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How to Make Your Media Social to Compete with Social Media featured

How to Make Your Media Social to Compete with Social Media

By Author: Brad Altfest In Business, Developer

Give your media a more social experience to retain attention and revenue

As media companies continue to extend their reach from traditional broadcast to OTT and beyond, connecting with the cord-cutters, and especially the younger cohort of would-be viewers, presents new challenges to the traditional media industry. The real question is, how does a traditional content owner or distributor reach this emerging audience in a way that feels both relevant and encourages them to spend their entertainment dollars? What lessons can we learn from how they like to consume content and what services can be provided that are in-line with their expectations?  To answer that, we first need to look at their viewing habits and demands.

Changing viewer habits

Market research shows that Gen Z is spending more time on social media than watching produced content. They spend 3 hours daily on social media and only 1 hour watching produced content, often paid for through a social media platform. On top of that, those 3 hours of time spent on social media is also consuming video content, just unproduced User Generated Content (UGC) or at times, Produced User Generated Content (PUGC) with no-cost / low-cost production.

The trends above continue changing, in favor of less traditional lean-back content and more social interaction – even among older age groups. A recent article by Insider Intelligence breaks down all this information by age range, and the numbers are fascinating and help point us towards what the industry needs to do to recapture those existing traditional media and this younger cohort.

Finding growth with younger generations

Now in a challenging economy, how can media and entertainment companies find new ways to drive growth? Connecting with gen Z and millennial consumers will be the key. To reach them, taking advantage of their demands for mobile convenience, personalized experiences and fundamentally making media experiences more social provides an amazing opportunity for growth and answer the fundamental problem and competition of social media.

Benefits of making media social vs. social media

Traditional media has attempted to reach Gen Z and millennial eyeballs with their own social media content. Directing your audience to other social platforms comes with the risk of leading them into a crowded environment filled with many distractions, including your direct competitors, along with other experiences and influencers. Conversely, creating your own branded social experiences inside your own apps and websites can help keep your audience engaged with your content, even after the episode is over.

Real-time video and chat can amplify the experience of your traditional produced content while adding in new social content for viewers to engage with. This allows you to leverage your existing and new Intellectual Property with the addition of an inexhaustible supply of user-generated content (fan videos, commentary, opinion, and of course, real-time interaction.)

Pushing your media experiences to be more social using live video, chat, and bi-directional interaction, allows content owners and distributors to: 

  • Enhance customer engagement: Capture and maintain impressions based on both shared interests and social interactions.
  • Create a sense of urgency: Real-Time Engagement creates a live element, even if running against your On-Demand content repository. 
  • Gain data insights: Track details that generate and sustain engagement – could even be used as part of Show Development process to learn where the audience may want the plot to go.
  • Build community: Create genuine online communities of viewers and fans, offering them a chance to feel as if they are having a personal direct experience with their media favorites. 

So, will it work? It has too.  During 2023, for the first time, U.S. adults spent more time watching digital video than traditional linear TV.

Creating a new user journey 

Knowing all this, traditional media brands must take this opportunity to forge a new path and add social features to their own apps and sites. Instead of relying on retaining the traditional content distribution model, brands should expand their viewers user journey and own the entire experience. 

Building community tools enabled by real-time engagement provides an opportunity for content owners and distributors to surpass the incremental growth seen from traditional content marketing and distribution.

Sample use case of how to make media social for live events

Using a real-time engagement platform for Media & Entertainment, content providers can include innovative features like: 

  • Real-time shopping so the livestream can generate a new form of consumer-facing revenue.
  • Watch parties where viewers can interact with the content, have unique events with the stars and other popular social influencers.  
  • Multiple ways for viewers to interact with your brand, such as, polls, emoji reactions, live trivia, live shopping, and rewards.  
  • AI-driven moderation tools, real-time speech-to-text transcription, and multi-language text translations.    
  • Time-based offers to create a sense of urgency for ongoing interaction.
  • Support for simultaneous livestreams for millions of users from hundreds of influencers for authentic user-generated content to connect with a younger audience. 

Social experiences will be key to driving ongoing interest from younger viewers. By owning the experience, content owners can boost customer engagement, create a sense of urgency, build trust and community, and gain valuable real-time insights. Social experiences can help to boost revenue and grow a brand’s customer base with younger audiences. 

Agora has proven experience powering real-time engagement for innovative media use cases. With scalable interactive live streams, audience engagement tools for global audiences of 1M+, and the full flexibility needed to build a branded social experience, instead of losing your audience to social media. 

Ready to get started? Schedule a demo today or learn more about our media & entertainment solutions.