You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

New media entice auds

Ancillary content can lure viewers to traditional platforms -- if it stands out

When Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message” in 1964, home entertainment meant a handful of broadcast stations or a game of scrabble.

Nearly half a century later, media has exploded into a kaleidoscope of platforms: international, DVD, second screen, VOD and SVOD, online, electronic sell-through, Netflix, in-flight, Facebook, mobile. How does today’s content creator take best advantage of the multiplicity of platforms?

“In many cases, for certain deals we’ve made, whole categories — electronic sell-through on iTunes for example — weren’t even considered in the original agreement because they didn’t exist,” says Lionsgate Television president Kevin Beggs. “When we began Weeds, Netflix wasn’t on anyone’s radar and SVOD wasn’t even a consideration.”

At Virgin Produced, CEO Jason Felts sees the burgeoning number of platforms as an opportunity to create ancillary content — or what he calls ‘enticers’ — to market traditional media. For Limitless, the company produced campaigns for online, in-flight and mobile using social networking, games, contests and other original content. “It gave subscribers to Virgin Mobile an experience and loyalty members of Virgin America an experience,” he says. “With different media to tap into, you can choose your target audience. Everyone thinks I’m crazy to put just as much effort into the enticers as to the content, but if we’re going to do something at Virgin, it has to make noise, be irreverent, stand out.”

More platforms also translate to more opportunities to gain traction. Beggs notes that, although cable TV shows can stay on the air without mega-ratings, the flipside is that these same shows struggle to find a lucrative second home. “Voila…here comes home entertainment and subscription video that flourish on provocative basic cable dramas that don’t have much of a second cycle TV life,” he says.

Evaluating whether or not to greenlight a project hasn’t changed much, says Beggs. “But a new checklist exists that we have to evaluate against,” he says. “Before we say yes to a project, we have to have enough boxes checked that we feel confident moving forward from a business perspective.”

More Scene

  • Chanel x Tribeca Film Festival Women's

    Chanel's Tribeca Film Fest Luncheon Toasts to Women's Movements in Industry

    When Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message” in 1964, home entertainment meant a handful of broadcast stations or a game of scrabble. Nearly half a century later, media has exploded into a kaleidoscope of platforms: international, DVD, second screen, VOD and SVOD, online, electronic sell-through, Netflix, in-flight, Facebook, mobile. How does […]

  • Doug Davis Power of Law

    Doug Davis Discusses Using Music for a Cause at Variety's Power of Law Event

    When Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message” in 1964, home entertainment meant a handful of broadcast stations or a game of scrabble. Nearly half a century later, media has exploded into a kaleidoscope of platforms: international, DVD, second screen, VOD and SVOD, online, electronic sell-through, Netflix, in-flight, Facebook, mobile. How does […]

  • Ken Ziffren and Claudia EllerVariety Power

    Attorney Ken Ziffren Offers Sobering Take on Film Business at Variety's Power of Law Breakfast

    When Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message” in 1964, home entertainment meant a handful of broadcast stations or a game of scrabble. Nearly half a century later, media has exploded into a kaleidoscope of platforms: international, DVD, second screen, VOD and SVOD, online, electronic sell-through, Netflix, in-flight, Facebook, mobile. How does […]

  • 'The Handmaid's Tale'

    'The Handmaid's Tale' Cast, Creator Talk Season 2 in #MeToo Era, Expanding Gilead

    When Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message” in 1964, home entertainment meant a handful of broadcast stations or a game of scrabble. Nearly half a century later, media has exploded into a kaleidoscope of platforms: international, DVD, second screen, VOD and SVOD, online, electronic sell-through, Netflix, in-flight, Facebook, mobile. How does […]

  • Pamela Adlon Better Things

    Pamela Adlon: When 'Better Things' 'Stops Being Relatable Is When I Stop Doing My Show'

    When Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message” in 1964, home entertainment meant a handful of broadcast stations or a game of scrabble. Nearly half a century later, media has exploded into a kaleidoscope of platforms: international, DVD, second screen, VOD and SVOD, online, electronic sell-through, Netflix, in-flight, Facebook, mobile. How does […]

  • The Future She Built

    Inventor of the Inclusion Rider Discusses Why the Initiative Is Necessary at Panel

    When Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message” in 1964, home entertainment meant a handful of broadcast stations or a game of scrabble. Nearly half a century later, media has exploded into a kaleidoscope of platforms: international, DVD, second screen, VOD and SVOD, online, electronic sell-through, Netflix, in-flight, Facebook, mobile. How does […]

  • Diablo Cody, Charlize Theron and Jason

    'Tully's' Charlize Theron, Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody on Normalizing the Dark Side of Parenting

    When Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message” in 1964, home entertainment meant a handful of broadcast stations or a game of scrabble. Nearly half a century later, media has exploded into a kaleidoscope of platforms: international, DVD, second screen, VOD and SVOD, online, electronic sell-through, Netflix, in-flight, Facebook, mobile. How does […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content