Apple 'Minus?' and The New Math of Distribution

Media platforms are looking to engage viewers longer by creating episodes, responding to publishers' efforts to gain view loyalty.

Noah Keil, Senior Vice President, Strategic Insights & Growth at Group Nine Media (Thrillist, the Dodo), center, and Andy Sullivan, Vice President Business Development & Growth at Al Jazeera, right, spoke about that and more at Thursday's Publishers Insider Summit.

"There's a shift from Facebook to Instagram and YouTube to get more engagement with users, more interactions, more view time," said Sullivan, focusing on cross-platform distribution. "We pigeon-holed ourselves in the past. Now, with video we're looking to produce it in all formats so that if a platform takes off, we can move resources into that."

Platforms are telling Al Jazeera to diversify. "They're hedging their bets against a fake news epidemic. We're not looking at views, shares and likes but at view time engagement over pure reach."

"We want to build content that can live in most places," said Keil. "We get a lot of scale on certain platforms. We're not focusing on building a new product if it's only going to live in one space."

With Facebook Watch, he said, the platform wants loyalty and active viewing. "They're adjusting to understanding what we as publishers are pushing for."

Added Sullivan, Facebook is pushing conversation around video, watch parties, and groups. "They don't want people to watch one video and go away." He said the future for Al Jazeera in this environment is rosy as it is creating new content around, for example, food. "We set up Facebook groups around those things and create anticipation for new episodes. It's been very successful."

Find the rest of this video here, and see the rest of our Publishers Insider Summit Agenda page.

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