For today’s first session, young media makers Dan Zappin, Jesse Draper and Yoel Flohr sat down for an eyeopening conversation with Mark Read of WPP, one of the world’s largest media holding companies, which represents a staggering 326 out of the Forbes 500.
Tying the conversation together was a motivated and enthusiastic moderator in Constantin Bjerke of Crane.tv.
The discussion evolved around how to create quality content in a digital age, and more importantly, how to build an audience that is loyal and capable of generating revenue for especially untraditional new media platforms like YouTube.
For Zappin and Draper this question is perhaps the most pertinent of all.
Draper runs “Valley Girl”, a highly popular, web-based talk show, which has succeeded in making the latest news coming out of Silicon Valley accessible and entertaining to a broad audience. Today, she reaches two million viewers per video, working with 30 distribution partners.
Zappin, too, will know a thing or two about big audiences and alternative platforms.
As a co-founder of Maker Studios, Zappin has witnessed how it possible to successfully build a strong platform for content production and distribution through working with the strongest producers on YouTube - the users themselves.
Zappin and Maker Studios today runs 150 YouTube channels that together generate 500 million views per month.
Yoel Flohr of the Shine Group, in turn, represents the more “traditional branch” of tomorrow’s television production. Shine is behind massive successes like for instance “Master Chef”. The program is one of the largest successes in TV history, and what is more, an example of how to TV production can evolve into a successful brand with massive scaling opportunities.
“We are storytellers, trying to build meaningful relationships with the audience,” said Flohr.
In the case of Master Chef, this relationship goes way beyond the screen, and includes cook books, offline events, iPad apps, pop-up restaurants and much more.
The concept, Draper revealed, is being looked into by her as well. She is currently looking to expand her business too, most formerly by turning to books and partnerships with TV networks.
Additionally, she added, there are possibilities for generating revenue in and largely unexplored interactive engagement models.
The bottom line, however, is clear the young media wizards agreed.
If you want to succeed, you have to have one essential thing, and that is still something as simple as a good story and the talent to bring it to an audience. ¨
In the words of Read: “Stuff on the web still has to deliver.”