Variety's Entertainment & Technology Summit NYC: 10 Key Takeaways

Megan Clemens

I had the pleasure of attending Variety’s Entertainment & Technology Summit in New York City in May of this year. The conference covered how film, TV, gaming, music and digital media is being transformed by all of the new technologies at our fingertips. It was so inspiring to be surrounded by leaders in the industry and get to hear their stories and insights about what has worked and hasn't worked for them when it comes to entertainment, tech and the social space. The experience left me inspired and definitely gave me some new ideas and insights, especially for the social advertising and marketing space.

Although we were given a wealth of information, below are my 10 key takeaways from this year’s summit:

  1. The future of video advertising is changing. While TV advertising is still best to market to older generations (Baby boomers +), social media and streaming services are best for younger generations.

  2. Build an audience in conjunction with building a brand around talent fans know and love

  3. The 30-second ad is outdated. Millennials only spend 5 seconds on an ad and will continue to watch ONLY if it feels authentic.

  4. Utilize influencers for advertizing. Give influencers the freedom to make an ad their own, this will only contribute to the ads authenticity (see #3). This will not only increase your ads reach, but will also make millennials actually pay attention.

  5. Creating the right story on the right platforms. For example, instead of creating one video, or one campaign across all platforms, create them specifically for each platform and the platform’s strengths for best results.

  6. Be ruthlessly consistent. Fans remember where you came from. This made me think if Kelsea specifically, and how a lot of her fans have been following her since the beginning and they want that authenticity. He talked about breaking down the tiers of your brand/artist. AKA Kelsea as a songwriter, female country artists and largely a contry artist, and playing up all those facets.

  7. Twitter’s not dead, at least for the music industry. According to Deloitte’s Digital Democracy Survey (11th Edition), 99% of what people are searching for on Twitter is music.

  8. When it comes to technology, give artists hands on experience so they fully understand it (and can approve your idea on how to use it).  Ole Obermann, Chief Digital Officer, Warner Music Group discussed how artists utilize live streams and the importance of their approval. Further, he discussed letting your artists have hands-on experience with technology, educating them so they are comfortable with it. He used VR as an example and how he brought artists into play around with the technology and brainstormed together on how best to best utilize the technology for each artist (ie, around a release, tour, awards show, etc).

  9. Tailor and curate entertainment for the mobile experience. Marketing on mobile should be a "quick-start, not-too-disruptive, doesn’t-crash-your-phone experience." When it comes to apps specifically, the typical user spends 5 minutes on an app before moving on.

  10. Music is your companion throughout your day, and marketers should treat it as such. An example discussed was the initiation of Spotify Video and how Spotify is becoming more and more personalized, introducing Discover Weekly, Daily Mixes and Release Radar, which are curated playlists for individual tastes.