Others highlighted customization as the defining feature of premium. In that vein, Lisa Purpura of Cramer-Krasselt, pointed to a twice-weekly show the agency created two years ago for Edward Jones on MLB.com called the “Chatting Cage” that lets fans chat directly with MLB players. “The experience should be premium,” said Purpura.