On Tuesday, February 28th, Le Petit Web, French online media – specialized in digital economy news – held their conference “Open Gardens, Walled Gardens: the New TV & Video Alliances” in Paris. This intense half-day conference, of which FreeWheel was a sponsor, brought together top media and entertainment executives to discuss how French and European media groups can build a balanced, transparent, and sustainable video economy with the support of the entire advertising value chain.
The opening session by Geneviève Petit, founder of Le Petit Web, set the tone for this succession of keynotes and panels including TV broadcasters (M6, TF1); media and portals (Prisma, Orange Advertising); agencies (Dominique Delport, Havas Media); advertisers (Coca-Cola, La Poste), and organizations & associations (Mediametrie, SRI, CESP).
Open gardens & collective gardening
This impressive line-up of speakers shared a few common themes. First of all, most used the word “gardening” as a reference to the conference title. It’s quite unusual to hear about gardens, flowers, and trees in a digital conference, however, I must admit it was very pleasant. On a more serious note, all the speakers and attendees felt empowered to push forward in the same direction under the agreement that it’s the collective responsibility of all the different players in the industry to build the new TV ecosystem.
“We have to do collective gardening. We are stronger together, let’s call it ‘co-opetition’” said Sylvia Tassan-Toffola, Managing Director at TF1 Publicité. Sylvia then pointed to the 5 pillars of this collective strategy which are:
- Building a new “freemium” model
- Scaling and addressing millennials (i.e with Minutebuzz and Studio 71)
- Partnering with best-in-class technologies
- Co-producing content
- Management to build new organizations around specific projects
Keynote: The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video
To continue demonstrating strength through alliance, Thomas Brémond, General Manager, International at FreeWheel, shared with the audience the mission of the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video, which serves the collective interests of the premium video industry through leadership positions, research, and advocacy promoting the premium video economy. With current members including some of the top US media and entertainment companies such as ABC, ESPN, Fox, and NBCU, this group serves as a concrete example of this notion of “collective gardening.”
Thomas shared some of the Council’s latest research on Ad Experience (in partnership with Advertiser Perceptions) including the buy-side perspective. For example, almost a quarter of the 242 brand marketer and agency survey respondents in this research indicated that one of the main challenges of the video industry was Walled Gardens i.e. being able to manage frequency and targeting across different media partners.
In a previous publication on the topic, the FreeWheel Council has provided three primary recommendations to all stakeholders seeking to collectively contribute to a better premium video industry focused on providing a more positive user experience:
- Prevent ad fatigue from repeat ads
- Customize ad experience based on content consumption
- Maximize creative diversity and quality
To learn more about these recommendations read Working Together to Improve the Premium Video Ad Experience by the FreeWheel Council.
The road to flowered and prosperous open gardens is now being paved in France and Europe. Everyone in the value chain seems to be empowered and the future initiatives of this industry should be looked at closely and collectively in the coming months.