Skullcandy's Content-to-Commerce Journey Gets Shorter By The Year

On the first day of MediaPost's TV & Video Insider Summit, we heard from Skullcandy CMO Jessica Klodnicki, who outlined how the brand developed a successful content-to-commerce model.

Interviewed by our own Steve Smith, editorial director of events, Klodnicki, spoke about the brand's biggest challenge being that it was privately owned and an underdog brand, compared to the giants in the field of headphones.

"We are a youth-oriented, lifestyle brand," she said from her office in Park City, Utah. "We're scrappy and very surgical about our business." The brand spends a lot of time on Instagram, Facebook and the Google ecosystem.

Three years ago, Skullcandy reestablished its mission and values, making "music you can feel" its North Star. "We put our chips on live-streaming a concert series, with 25 full-length concerts from around the U.S. as well as the UK and Germany, each one 30- to 50-minutes long and designed to get millions of eyeballs, leading to engagement, landing on the brand's website, where it would retargeting with more commercial messaging.

Using YouTube and Facebook predominantly, Skullcandy partnered with YouTube Music for half the concerts and with the artists as well in order to access their audiences. The CEO and the CFO agreed that as long as they were achieving a certain ROAS, they could continue to spend on the concerts, creating a "virtuous cycle."

In year three of the concept, they were doing 30- and 60-minute content, "a pretty ambitious undertaking," said Klodnicki. And then they learned that the average watch time is ... seven seconds! So, the brand launched "12 Moods," with much shorter-form content. Now, it is committed to content that is no longer than 30 seconds.

"The honest answer," she admitted, "is, it didn't matter that we created long content." Now, Skullcandy was committed to three things: 1) Meet the consumer where they are with shorter content but extremely visual; 2) Design for sound off, delight for sound on; and 3) Feed the hungry social media animal 365 days a year.

"Every month we drop a new set of content in partnership with artists and athletes to keep it fresh and interesting."

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