24 November 2016

Changing Industry Seminar – The Future of Online Screen Content

By Danny Kelly | Categorised in Breaking News, VIP Guest Speakers, Events at Met Film School, Industry Interviews, Filmmaking Tips

Last month MetGo launched the first in a new series of Changing Industry Seminars supported by The Imaginarium Studios. Hosted by our CEO Chris Maples (former Spotify European VP), we were delighted to welcome Lucy Banks (Head of Content Solutions (Brand Solutions & Innovation) at Google EMEA) and Jon Wilkins (Chairman of the UK’s largest independent communications agency Karmarama) for a discussion on the future of multi-platform content.

Speaking to a packed out audience of Met students, our guests shared insight drawn from their extensive industry experience. We’ve since cherry-picked four key insights from the forward-thinking discussion.

Is Video the Future?

To kickstart discussion, Chris explained the seminar’s relevance in saying that while young people are all instinctively aware and capable of using the vast array of media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat, they should also be business-savvy, and learn how to cultivate careers out of their usage. It is, therefore, important to read current trends and be aware of technological advancements. The recent words of Facebook’s Vice President (EMEA) Nicola Mendelsohn were mentioned, in which she said the social network would “probably” be “all video” within five years. It’s a bold claim, but an observation that young content creators would be wise to consider. 

Power to the People

Having existed for over for over ten years now, it’s easy to take for granted just how innovative and liberating YouTube actually is. Lucy was keen to remind us of how far the video-sharing website has come, citing its long list of revolutionary uses – from showcasing new forms of rising culture, to giving a home to cutting-edge citizen journalism. The ability to both view and distribute (largely) unfiltered content has created, what she calls, a “period of huge disruption” within the media landscape. Long gone are the days of passive consumption, whereby viewers are “spoon-fed” what a select group consider to be popular culture. The effects have been liberating, and have helped individuals “surface niche culture”, perhaps best realised through the phenomenon that is video blogging channels.

Read 10 ‘Killer Tips’ for Creating a Branded YouTube Channel

James Corden discusses the benefits to YouTube

A Generational Shift

In mid-2015 Variety released a survey of 13-18-year-olds in America that suggested that YouTubers such as KSI and PewDiePie held more influence than traditional celebrities. In the UK we have Zoella, who currently has over 11 million channel subscribers. Lucy says such statistics have sent “shock waves” through the industry, with many people feeling understandably out-of-touch. It is interesting then to consider: what makes the new generation of open platform stars so popular? Lucy ultimately feels that it’s a question of “authenticity”; that these content creators offer increased relatability, and a tendency toward candid, unpolished communication. The parameters of ‘star quality’ are changing, and this should excite young creatives.

The Guardian’s Guide to Understanding YouTube Star Popularity

Multi-Screen Advertising

With people consuming content on more screens than every before, advertising agencies have had to seriously adapt to reach their target audiences. Jon gave students insight into a few particular Karmarama case studies that he felt were effective, one of which was for online gambling company Unibet. Launched in conjunction with the Euros 2016 football tournament, this campaign had to include content for TV and mobile handsets. Karmarama’s approach was to initially create long form content (six 15-minute episodes) that could be broken down into a staggering 700 segments. These individual pieces of content could then be micro-targeted, depending on – in this case – sporting circumstance (e.g a penalty). This ambitious campaign is a lesson in being economic with content, while also highlighting the importance of being aware of the multiple platforms you will be working with, and how best to utilise them.

Follow Karmarama on Twitter, or check out their website.


MetGo is our in-house graduates and current students support team, connecting students to opportunities across the media industry. MetGo is led by the school’s Head of Screen Enterprise, Steve Pinhay, who has over twenty-five years experience working for the BBC, Sky and Disney, and is also the programme leader for Met’s MA Producing course. Find out more about MetGo.

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